You want to start living more sustainably, so now what?
In my last blog, I discussed how a sustainable lifestyle promotes living within our means, reducing our waste and carbon footprint, and caring for our earth while keeping future generations in mind. This is something that we are all responsible for, but what does this actually look like?
Environmental sustainability can be incorporated in all aspects of our lives, from the foods we eat to the stores that we buy our clothes from. Essentially, we want to minimize the negative impacts our lifestyle choices have on the earth. To do so, we have to be aware of our resource consumption and reduce unnecessary waste. As a beginner, it can seem incredibly overwhelming to tackle such a large issue plaguing our society. However, starting off small and remaining consistent can have a long-lasting impact on the planet. This is especially true, if we all start incorporating eco-conscious living practices.
Here are 5 ways you can start living more mindfully today.
1. Eat consciously
A diet full of plants makes a big difference. Eating a plant-based diet is the best way to reduce your environmental impact. Did you know that meat and dairy production is responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions? Researchers at the University of Oxford found that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce your carbon footprint by up to 73 percent. However, going vegan can be a huge jump from where you are now. Consider a vegetarian or pescatarian diet, or even just cutting back on meat and dairy a few days a week.
2. Refuse plastic
In today’s society, plastic can be found in almost every product we buy. The problem is it’s non-biodegradable, meaning it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, never fully disappearing. With plastic in almost everything, this makes it challenging to avoid, but not impossible. Start off small by not purchasing things like plastic water bottles or bags. When shopping for groceries bring reusable bags from home, especially ones for produce! Focus on items with less packaging and consider using refill stations to reuse bottles and containers you already have at home. Ultimately, just say no to unnecessary plastics and reduce the amount of packaged products you buy.
3. Conserve fuel & energy
Reducing pollution is crucial to the health of our planet. During your commutes try car-pooling with family members, friends, or co-workers. If driving, also try to limit the number of trips and look into purchasing a fuel-efficient car. For shorter distances try walking, biking, or even scootering to your destination. Using public transit is another great transportation alternative to help reduce pollution and your carbon footprint.
At home we can also practice sustainability by conserving energy. Turning off lights, electronics, and water we aren’t using are small, yet effective steps. Using LED lights around the house is another eco-friendly option and they are proven to last longer.
4. Dress green
The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world. The industry is responsible for major issues like water pollution and consumption, microfibers in our ocean, producing large amounts of waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and deforestation, just to name a few. Shopping secondhand is the best solution to this problem. Giving clothes a second life, not only helps reduce waste and your carbon footprint, it can also help you save money. However if you do buy new, sustainable brands are popping up everywhere with slow fashion alternatives to the fast fashion world we live in today. Aim to buy items you know you’ll get good use out of like basics and avoid trendy items that will be out of style the next season.
5. Educate yourself
Finally, learning as much as you can about the problems facing our environment is so important. What’s even more crucial, is understanding the role that we play in those issues and what we can do to make a change. The earth culture community is here to support you along your sustainability journey and to foster a space for anyone interested in living more environmentally conscious.
If you missed our welcome blog, read more about the earth culture’s mission here.