We make daily choices and take actions that can impact our environment. No wonder we see the following statistics:
- The CO2 in the atmosphere reached a record high of 417 parts per million in May 2020.
- The year 2011-2020 was the hottest on record.
- The proportion of Arctic sea ice that is at least five years old declined from 30% to 2%.
- The permafrost in the Arctic Circle thaws in accelerating speed.
Sure, the 2020 State of Planet report looks daunting, and it appears that only the government and enterprises can solve it. However, you can also contribute to saving the planet.
In this post, we will share six tips that can help you live a sustainable lifestyle.
1. Use less energy
Reducing the energy you consume at home is one way to lessen your carbon footprint. It can be as simple as switching off the lights in an unoccupied room or unplugging unused appliances and gadgets.
Mind you; some plugged appliances still consume energy even when not in use. This is called “phantom load,” and it can add around $100 per year to your energy bill. And the only way to prevent wracking up phantom load is to turn off and unplug your appliances.
Another option is to use energy-efficient appliances and fixtures. Such items consume less energy than conventional ones.
2. Cut down on single-use plastic
In case you are unaware, it is estimated that around 50% of plastic is used once and then thrown away.
Sure, you can have these single-use plastics recycled. However, at least 75% of them are accumulating in landfills.
So, what better way to reduce the amount of plastic we send to the landfill? Reduce and cut down your use of single-use plastic.
It can be as simple as using eco-bags when buying your groceries and using your container when taking out food.
3. Avoid disposables
We often use disposable cutleries when going out, especially during family travel. It is convenient, after all.
What we do not know is that using disposables adds to our carbon footprint.
Hence, just like with the previous point, it would be best to refuse to use disposables when going out. Instead, for easy-to-carry food like homemade energy bars.
If you bring sandwiches, we recommend wrapping them with beeswax wrap. These are cloths cover with beeswax, making them an excellent alternative to paper towels.
4. Recycle properly
Recycling gives you the opportunity to teach your kids about sustainability. But recycling is more than just putting a plastic water bottle into the recycling bin.
When you recycle, you must sort your recyclables. Mind you; not all single-use plastics are created equal. For one, soft plastics can clog the machines. Second, some facilities do not have the machinery to plastic cups, for example.
There are also recycling facilities that require washed recyclables. Hence, you should wash and dry your single-use plastics. You should also contact your nearest recycling facility to know what items they accept.
Some facilities are okay with compostable plastics, while some are not.
5. Reduce food waste
In the United States, about 50% of the food goes to waste every year. Sadly, food waste occurs due to various reasons, which includes the following:
- Bad weather
- Processing problems
No wonder food waste is becoming a worrisome issue globally.
While wealthy nations throw 1.3 billion tonnes of food annually, some people do not have access to food. It is also one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. And food wasted is money wasted.
Luckily, there is something we can do on an individual level. We can start by buying the food we need. Next is to learn how we can best store our food to extend its shelf life. Lastly, we should make the most out of our food like a nourishing meal, food scrap garden, and compost.
6. Learn as much as you can
Living a sustainable lifestyle does not have to be perfect. Instead, you should do what you can whenever and wherever you can.
- Opting for a plant-based diet
- Shopping at the local farmers market
- Buying second hand
- Upcycling whatever you can
- Using homemade cleaning solutions
What’s excellent about sustainable living is that you get to learn about how you can save the planet. More so if you join zero-waste groups and follow relevant influencers online.
You would be surprised at the plethora of resources about zero-waste living that you can find on the Web. So, we suggest that you peruse those.
Nowadays, sustainable living is more than just a buzzword. It is a lifestyle that is meant to help save the planet. However, it does not have to be perfect.
Just because the zero-waste vlogger you watch on YouTube has a recycling bin does not make you less of an eco-warrior. Keep in mind that every action counts.