Consumers have been making “natural”, “green”, and “organic” choices when it comes to shopping for…
Seeking to live a more sustainable lifestyle is about caring for the quality of our environment and global climate change. Sustainable living is a term we are hearing a lot more often these days. There are increased concerns over the use of fossil fuels, as well as toxins and pollution. Some believe these types of issues are beyond our individual control, while others feel that change must and can begin with personal lifestyle choices. Preserving and increasing the wellbeing of our planet benefits us all. As a result, we have compiled a list of sustainable living tips to help you get started on your earth conservation journey.
First of all, what does sustainable mean?
When you’re in your 20s and 30s, life can seem to go a mile a minute. You’ve got responsibilities you never had before, and it feels as if everything is a trial-by-fire. How can you incorporate a sustainable lifestyle when you can barely keep a houseplant alive? We can assure it, it’s not as difficult as you think.
In essence, sustainable living is taking no more from the environment than it can supply and renew. If this is something you need to get used to, then start with that mindset. Think of living in balance with the earth. How can you meet your present needs without hurting the needs of future generations? Consider an apple tree. Will one apple satisfy you, or do you need to grab several bushels full? If you take one apple, there are still apples leftover for others. As a result, a sustainable lifestyle is making the choice to leave behind necessary resources for generations to come.
1. Ditch the plastic
It’s true, so many items come in plastic containers. It might be difficult to do away with plastic altogether, but little by little you can remove plastic from your life in simple ways. It has already been shown that chemicals used to make plastics can cause early puberty, obesity, infertility and cancer. It is even being linked to childhood obesity.
Plus, plastic may even cause autism. Not to mention, it is the most common form of ocean litter. So, use paper or recyclable materials instead. Use real silverware and glass. You know, the types of materials our ancestors used.
2. Think before you shop
Certainly, you’ve heard of the phrase “shop ’til you drop.” In our 20s and 30s, many of us like to look good and we still have our youth going for us. Yet, do you really need to shop ’til you can’t shop any longer? One of the many environmental problems is the result of overconsumption.
One action you might take is the 30 wears style challenge. When you wear each piece of clothing 30 times, you are living more sustainably—instead of throwing it away.
Another question is ‘why must we shop for much more than we need?’. Maybe we haven’t found peace within ourselves? Instead of retail therapy, try meditation, volunteering, spending time with loved ones, cuddling up with a pet or reading a fantastic book. You certainly don’t have to stop shopping altogether. Just try to stick with what you need.
3. Buy secondhand
Some of your most treasured items of clothing may have come from a thrift or vintage clothing shop. If an outfit is well made, with natural fabrics, it will look good for years to come. In your 20s and 30s, you’ve seen styles go only to return again. You grew up in the 90s, and now, 90s fashion is in.
Before you start shopping, make a list of what you need and stick to it. Since you want to wear your clothing for as long as possible, stick to classic shapes and clean lines. Don’t be afraid to buy something you might need to tailor. This also gives you the opportunity to make the item your own.
Instead of driving yourself crazy keeping up with the latest trends, buy secondhand. For starters, you’ll save a ton of money that can be used to save up for retirement or helping others. Secondly, you’ll extend the life of well-made clothing.
4. Limit driving
In many areas, public transportation keeps getting better. Imagine the money you’ll save on gas, car insurance and even a car payment if you rely strictly on public transportation. You don’t have to worry about stress from traffic. You can just enjoy the ride. You might even meet some new and interesting people along the way.
You can also take a bike or even walk. If you need a handful of items, and a convenience store or pharmacy is just a few blocks away, you might as well walk. Start getting to know your neighborhood why walking everyday. You’ll get the added benefit of fresh air and some exercise. Plus, you won’t be contribution to carbon emissions or traffic.
5. Shop locally
The reason why shopping locally is a sustainable way to live is because you help cut down on the long trips trucks have to make to deliver food and produce. Instead, support local shop owners. This is the way it was done in our grandparents and great grandparents’ days. Everyone knew their grocer, their butcher and so on.
Pick up fresh local produce and locally grown meat. You’ll get the enjoy healthier, in-season foods. Here’s a guide to seasonal fruits and vegetables. Plus, you’re helping your local economy. It’s a win-win.
6. Use simple cleaning solutions
You’d be amazed at all of the uses for vinegar and baking soda. You can even use vinegar to wash your hair. Plus, you can do away with all the harsh chemicals inside commercial cleaning products. Vinegar and baking soda are also much less harmful to pets, they’re natural.
To illustrate, if you find greasy build up, mix one part water with one part vinegar and rub out the grease. If it feels tacky, make a paste with baking soda and water–then, rub.
Vinegar can be used to clean surfaces, windows and mirrors. The same is true of baking soda. In addition, you can use baking soda to brush your teeth and for laundry. To freshen up the scent of your rooms, add a few drops of essential oils.
7. Become more self-reliant
We’ve all felt burned or ripped off by overpriced goods. Yet, we spent our hard-earned money for the convenience. Well, how would your life change if you could grow some of your own food, repair belongings or even sew? What if you could sew simple blouses and pants? How would that impact your life? What about making your own furniture? Sustainable living also means becoming more self-reliant.
We’ve all grown up in a world centered around instant gratification. But, there is an incomparable confidence and pride that comes with learning how to grow your own food, make your own furniture and sew your own clothing. If you’re good enough, you might even donate some of your pieces or sell it for a bit of extra income.
What do you think of our tips for a more sustainable lifestyle? Are there a few other ways of being more sustainable you’d like to try?
About the author: Katrina Esther from Go Green is a content marketing specialist who has penned thousands of articles on business, tech, lifestyle and digital marketing. She is also the author of three books and is currently working on her fourth.