Want to reduce your impact on the planet and make a difference in the world? These 4 simple sustainable living tips are a great place to start.
Living sustainably doesn’t have to mean an entire lifestyle change – at least not all at once. Instead, just by making small, simple efforts every day, we can build sustainable living habits that can make a real difference in our lives – and in the health of the planet.
The 4 easy sustainable living ideas listed below are simple to implement, but they can substantially reduce your impact on the planet, raise your consciousness about how your lifestyle impacts the environment, and set a great example for those around you.
1.) Recycle, Upcycle, and Prevent Waste
According to the EPA, about 80 percent of what we throw away in the U.S. is recyclable, yet our country’s recycling rate is only 28 percent. Recycling is vital for decreasing your impact on the planet because it diverts waste from landfills and also prevents new materials from being created. Better yet, consume less in general. Don’t buy what you don’t need, or buy it secondhand…
Perhaps one of the easiest and most important things you can do is say goodbye to plastic single-use items. If you don’t already have one, invest in a reusable beverage container and reusable utensil that you can carry around with you…
2.) Eat Consciously
Speaking of food, there are substantial food-related choices you can make to reduce your impact beyond eliminating food waste. The Environmental Working Group completed life cycle assessments for different types of meats and other foods. They found that meat and dairy production have a greater environmental footprint than production of plant-based foods, with lamb and beef having the highest carbon dioxide emissions by far (Read more about their study here).
Try having one meat-free day and, if it resonates with you, you might think about shifting it to a weekly habit (Meatless Mondays, anyone?). If you don’t want to give up all meat, consider cutting out just red meat. Minimizing meat intake is a tangible and quantifiable thing you can do to reduce your environmental impact…
What about food sourcing? Pesticides from conventionally-grown food contribute to negative environmental impacts since they can run into streams and bodies of water. Buying organic food or growing your own food without the use of pesticides is another way that you can support practices that are beneficial to the environment rather than detrimental. Additionally, eating locally can reduce emissions related to food miles (the number of miles food travels to reach your plate).
3.) Reduce your Carbon Footprint
Carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels are a major contributor to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which contribute to climate change. If it makes sense with your commute, try riding a bicycle or taking public transportation instead of driving to the places you need to go…
…Another super easy way to reduce your energy impact is by simply making sure you turn off the lights when you leave the room.
4.) Conserve Water
The excessive amount of water we use in cities can be stressing to the water supply, especially in dry climates. Little things like taking shorter showers or turning off the water while soaping up or brushing your teeth can save gallons of water every day… If you live in a dry climate, you may consider how much water is being used on your lawn and rethink your landscape options. For desert gardeners, it may be a good idea to invest in crops that are not water-intensive, such as fava beans or other native desert plants. Most of all, just notice when you are using water at times or in places that it isn’t necessary.
Check out the full article at UrbanFarm.org to learn more…