Deep down, we all want to live more sustainably. No one likes to be wasteful. On the other hand, we also want to live well. Does this go hand in hand? As far as we are concerned, yes, and in this article we will provide tips for sustainable living. Not only for a positive contribution to nature and the environment, but also tips for sustainable living in personal growth. It is therefore very interesting that certain environmentally conscious choices are also super good for your body and mind.
On to all the tips for positive impact!
Tip 1. Become a minimalist
Living a minimalist or simplistic lifestyle is nothing new. The idea of getting rid of clutter and, to put it more simply, "stuff" has been around for a long time. A minimalist intentionally focuses on the essentials. Minimalism is the deliberate choice to live with less. For some, this means getting rid of the "stuff" that doesn't make you happy.
Minimalism has many benefits and is practically the best tip for sustainable living. Think about it: with less clutter, you'll spend less time cleaning and organizing and more time with your family and friends. Minimalism allows us to concentrate on our most important goals.
Being a minimalist is not only about stopping to accumulate stuff. In terms of people, you should only surround yourself with people who will encourage, challenge, support, and delight you. Also, you can increase focus and productivity while reducing stress by keeping your workplace clutter-free. This is a tip for sustainable living for personal growth and less CO2 emission.
Being a minimalist is also about how you use time. Think about the parts of your routine that you could simplify.
Generally speaking, living more minimalist is a crucial tip when it comes to sustainable living. We live in a world of consumerism, and that lifestyle is destroying the planet. We need to rethink how we use our resources. The fact that we can't suddenly change radically is okay, as long as we set the intention to live more and more consciously in conjunction with nature. Moreover, minimalist living offers more essence and peace, leading to more sustainable living in spirit and well-being.
Tip 2. Eat vegan (or at least try to avoid meat)
Beef is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, including methane. A global average of 110lb (50kg) of greenhouse gases is released per 3.5oz of protein. Also, other factors vary the environmental impact around the world. In tropical rainforests like the Amazon, beef production is the major cause of deforestation (source: BBC.com).
For this reason, you may be reconsidering your consumption of meat. Nowadays, many people are embracing a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.
If for any reason you can't, or you don't want to stop eating meat, at least try to reduce your consumption as much as possible. Try to incorporate some practices such as eating vegetarian one day per week, like the trend #meatlessmonday.
Adding more vegetables to your diet not only makes you feel better and healthier, but it is also a sustainable practice. Consider the following: A 2018 study found that a portion of the highest-impact vegetable proteins emits less than the lowest impact animal proteins.
This is the tip for sustainable living: it’s time to add more greens to the plate!
Tip 3. Use renewable energy
Sustainable living rejects fossil fuels. Their extraction not only destroys the environment but also emits tons of CO2. Renewable energy, on the other hand, refers to energy derived from unlimited sources (such as the sun, wind, water, geothermal, and biomass) that is safe to use and has a low environmental impact.
A general rule for a sustainable energy source is its ability to be naturally replenished and having an ample supply of resources for long-term use. Wind energy, solar energy, and hydropower are examples of sustainable energy sources. They have a low environmental impact, are widely available, and are naturally replenished.
The most significant action here is to research renewable energy providers in your country/city and switch to renewable energy for your home energy. There are many ways to invest sustainably, which contributes to the environment and your wallet.
Also, it is possible to grow your capital by investing in renewable energy. This is the best of both worlds. Contribute to renewable energy and increase your wealth. Learn more about sustainable investing.
Tip 4. Rethink what you do with food waste
This is a powerful tip for sustainable living. Most of the time, we don't even stop to think about what we do with our food waste. We throw it away and forget about it. However, it is significantly harmful to the environment since it produces greenhouse gas methane. Food waste is the most absurd problem that humanity has, and it should be so simple to address.
According to Project Drawdown, reducing food waste is the third most effective way to reduce carbon emissions. Food is currently wasted throughout the supply chain, and it is extremely harmful in landfills, accounting for 8% of all emissions.
By better planning, conserving, and freezing food, finding creative methods to use food leftovers, composting, and producing our food, we may drastically minimize food waste in the house. Furthermore, purchasing close-to-expiration supermarket items helps prevent them from being thrown away.
Tip 5. Buy second-hand and avoid fast fashion
Fast fashion is also one of the biggest problems related to climate change. After food and construction, fashion and its supply chain is the third most polluting industry. It accounts for 10% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, producing 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 annually, more than the shipping and aviation industries combined.
Fortunately, more and more sustainable clothing brands and sustainable shoes are emerging. But there might be a better alternative. Instead, you could buy second-hand clothes, which allows you to reduce your environmental footprint and find unique, quality products at a cheaper price. Maybe not all of your clothes, but perhaps a fraction of it.
You can also buy second-hand when it comes to technology, furniture, books, and so much more.
Also, you can learn basic sewing skills and repair your clothes, patch holes, and sew buttons back in. When you no longer use a piece of clothing, you can repurpose it by transforming it (for example, jeans into shorts, a dress into a top and a skirt, etc.).
If you don't want a piece of clothing anymore, sell it or donate it to someone who needs it. If it is not possible to use it as clothing anymore, repurpose it as a rag or recycle it.
Finally, when you buy new clothes, try to choose high-quality items that will last you for decades. Choose slow fashion over fast fashion.
Another option is to buy from a sustainable company with low-impact practices. Many clothing companies nowadays offer products made from recycled materials.
Tip 6. Ditch the car and go biking
Transportation accounted for 27% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2020. Transportation end-use sector emissions come from many ources, including cars, trucks, commercial aircraft, and railroads and others.
Changing your mode of transportation to something more environmentally friendly, such as walking or biking, prevents car emissions from entering the atmosphere. It also saves you money at the gas pump.
If you don't currently have a bike, you can still use rent-a-bike services available in your city. When you buy one, try to choose second-hand!
If your journey is too long for walking or biking, consider taking public transportation or try carpooling.
But if you do want a car, try to choose an electric-powered vehicle.
Tip 7. Grow your food
Starting your produce garden is a great sustainable idea because you can cook using ingredients grown as near to home as possible. You reduce your carbon footprint if you eat fewer foods cultivated hundreds or thousands of miles away.
You can help the environment by reducing the number of fossil fuels burned by growing your food instead of importing it from another country.
But growing your food has a lot more benefits:
First, it helps you eat more fresh fruits and veggies.
Also, it allows you to choose when you want to harvest your vegetables. Garden-ripened veggies have more nutrients than store-bought vegetables that must be harvested early.
But more importantly, you have control over what fertilizers and pesticides come into contact with your food. It will have a significant impact on your health.
Growing your food allows you to be in contact with nature. It does not matter if you don't have a big garden. You can start with some small pots on your windowsill.
Sustainable living helps you be in harmony with the Earth and nature, which translates into a more balanced, respectful lifestyle. With these tips, you'll help yourself, too. More peace of mind and energy thanks to more sustainable living. And even more wealth by saving (unnecessary) costs and investing in sustainable businesses and energy sources.
Is all this easy? No. Therefore, start small. Set a small goal for yourself and choose one of these tips to get started. Arrange your environment so that it facilitates sustainable living, rather than works against it. Don't let it come down to sheer willpower, but build routines and habits to help you.
Can you think of another reason not to live more sustainably?