Sustainability is becoming more and more important, especially as the world becomes increasingly digitized. With technology comes the ability to be more efficient with our resources, but it’s up to us to make the changes necessary to protect our planet. In this article, we will discuss 9 easy ways that you can live a more sustainable life!
#1 – Bring Your Own Bags to the Grocery Store
In our throw-away society, it’s easy to forget the impact that our daily choices have on the environment. Every time we go to the grocery store and use plastic bags, we contribute to the growing problem of pollution. Plastic bags are made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource, and they often end up in landfill sites where they take centuries to decompose. Even when they’re recycled, plastic bags can only be used a few times before they become too damaged to be used again.
The best way to reduce your impact is to ditch the plastic bags and bring your own reusable bags to the store. Reusable bags are made from durable materials like cotton or nylon, and they can be used hundreds of times before they need to be replaced. Not only are reusable bags better for the environment, but they’re also better for your wallet. Most stores offer a small discount when you bring your own bags, so making the switch can save you money in the long run.
#2 – Recycle and Compost As Much As Possible
The average person produces about four pounds of trash every day. That may not seem like much, but it adds up quickly. In fact, the EPA estimates that the average American generates about 1,600 pounds of garbage each year. Even though recycling and composting have become more common in recent years, the vast majority of this waste still ends up in landfills.
There are a number of reasons to recycle and compost as much as possible. For one thing, it can help to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. In addition, recycling and composting can help to save energy and resources. Recycling aluminum, for example, requires 95% less energy than making new aluminum from scratch. And composting can be used to create rich, nutrient-dense soil for gardening.
#3 – Drive Less and Walk or Bike More
Restaurants, shopping, work, school—it seems like we are always on the go. And more often than not, we choose to drive even when our destination is just a few blocks away. Walking or biking may seem like too much effort, but making a commitment to “go green” by leaving the car at home can have a big impact—not just on the environment, but on your health and wallet as well.
For starters, walking or biking is a great way to get some exercise into your day. And we all know that regular exercise has countless benefits, from reducing stress levels to improving heart health. In addition, ditching the car in favor of walking or biking can save you money on gas and parking fees. So next time you’re tempted to hop in the car for a short trip, consider walking or biking instead—it’s good for you and the planet.
#4 – Use Natural Cleaners for Your Home
Making the shift to natural cleaners is not only better for the environment, but it’s also better for your health. Sustainable living is all about reducing your reliance on harmful products, and household cleaners are no exception. Many conventional cleaners contain toxic chemicals that can off-gas into the air, causing respiratory problems, headaches, and other health issues.
Natural cleaners, on the other hand, are made from plant-based ingredients that are safe for you and the planet. In addition to being non-toxic, natural cleaners are also often more effective than their chemical-laden counterparts. So, if you’re looking to live a more sustainable life, ditch the harmful chemicals and make the switch to natural cleaners. Your health, and the planet, will thank you.
#5 – Buy in Bulk to Reduce Packaging Waste
In today’s society, we are overwhelmed with packaging. It seems like every product we purchase is wrapped in plastic, paper, or some other type of packaging. This packaging not only creates a lot of waste, but it also uses up valuable resources. One way to reduce packaging waste is to buy in bulk.
When you buy in bulk, you can generally avoid individually wrapped items and instead store the product in a reusable container. This not only reduces waste, but it can also be more economical in the long run. In addition, buying in bulk helps to support businesses that use less packaging. By choosing to buy products with less packaging, you can help to reduce waste and encourage businesses to be more environmentally responsible.
#6 – Turn off the Lights When You Leave a Room
Most of us are guilty of leaving the lights on when we leave a room, even if it’s just for a few minutes. However, this wasted electricity can really add up over time. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lighting accounts for about 10% of the average home’s energy use. That means that by simply turning off the lights when you leave a room, you could save up to 10% on your monthly electricity bill!
In addition to saving money, reducing your lighting consumption also has environmental benefits. Lighting uses a lot of energy, which often comes from burning fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. Burning these fossil fuels releases harmful pollutants into the air, contributing to climate change. So by turning off the lights, you’re doing your part to help reduce pollution and protect the environment. Next time you leave a room, remember to turn off the lights – your wallet and the planet will thank you!
#7 – Don’t Use Disposable Cups, Plates, or Utensils
It’s estimated that the average American throws away 185 pounds of plastic every year. A large portion of this plastic is made up of disposable cups, plates, and utensils. While these items may be convenient, they come with a heavy environmental cost. Disposable cups and plates are often made from polystyrene, a type of plastic that takes centuries to break down. Even when disposed of in a landfill, these items leach harmful chemicals into the soil and groundwater.
What’s more, the production of polystyrene requires large amounts of energy and emits harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. When you need to use disposable cups, plates, or utensils, look for products made from recycled materials or biodegradable plastics. These products cause far less damage to the environment and can help to reduce your carbon footprint.
#8 – Invest in Energy-efficient Appliances
As utility costs continue to rise, more and more homeowners are looking for ways to save on their monthly bills. One way to do this is to invest in energy-efficient appliances. While these appliances may cost more upfront, they can quickly pay for themselves in lower energy bills. Energy-efficient appliances also help to reduce your carbon footprint, and many come with tax rebates and other incentives.
When shopping for energy-efficient appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR label. This labeling system, developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency, helps consumers identify products that meet strict energy-efficiency guidelines. ENERGY STAR products are available in a wide range of categories, from refrigerators and dishwashers to light bulbs and computers. By making the switch to energy-efficient appliances, you can save money and help the environment.
#9 – Buy Locally Produced Food
There are many reasons to buy local food. For one, local food is fresher and tastier than food that has been shipped long distances. Local farmers often use sustainable growing methods that are better for the environment, and they are more likely to treat their animals humanely. When you buy local food, you are supporting your community and helping to create jobs.
You are also less likely to experience disruptions in your food supply, as local farms are less likely to be impacted by bad weather or other problems. In addition, buying local food helps to preserve genetic diversity, as locally grown varieties of fruits and vegetables are more likely to be adaptable to changing environmental conditions. So next time you’re at the grocery store, look for foods that were grown locally and support your community while eating fresher, tastier food.
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful and that they will inspire you to make a few changes of your own. It doesn’t take much to make a difference, and by making sustainability a part of your everyday life, you can help reduce your impact on the planet. What small change are you going to make today?