Sustainability. What it is and how to live an eco friendly life
It’s very easy to say, “from now on I'm going to live a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle.” The reality however, is that it's actually quite challenging. Like a lot of things in life, it's the challenges that are worth pursuing and the impact is in the effort.
What is sustainability?
Going sustainable and eco-friendly means reducing the amount of dependence on the earth’s natural resources and reducing your environmental and carbon footprint.
Basically, it means embracing a modern minimalist lifestyle that is cost-effective and energy-saving. To start, we need to understand why it's important to lead a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle.
Why is sustainability important?
If you go to any grocery store or supermarket, the chances are you will end up with a lot of plastic packaging when you get home. Non-biodegradable plastic products are convenient but cannot breakdown easily, so they end up in nature and natural processes for long periods of time.
This plastic waste finds its way into landfill and waterways and becomes a major threat to wildlife. Every year almost 300 million tonnes of plastic waste are produced with only 9 per cent recycle-able.
Think about every delivery box, item of clothing or food container that gets disposed of daily, even ending up in sea birds in the Antarctic. 300 million tonnes of plastic every year gets dumped, with the cumulative environmental impact of producing greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
It's time we stop creating new waste and toxins. It's time to recycle what's already there and create a demand for recycled and eco-friendly products.
How to Be Sustainable?
The first step is looking at your immediate environment. Take a look around you and the items you use and dispose of regularly, what habits can you change to become more green. Here a few things that will help you get started:
Where possible, buy local foods that don't have the carbon footprint of global shipping.
Only buy products with recycle-able packaging or none at all.
Use more LED lighting and CFL bulbs instead of incandescent lighting as they last longer.
If you have a few clothes items to clean, hand wash them.
Dispose of waste in different bins based on their types like dry waste, wet waste, compost waste, etc.
Take shorter showers to avoid wasting water.
Turn off some of the electronic devices like WiFi, television, etc. at night when not in use.
Walk or cycle instead of driving to the gym, office or other frequent journeys.
Promote local businesses with locally sourced materials and consider economic sustainability
The key to success here is about forming atomic habits through small steps. Tiny changes in habits and your way of thinking can build up to powerful results. Learn more about how to make incremental, habitual change in the video below:
One major way of going sustainable is to identify and commit to living a lifestyle that is absolutely waste-free or shuns the single-use plastic. It's hard to get there so take it step by step. Some things to consider along the way are:
Support fashion brands that are economically conscious and eco friendly. Fast fashion is a cardinal offender against the environment. Some examples here being Tania Rosas and our own offerings.
Grow some of your own food and plants. Even without a garden, it's surprisingly easy to grow herbs
Consider green alternatives for everything. For example, if you have a website, consider going eco friendly with web hosting from 300% green company Greengeeks.
Prioritise changes based on impact and effort. We'll give you one for free, replace regular use chemical products like cleaning products with green alternatives, while we used to advocate for method or ecover we now make our own based on our investigation into which was best.
Plant Trees. After you remove the bad habits from your daily life, there is nothing better you can start doing than planting trees.
Scaling bigger again, we can reinvent entire systems through concepts such as design thinking and biomimicry.
Resources to help
Chart your energy and water usage and set specific goals to reduce consumption
Climate change isn't a problem that is going to go away, it can only get bigger or stop, which is why the UN has committed to sustainability goals. It's time that we all make changes to stop the problem from growing. What is the first habit you are going to change? Let us know in the comments.