Living consciously and sustainability mean different things to each of us. The most common practices that have thankfully become widespread more recently are eco-friendly practices such as recycling, reducing water waste and using re-usable shopping bags.
The US Environmental Protection Agency uses the following definition: “Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.”
So why is Sustainability Important?
Sustainability helps to maintain the natural equilibrium of our planet, looks after the health of our environment and therefor life on the planet as well as ensuring future generations will be able to thrive.
In order to thrive we need clean air, water supplies, sustainable natural resources and a healthy ecosystem.
If we take out more resources than we put back, we will deplete these sources over time, which has a knock on effect on the environment and its inhabitants.
Each individual’s actions add up to our collective impact as a society which is why it’s so important that we each try to do our part, no matter how small that may seem. Our actions can influence those around us; you might be surprised how far your sphere can reach by just affecting one person at a time!
So what can you do?
Some simple examples we’ve already mentioned are making sure that you recycle everything you can, not keeping your tap running while you brush your teeth and using reusable shopping bags.
Here are a few more ideas; you may already do some of them:
Consider using cotton tote bags for your shopping rather than plastic based ones
While it’s great people are using reusable bags more often now, many are made using plastics that aren’t biodegradable so once you need to replace them due to damage they end up in landfill, 100% organic cotton tote bags breakdown naturally and will eventually biodegrade.
Try to minimise meat and dairy consumption or ideally completely remove it!
Meat and dairy use 83% of farmland but only produce 18% of our calories and 37% of our protein intake. It makes up around 14.5% of greenhouse gases annually, uses more than 70% of annual antibiotic consumption and is a huge contributor to water and land pollution.
Start a compost pile!
It saves food waste going to landfill, saves money on buying compost and is a great way to keep your garden and veg patch looking healthy.
Cutting down on energy use
Lowering your thermostat, turning off lights when not in use, unplugging unused appliances, checking energy usage on new appliances before buying and switching to energy saving bulbs are all great ways to help the environment and your wallet.
Buying second hand books
Buying books second hand cuts down on paper usage and is a great way to recycle, you could even sell your books once you’ve finished reading them.
Give worn out clothes a new life
Old clothes make great cleaning cloths and cut down on waste.
Use a reusable water bottle
Metal water bottles make a great replacement for disposable plastic, many are insulated to keep your drinks cold in the summer and save you money too.
Support sustainable businesses
Your buying habits send a very clear message to businesses; the more consumers demand sustainable products the more businesses will adapt their behaviour in order meet what people are demanding from them.
So what next?
Get started! Look at your day to day habits and think about small changes you can make to be more sustainable, even a small change can add up to a seismic shift over your life time.
Tags : Sustainability, Conscious Living, Practices, Organic, Fairtrade, Vegan