We all love the Earth and the beauty it has brought to us, so it’s time to give back and show it some love too. There are many different ways to be more sustainable that are easy changes anyone can make in their day to day life. While the individual consumer doesn’t produce anywhere near the emissions that many big companies do, we can still make a difference and demand change together. So to help you with some ideas, here is a list of ways to live a more sustainable and environmentally conscious life.
1. Reduce your plastic use. This means using reusable bags, water bottles, coffee cups, straws and other utensils whenever you can.
2. Stop buying fast fashion. Fast fashion is a term used to describe a highly profitable business model based on replicating catwalk trends and high-fashion designs, and mass-producing them at low cost. This is environmentally damaging because the fabrics used are not eco-friendly and people buy the clothes cheap and throw them away soon after, meaning many of the clothes end up in landfills after only a few uses. This is something many people have gotten used to, it seems almost too easy to buy a shirt that’s only $5 or $10 and then when it wears out people throw it away. Buying secondhand clothing at thrift shops is a sustainable change you can make and you can commit to buying clothes that are a little more expensive because they are made with environmentally friendly materials and the brands treat their workers ethically. 3. Switch to bar soap, which more often comes in recyclable packaging as opposed to liquid soap and consider switching to bar shampoo and conditioner for the same reason. There
are also shampoo and conditioner brands that have a refillable system where people can send their old bottle back to be refilled. There are refillable and plastic-free deodorants too.
4. Buy local products whenever you can to reduce emissions from shipment.
5. Eat less or no animal products. Animal products take a lot of water to produce and emit a lot of methane gas into the atmosphere. In order to accommodate the 70 billion animals raised annually for human consumption, a third of the planet’s ice-free land surface, as well as nearly 16% of global freshwater, is devoted to growing livestock. By 2050, consumption of meat is expected to rise. According to UK think-tank Chatham House, global meat consumption is expected to grow 75% by 2050. 6. Buy locally grown produce. Buying local ensures that your food is fresh and supporting local farmers. Farmers markets are great for the farmers. Chances are most of your local farmers can guarantee to you that they don’t use pesticides so your food will be healthier.
7. Grow your own produce. This may not be an option for everyone, but if you decide to, you will be saving money while being more sustainable.
8. Compost your food and yard waste. When you throw food waste in the regular trash, it takes an extremely long time to decompose and it causes a lot of emissions when it is burnt.
9. Buy in bulk, meaning you’re using less plastic. For things like beans, buying them in bulk you will be save cans from going to landfill. You can also buy rice, lentils, quinoa and much more in bulk which will save you money and reduce plastic use.
10. Switch your light bulbs to LEDs and turn off lights and appliances when you leave a room. This will also save you money and help you use less power.
11. Ride a bike or walk when you can and carpool to reduce your emissions.
12. Donate unused items. This could be clothing, food or any number of things.
13. Use eco-friendly cleaning products. When you use toxic chemicals to clean, those chemicals make their way into water sources and hurt wildlife and human health.
14. Vote for climate friendly policies and join climate change movements.
15. Pick up trash when you can. This will help save wildlife and improve the green space in your community.
16. Purchase sustainable toothbrushes and reusable ear swabs.
17. Switch from paper towels to reusable rags.
18. Purchase recycled toilet paper and maybe invest in a bidet.
19. Plant flowers, trees and other plants native to your area.
20. Air-dry your laundry.
This is just a starting list of things anyone can do. There are many other ways to be sustainable. The biggest point is to reduce your consumption and figure out ways to help the Earth and yourself. No one is perfect, so let’s all commit to doing our best and encouraging others around us to give it a try too.