Easy Changes You Can Make To Live More Sustainably
Sustainable living is a practice by which one attempts to reduce their dependence on Earth’s natural resources and personal resources to tackle environmental issues like climate change, global warming, depletion of the ozone layer, pollution and more. Their impact on the environment and all living things can be devastating and overwhelming.
According to the 2005 World Summit Outcome of the UNGA, “One conception of sustainable living expresses what it means in triple-bottom-line terms as meeting present ecological, societal, and economical needs without compromising these factors for future generations”.
In simpler words, sustainable living is equal to reducing one’s carbon footprint, which in turn means consuming less energy. A carbon footprint is the total amount of emission of greenhouse gases during production, use, and end-of-life of a product. It include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. The bulk of our carbon footprint comes from food, transport, and housing.
- Change all your regular light bulbs to LED bulbs. LED bulbs use up to 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last way longer! Plus, you'll save up on electricity bills. Win-win, if you ask me.
- Carry a reusable bottle, preferably a metal one, and your own straw. Use reusable shopping bags. Ditch the plastic! Choose a fun colour or pattern to make it a part of your OOTD.
- Do the laundry less often. Each load results in the usage of a lot of water and the release of wastewater in water bodies, which leads to a degradation in the water quality and loss of aquatic life. Try to stay away from harmful detergents and skip the hot water and drying function.
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- Opt for carpools, public transport, or even bicycling. This will reduce your consumption of fossil fuels and your wallet will be very happy too. Less air pollution, less noise pollution, less carbon emission, less greenhouse gas emission.
- Turn off and unplug lights, TV, laptop, and other electronic devices and appliances when not in use.
- Food production is responsible for one-quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Eat local and seasonal organic produce. Reduce meat and dairy consumption.
A study shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% and still feed the world.
“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research. “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” he said.
But if you love your meats and cheeses, replace red meats and choose sustainably and consciously sourced products.
- Carry a packed lunch with you to school, college, or work instead of eating at the canteen or ordering takeout, which usually will have layers of packaging, the most of which is plastic. Or you can eat from brands that guarantee eco-friendly packaging!
- Cut your shower time by 2-3 minutes each day. Using a bucket is more environmentally conscious than showering each day. And, turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or washing your hands.
- Go paper-free! Get all your bills online, reduce printing, use online diaries, read newspapers on apps...there's so much that can be done.
- Give thrifting a shot. Fashion trends have a very short life and this leads to a massive production of clothes that get thrown away once the trend dies. Thrifting is naturally sustainable, secondhand purchases mean you're giving a product destined to get thrown in the bin a new life! This saves up on energy consumption, air pollution, mountains of waste in landfills, and keeps the oceans clean. And you'll find some pretty amazing pieces!
- Compost! Proper composting of organic waste in our daily lives, like inedible/leftover food bits, teabags, or newspapers, will create less waste, reduce dependency on chemical fertilizers, improve water retention, boost soil fertility, and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
You can use this tool to calculate your current carbon footprint. Then, calculate the footprint after you've made these lifestyle changes. It'll be a huge difference! Look at the amazing impact you're making. Kudos!
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