Making an effort to use natural resources as little as possible while prioritising their usage and considering the requirements of future generations is sustainable living. As a matter of fact, one should be aware of how one’s lifestyle choices affect the environment and take action to improve things.
Sustainable living is about understanding our daily requirements, addressing them, and creating products and services to improve everyone’s quality of life. The resources have to be used wisely to preserve them for people in the future. By enhancing our quality of life, sustainability contributes to the preservation of our ecosystem.
Every one of us can make a difference by taking responsibility for our own lives. As the well-known quote goes “Choose well, buy less, and make it last”. It is true, an environmentally sustainable living will enable us to make wise decisions, save money by only purchasing the things we need, and preserve resources for future generations.
Through sustainability, we can preserve our ecosystem while maintaining a high standard of living. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) encourage people to live in peace with nature and adhere to sustainable lifestyle practices to protect the environment for future generations.
“How to live a sustainable lifestyle?” is the focus of this article. You may immediately start becoming eco-friendlier in several simple ways. In fact, you can make small changes at first and gradually maintain and lead a sustainable lifestyle.
1. Don’t Waste Food
There are people who are unaware of the amount of food they waste daily; it includes spoiled food items, uneaten leftovers, and vegetables and fruits that can be used in other ways.
Between harvest and retail, around 14% of the food produced worldwide is lost, and an estimated 17% of the food produced globally is wasted in households, retail, and food service. With the number of people suffering from hunger increasing and tonnes of edible food lost or wasted every day, reducing food loss and waste is crucial.
Are our food systems sustainable? Food loss and waste threaten its sustainability. All of the resources—including water, land, energy, labour, and capital—that were utilised to produce the food are wasted when it is lost or wasted. Further, the landfills of food waste and loss produce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change. Food security and availability can also be significantly impacted by food loss and waste, as it raises food prices.
We need to formulate and implement integrated strategies on priority to minimize food loss and waste since our food systems cannot be strong if they are not sustainable. Global and local actions are required to make the most of the food we produce.
Some helpful tips to stop food waste are:
- Don’t throw away any leftovers you may have. Make an attempt to consume them quickly or freeze them before they spoil.
- Before fruits and vegetable decay, freeze them.
- Cook only as much as you will consume.
- If you find that you waste a lot of food at the end of the month, don’t buy any more food.
- Choose items that last longer.
2. Opt for Sustainable Shopping
Your shopping habits can support the effort to combat climate change. Buying environmentally friendly products can be difficult if you do not know where to begin. Here are some shopping tips:
a) Buy from local merchants and businesses. Always shop locally to support your community
and the environment by making your purchases from shops and businesses there. Shopping locally, which involves purchasing goods made in your neighbourhood, is a simple method to enhance your eco-conscious purchasing.
It makes sense logically. Shipping goods over long distances causes greenhouse gas emissions from trucks and other vehicles utilised in transportation, causing air and land pollution.
b) Avoid impulsive buying. Shopping sustainably is put at risk by impulsive purchases. It is simple to acquire things you do not need, which means they can end up in your neighbourhood landfill sooner than you anticipated.
c) Carry your bag. Landfills have millions of plastic bags dumped every year and many of them end up in the oceans, seas and other natural resources. It is advisable to always carry your own bags when shopping and avoid using plastic bags. It would be best if those bags were reusable.
d) Buy recycled items. Search for internet stores that sell recycled, repurposed, and upcycled products rather than new ones. The greatest environmentally friendly products are frequently also more robust, and many pre-owned items still seem brand-new. Purchasing used goods can help you save money and energy required to produce new goods and avoid waste.
3. Conserve water
Water conservation entails judicious and responsible use of our water resources. “Only 2% of the Earth’s freshwater supply is frozen in glaciers and ice caps, while 97.5% of the water on Earth is saltwater,” states The United Nations world water development report. Conserving water can prevent water shortages or allow an area’s population to grow without further depleting its freshwater resources.
You use less energy when using less water, for it requires much electricity to pump, purify, and distribute water for our use. Here are some suggestions for reducing water waste:
- When not in use, turn off the faucet. The average amount of water wasted when using the water when shaving or brushing your teeth is 4-5 gallons.
- Scrubbing dishes in running water is less effective than soaking them. You can save a lot of time and water.
- You should run the laundry and dishwasher only when they are fully loaded. One cycle of your washing machine and dishwasher can consume up to 15 gallons of water.
- Shorten those long showers. Why not only half-fill your bathtub? That can enable you to save on heater costs, as well as additional water and time.
- Repair leaky plumbing. You need to check your utility bills carefully and fix any plumbing repairs to save water.
- Water your plants with drip irrigation. Your plants will consistently receive enough water in this manner.
4. Grow your own food
You can be sure you do not use pesticides by growing vegetables and fruits, for pesticides cause air and water pollution. Further, it helps lessen the carbon footprint associated with delivering vegetables to supermarkets.
There are several reasons for growing your own food, which mainly include the positive effects it can have on the environment and your health.
– You don’t need plastic
If you purchase your produce from a supermarket, you will notice that it almost certainly comes in some sort of plastic packaging. Plastic packaging has the potential to harm the ecology significantly if discarded carelessly. There is no need to pack the produce grown in your backyard or even on a windowsill, and you can use it fresh.
– Less carbon footprint
You can cook using ingredients grown in your home by having your own vegetable garden. You can reduce your carbon footprint by buying less food cultivated hundreds or even thousands of kilometres away.
– Minimises the use of pesticides
Pesticides are applied to crops in commercial farming to protect them from various diseases and pests that could harm or destroy them. Due to their ease of contamination of the water and air, these pesticides have a number of negative effects on the ecosystem. You can limit the use of pesticides while growing vegetables and fruits and lessen the chemicals that are released into the air and water.
5. Drive green
If your destination is close enough, consider taking a bike or walking instead of driving there, for it protects the environment and your health. Taking the public transportation system is yet another effective technique to lower greenhouse gas emissions. You can significantly reduce your carbon footprint with improved driving habits.
By following these helpful tips, you can promote sustainable living and ensure that future generations will have enough resources to enjoy a safe and healthy existence.