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Here’s How To Easily Become More Sustainable

climate action

7 Simple Steps To Becoming More Sustainable

What does it mean to live sustainably?

Choosing to live a sustainable life means you attempt to reduce your use of the Earth’s natural resources, you strive to reduce your carbon or ecological footprint by making shifts in your day-to-day life.

In short, it means practising a lifestyle that uses the least amount of the Earth’s resources as possible.

The importance of sustainable living

‘Sustainable living’ has been thrown around a lot, but it isn’t just a phrase, it is a continued way of life. From our over-dependence on finite resources to climate change scares, we need to preserve our environment for the lives of our grandchildren and their grandchildren, your great-nieces and great-nephews, or your best friends offspring (if you’re not a big fan of kids).

If we continue to live as we are now and continue to cause damage to our planet from unsustainable practises, we will create a world where it is too late to stop climate change, and our future generations will live in a situation where they won’t have enough resources to sustain life on earth.

Simple steps to becoming more sustainable

Reduce energy use

From putting on a jumper instead of pumping the heating up to hanging your wet clothes on the line instead of throwing them in the drier, reducing your energy use is one of the easiest ways to live sustainably.

Switch your lightbulbs to LED, turn the lights off when you leave the room, air the house out instead of using air conditioning, turn off the appliances you aren’t using.

2. Go paperless

This is much easier to do in your personal life than it is in an office. Opt-into digital receipts and bills, scan your digital information to store on a hard drive or online, and use your laptop or phone for note-taking and list-making instead.

If you must write something down, try and use scrap paper as much as you can.

3. Choose environmental cleaning

You’d be surprised how many harmful chemicals are in our everyday cleaning products; these solutions aren’t environmentally friendly to create or dispose of, whilst repeated exposure to these chemicals may have effects on your health as well.

Swap out your cleaning products for environmentally friendly alternatives, or make your own, to care for both the earth and your health.

4. Choose green appliances

Most of our at home activities use energy, whether it be heating and lighting or computers and TVs. Switching to green appliances is a great way to save energy, try swapping out your washing machine, kettle, fridge, or dishwasher to reduce your carbon footprint.

If you’re not in the position for buying new appliances, using the ones you have ecologically works as well. Set your washing machine to a cool cycle, washing by hand rather than using the dishwasher, or turn your electrical appliances off at the plug.

5. Shop second-hand or choose sustainable fashion

Many think second-hand clothes are dirty or gross, but often they are donated with the ticket still attached, or after only a handful of wears. Choosing to shop second-hand reduces the number of clothes going into landfill, reduces the production of more fast-fashion pieces, and provides you with a cheaper alternative to create a new wardrobe. You will be able to find both high street fashion and high-end designs in your local second-hand store, or by shopping online.

If you have the cash, choosing a sustainable fashion brand is another option. By choosing to support smaller, sustainable designers you will not only be boosting the economy, but you will also have the peace of mind about what you’re wearing and where it came from. Read more about the environmental impact of fast-fashion and exploitation of factory workers.

6. Eat less meat

Reducing your meat consumption can have a significant environmental impact, even if it is just one or two days a week. The greenhouse gasses being released by livestock, water shortages, deforestation, and the large amounts of food produced to feed our livestock hurts the planet.

A study found a global shift in our diets would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 56%, with other environmental impacts reducing by 6 to 22%.

7. Travel sustainably

Rather than jumping in your car whenever you’ve got to make a trip, consider switching to a greener alternative. Whether you choose to walk to the corner shop for that loaf of bread, hop on the train for your commute, or get the family together for a bike ride, moving away from your car is a proven way to reduce your carbon footprint.

When it comes to being some sustainable, even the littlest actions can help.

 

This article was originally published by Isabelle Drury, Medium.com

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