10 Tips for Sustainable Eco-Conscious Living

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Eco-conscious living is the key to a more sustainable and healthy future for all of us. Here are some tips for choosing a more eco-conscious and awakened lifestyle.

Happy New Year! If you’re feeling like our world gets a bit scarier ever year, keep in mind that there are things you can do about it – and we have reason to be hopeful. Sure, there is a lot to worry about in today’s world, but there are also some positive markers of change that point to a more sustainable and aware future for humanity.

Living sustainably and consciously means learning to recognize our impact on the world around us, and realizing that our actions and behaviors do have consequences. If we choose to live in a more eco-conscious manner, we can create lasting and meaningful positive change in many areas of the world, including our ecosystems, human and animal welfare, and our overall sustainability as a species living on this planet.

However, living consciously is about more than just conservation and environmental stewardship. As the article below notes, “it is about admitting that in the 21st century, our way of life is linked to a farmer in Chile, a woodworker in India, a rhino in southern Africa, a forest in Laos, a single-mother business owner in Sembawang.”

 The tips below will help you understand more about what it means to live a sustainable and eco-conscious lifestyle, so you can see where you can make improvements in your own life to move in a more positive direction. Why not make a resolution this year to adapt some or all of these suggestions in your own life, and help make this world a better place?
1. You donate carefully and not just for the tax write-off

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2. You choose travel companies that give back

While any travel is educational, it’s more rewarding to use operators and providers that contribute to local communities. Travelers on expeditions by Earthwatch help with valuable scientific research. The barefoot-luxe Indonesian resort Nihiwatu funnels all profits into the Sumba Foundation and its key local health, education, water, and income-generation programs. Planeterra, a partner of the adventure travel company G Adventures, funds numerous social projects in G Adventures destinations…

3. You favor ethically sourced clothing and footwear

Visions of derelict sweatshops crammed with underage workers have long plagued the fashion business, but clothing companies are rapidly re-evaluating their business practices. Ethical clothing doesn’t mean tattered dungarees and pilly tartan shirts – brands such as Monsoon, New Balance, Stella McCartney, Patagonia and Edun (founded by Ali Hewson and her husband Bono – yes, that Bono) espouse sustainability and ethical supply…

4. You mostly cook your own food; when you eat out, you’re mindful of where you go

People who eat at home consume fewer calories (and less salt, sugar and fat than those who eat out). Environmentally, home-cooking produces less food waste and gives individuals the power to source their ingredients from local producers, reducing transportation costs. Alternatively, Little Farms supermarket supplies responsibly sourced products. “We are proponents of sustainable and ethical farming and sourcing practices. Our farmers and suppliers are guided by the principals of environmental sustainability and ingredient traceability,” says Nick Barnett, Little Farms’ chief marketing officer…

5. You are clued up on sustainable logging, VOCs and soy-based adhesives

Wide-scale deforestation and toxic chemicals used in the furniture-building process are just two issues dogging the industry. British-based Myakka uses sustainable hardwood and employs Fair Trade practices for its affordable Indian-built furniture. The Swedish giant Ikea publishes a sustainability report each year. “As Ikea’s business grows, so do the efforts to devise new solutions that will lead to a more sustainable way of doing business,” says Hui Mien, Head of Sustainability, Ikea Southeast Asia. “There is an expectation for companies to be responsible and ensure that their business practices and/or products do not negatively impact people and environment.”

6. You seek active change

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7. You use products including skincare that aren’t tested on living creatures.

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8. You choose used or refurbished electronics.

There is no such thing as ethical electronics, and most gadgets that we slavishly wield house controversially sourced materials. Cobalt, used in rechargeable batteries, exposes miners (sometimes child laborers) to heavy metals through dust inhalation. Processing of rare earth, used for smartphone displays, often produces toxic sludge that seeps into groundwater. The more conscious choice is to purchase second-hand or refurbished electronics, reducing the need for new products. Australia’s Ethical Consumer Group has a Shop Ethical app that ranks companies, including electronics manufacturers, on their virtues…

9. You’re conversant with the terms Leed, energy audit, living roof and solar walls.

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10. You’d like to learn more, but don’t know where to start.
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