10 Easy Ways to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle
As you may very well know, how we live has a long-term impact on the environment and on not only our own quality of life but that of the animals around us and the future inhabitants of our planet. With shortages of fresh water growing around the world, it is hard to ignore the threat that landfills, factory farms, and the use of toxic chemicals pose to fresh groundwater. On top of that, energy costs are continuing to rise and we are starting to feel the impact of our nations rapid use of nonrenewable fossil fuels each time we fill our gas tank or pay a utility bill. These are just a few examples out of many in how our social, environmental, and economic systems are tightly interwoven. choosing to adapt to sustainable lifestyle practices at home and at work is imperative for the health of the earth and for future flourishing for the human race.
Sustainable living isn’t a new trend although it is quickly rising in popularity as many of us realize what is happening with our planet. We’ve put together an awesome list of simple ways that you can jump on the sustainable lifestyle both at home and at work!
#1 – CUT DOWN ON THE PAPER IN YOUR LIFE
It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that paper production and consumption is one of the has one of the largest impacts on the environment. It takes a lot of energy to run and many use toxic chemicals to reduce the wood down to a pulp and bleach the paper.
But did you know that there are several companies making high-quality hemp paper? Using hemp paper can help minimize the environmental impact because hemp itself is a sustainable plant! Check out the Living Tree Paper Company for more information about hemp paper.
Here are some other tips for cutting down on the paper in your life:
- Switch to digital subscriptions for magazines and newspapers
- Opting out of junk mail (consider a service like Catalog Choice)
- Print only when you truly need something in hard copy form
By doing these small things, you can play a role in reducing the demand for paper and decreasing the amount that ends up in landfills each year.
#2 – INVEST IN A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
This has become more and more popular and we’re happy to see it! Giving up the individual bottled water and purchasing a reusable water bottle is a big step (bonus points if it’s not plastic!) There are tons of different options, sizes and brands to choose from out there. By using a reusable bottle or cup instead of drinking from single use bottles you save roughly 1,460 water bottles per year!
#3 – EAT FRESH, LOCAL, ORGANIC FOOD
If you have the option to do so then growing your own food without the use of herbicides or pesticides is one of the greenest practices you can take on. However that isn’t possible for everyone but buying organic foods IS an option everyone can choose. Organic farming is far more than a fad. It protects people against health risks associated with herbicides and pesticides along with preventing the contamination of soil and ground water. Luckily, there are a number of ways to eat local, organic food. Farmers markets and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) are two of the best ways. Both give you direct access to the farmers so that you can talk to them personally about their farming practices to ensure that they are not using toxic chemicals. Their food is usually more affordable than the “local” and “organic” produce at grocery stores that may or may not live up to the label.
#4 – ADOPT A MORE PLANT-BASED DIET
Along with eating more local, organic food, you can help the planet and improve your health by cutting back on meat, fish and dairy products and adopting a plant-based diet. The livestock industry (which produces meat, fish and dairy) is one of the biggest culprits of land clearing, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Scientific studies have demonstrated that plant-based diets can help to prevent chronic diseases. There are so many different dairy alternatives and lots of delicious vegetarian options that make a plant-based diet even easier to incorporate into your life.
#5 – INVEST IN GREEN CLEANING SUPPLIES & PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS
This one has always been easy for me because my skin is too sensitive to use most of the heavy chemical filled cleaning products that are on the mainstream market. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), personal care products such as soaps, fragrances, and cosmetics are contaminating water in our country. Even low concentrations can affect aquatic life. Household cleaning supplies have an even greater impact: polluting air quality, contaminating water, and causing illness or irritation to humans. The EPA has even published a guide for buying green cleaning supplies on their website because of the importance of investing in non-toxic, green cleaning supplies. With the availability of excellent products like Mrs. Meyer’s aromatic and efficient cleaning supplies and Nature’s Root health and beauty products, there is no reason not to make the switch.
#6 – SUPPORT ETHICAL COMPANIES WITH SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES
As a consumer you have more power than you might believe. Large brands are starting to move toward more sustainable practices because of the increasing number of people who are seeking out products made with natural, non-toxic materials in ethical, green facilities. It is worth the effort to research companies with products you can support with a clear conscience. In the process, you will probably discover some exciting businesses that you hadn’t heard of before!
#7– REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE & UPCYCLE
According to CNN, the U.S. produces 250 million tons of trash a year that goes into landfills. While waste disposal companies are continually innovating to prevent that waste from leaching into the surrounding area, landfills still pose a serious hazard. As the world’s population continues to grow, it is even more important to cut down on our waste. The way to do this is to by reducing our consumption, reusing whenever possible, recycling, and upcycling (turning an old item into something new). While adopting these habits might take a while to adjust to, once they are a part of your life you will benefit from far more than a clean conscience. Reducing, reusing, recycling and upcycling will save you money and allow you to cultivate your creativity.
#8 – START COMPOSTING
Especially if you’re planning on growing your own garden, composting is an amazing way to cut down on your waste! Composting allows you to recycle your own kitchen and yard waste to use as fertilizer. Dead leaves, table scraps, coffee grinds, and many other things that you would usually throw into the trash can be composted.
#9 – CONSERVE RESOURCES AT HOME
We consume a large amount of energy and resources at home. By making small changes to your daily routines and habits, you can decrease your utility bills and live more sustainable. Here are a few ways to adopt more eco-friendly habits:
- Unplug appliances when they are not in use
- Turn off lights when you leave a room
- Utilize natural lighting as much as possible
- Invest in energy efficient lightbulbs
- Zone heat your home with an alternative heating appliance such as a high efficiency wood stove
Use less water: take shorter showers or bathe every other day, wait until clothes are obviously dirty to run them through the wash, fill the sink with water when doing dishes instead of letting it run, etc.
#10 – ALTER YOUR APPROACH TO TRANSPORTATION
On a daily basis Americans utilize many different forms of transportation from escalators and elevators to buses and cars. All of these forms of transportation burn fossil fuels and produce pollution. Walking, biking, driving a hybrid, carpooling, and using public transportation are all excellent ways to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases you produce. By choosing to use the stairs instead of the elevator or deciding to bike to work instead of drive, you can improve your health along with diminishing your carbon footprint.
It is our goal to help make the transition from a less green to a more sustainable life simple and easy. The world would be more benefited by 100 people living an imperfect sustainable life than it would by 10 people living a 100% sustainable life. It’s all about the number of people willing to give the lifestyle a solid try in hopes to change the way we affect our planet for years to come. Teach your neighbors teach your children and teach yourself to live a life where we do more good than we do damage. It’s the least we can do for the planet that has housed all of us for generations before and hopefully for generations to come. We thank you for any changes you make!
What are your favorite ways to live a more sustainable life? We’d love to hear them!
HEMP EXTRACT PRODUCTS
Duis mollis, est non commodo luctus, nisi erat porttitor ligula, eget lacinia odio sem nec elit. Morbi leo risus, porta ac consectetur ac, vestibulum at eros. Aenean eu leo quam.