5 Tips to Start Living a More Sustainable Life
The world’s population is creeping up to seven billion rapidly, making our need to conserve natural resources critically important. With technology efficiency and micro-energy generation becoming more readily available, the move to living more sustainably within reach. If you are ready to switch to a more sustainable way of life, here are 5 tips to help you get started.
1. Make Large Purchases Count
Typically, the larger your purchase the longer you will use it. This is one reason that you should try to make smart purchasing choices that will also benefit the environment. It isn’t realistic to run out and buy a new eco-friendly car with sustainable fuel options if you recently upgraded or if your car is currently in good working order.
The same goes for purchasing new appliances in your home. Manufacturing new models uses a lot of resources and throwing out usable items creates waste unnecessarily. A better option to help live more sustainably is to choose better options the next time you are in the market for high ticket items.
Buy appliances that carry an Energy Star label, opt for solar-powered water heaters and choose a fuel-efficient vehicle. All of these choices will help reduce your carbon footprint as the years go by.
2. Mind Your Labels
The label on your products will tell you a lot about how they are sources, where they are made, and about their sustainability. Everything you buy from your clothing down to that bottle of water in your hand has a label full if important information.
Though tracking all of your purchased and reading through the labels can be overwhelming at times, there are many ways to reduce the impact you have on the planet. In turn, your purchase choices will directly impact the way companies interact with wildlife and the planet. For example, when you buy coffee instead of going to a chain location, pick up a bag of “shade-grown” coffee instead.
Not only does this type of coffee help to keep the local eco-system intact making coffee at home is much more sustainable. Spend your dollars on companies that offer Fair Trade certified products. Not only do these companies pay their laborers a fair wage, but they are also dedicated to sustainable production. Though costlier, choosing organic food options are also a great way to live sustainably while also protecting the water, land and your family from harmful pesticides.
3. Make Your Home Green and You Energy Wild
Taking care of your car helps it to burn fuel more efficiently, the same goes for your home. When you take care of your house, you end up using less energy and resources which helps you to live more sustainably. Maintain your home insulation properly, used double-paned windows, and energy-saving implements to help reduce your energy use.
A programmable thermostat is another way to reduce your energy usage by regulating your heating and cooling systems. In order to save wildlife, reduce climate change and protect our fuels it is important that we cease our dependence on fossil fuels. Another way to make your home more sustainable is to choose a Green-e certified electricity supplier. These companies generate their wild energy from clean sources such as the wind or through solar panels.
4. Eat Local, Plant Often, Farm Organically
You would think that growing food is naturally helpful to the environment, sadly it can actually be quite harmful. Most food is grown in remote locations en-mass and then shipped all across the country for people just like you to eat. Choosing to eat food that is grown locally will reduce the amount of fuel needed to transport food and it will also encourage local farms to produce more for the community.
One of the great things about eating sustainably is that it benefits the environment, your health, and local businesses. It also teaches you how to eat a healthy diet. Another great way to encourage sustainable living is to choose farms and producers that grow their produce organically. Organic farming is better for the environment and your health. If you happen to have space in your front or back yard consider planting some seeds of your own. You don’t have to have a farm to help the planet. Grow your own food with just a few vegetables, fruits or even just an herb garden goes a long way towards living sustainably.
5. Mind Your Meals
What goes into your body not only affects your health, it also has a big effect on the environment. Choosing organically produced food is the first step, eliminating or at least reducing others from your diet is the next. Avoid packaged and processed food as much as possible. Not only is it unhealthy, but a lot of emissions are also created when they are produced.
Aside from all of the chemicals in the food, processed items tend to have an excess amount of packaging. We should try to cut back on red meat such as lamb and beef bought from a grocery and buy organic local raised grass fed beef or local organically raised meat.
Conventionally raised meat is emissions-intensive food that causes an abundance of methane gas to be produced on a daily basis. Feeding and housing these animals also result in a large amount of deforestation which the opposite of what sustainable living stands for.
Instead, opt for more nuts and lentils to replace those proteins in your diet.
Try to eat more vegetables and maybe even make one day a week meatless day. Vegetarian fare has half the number of CO2 emissions than carnivorous fare.
Regardless of your diet choices, make sure that you are not wasting food. A third of all food production in the world goes to waste every year. Make a point of only buying enough organic local harvest food for the week. Choose items that are in season that your family will love and finish every time you shop.
The Bottom Line
Pollution output is at an all-time high and energy consumption has grown on a national level. Many people and companies are looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly while still maintaining a comfortable quality of living. There are many ways to start living sustainably as an individual and producing in an eco-friendly manner as a company.
Are you living a sustainable and healthy life? Please share your tips, suggestion and opinions in the comment section below. Please share this article to help do your part in helping secure a healthy future for our planet and our children.