Living sustainably is one of the most popular lifestyle choices of the past decade, but what does it mean to live more sustainably? Sustainable living is about doing whatever you can to reduce our individual and collective impact on the environment. This can be achieved by reducing our personal contributions to carbon emissions, natural resource depletion, waste and chemical use and waste accumulation.
You can calculate your carbon footprint using WWF’s Carbon footprint calculator
Why choose a sustainable lifestyle?
It’s crucial to understand the choices we're making today will always impact the planet tomorrow. Being conscious of the consequences of how our actions affect the environment can surely lead to many of us choosing a more sustainable lifestyle, which will not only limit the impact on the natural environment, but will provide numerous benefits for the individuals who choose to adopt eco-friendly ways. Check out this collection of options to help you get in A Sustainable Mindset
Below we have listed some of the benefits.
Slows climate change
Sustainable living helps to slow climate change by reducing consumption and making choices to use products and services which are better for the environment. This helps to lower greenhouse emissions.
Improves air quality
When a community practices a more sustainable way of life, air pollution reduces, which is key to a happy, healthy community.
Saves you money in the long run
Switching from wasteful products to sustainable, reusable, or energy saving ones helps to save you money in the long run. For example, switching to LED lights might seem initially expensive, however, they have a much longer lifespan than traditional bulbs, with an average of 50,000 hours.
Maintains resources for future generations
Perhaps one of the most important reasons for living sustainably is to maintain natural resources for future generations. Plastic production and fossil fuels are just the tip of the iceberg, we are burning through everything, from our fuel supplies to clean water and food and therefore destroying the environment at the same time. It’s important that we maintain the healthy environment on our planet for future generations.
How to live more sustainably
Living sustainably is actually a lot simpler than one might think. It's about making a series of small changes that together will have a massive impact on how Earth’s future shapes. Below is a list of useful tips on how to live more sustainably
Use cleaner energy by switching your energy provider
Green energy is energy which comes from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, or when a provider pays to offset the carbon emissions. There are a number of benefits switching to renewable energy. One of the key benefits is that it ups the overall demand for energy generated from renewable sources, which greatly reduces reliance on fossil fuels.
In recent years the cost of green energy has plummeted, meaning you can go green and still save money.
Ditch single-use plastics and switch to sustainable alternatives.
There is a lot of buzz around reusable alternatives to single-use plastics these days, with them becoming more readily available at affordable prices. With millions of tonnes of plastic ending up in the ocean every year and single-use plastic accounting for half of global plastic waste, this simple change can make such a big difference for the environment.
Reduce meat and dairy products in your diet
Avoiding meat and dairy is one of the most effective ways to reduce your environmental impact. According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization, meat and dairy accounts for around 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions and pollutes landscapes and waterways.
Many companies now have the option to go paperless, helping to avoid wasting paper and stopping your home being flooded with unwanted junk mail. This option is typically just a simple checkbox on the company’s website.
Recycle and reuse
Making sure to recycle helps reduce pollution and waste. It reduces the need for raw materials which require larger amounts of energy in the production process compared to recycling already existing materials. Many products, such as glass jars, plastic containers, and old furniture can easily be reused, but are often just thrown away.
Grow your own produce
Growing your own fruit and vegetables can help reduce water and air pollution, by scrapping the amount of pesticides used for industrial purposes, as well as fossil fuels used in transportation of the produce to the supermarkets.
Use eco-friendly cleaning products
The most popular cleaning products often contain chemicals which can be harmful to the environment. By using green/eco-friendly cleaning products, you are helping to prevent these chemicals from having a negative impact on the planet.
Drive less and opt for greener alternative
Changing your driving habits and keeping your vehicle in good shape can drastically reduce your carbon footprint. Whenever possible walk, bike or use public transport.