Sustainable living or a sustainable lifestyle means understanding how the products you purchase and consume impact the environment, ecosystems, biodiversity- the whole world. It also includes exploring and finding ways to minimize your environmental impact and reduce your carbon footprint.
Sustainable living is a practical philosophy that encourages individuals to reduce their use of the planet’s resources and minimize the damage to human and ecological interactions. Sustainable living is a flexible philosophy; it does not set any rules, regulations, or strict steps to follow.
It is a slow process and not a quick one. Changing one’s lifestyle can be extremely hard, even when moving from a fast, luxurious, and materialistic lifestyle to a sustainable one. Suppose you want to start living sustainability; you’d probably want to start with something simple or easy- such as stopping the use of plastics and using cloth bags and containers instead.
Once you start being aware of the little things that impact the environment, you will want to change more things in your lifestyle, like your diet. Do not rush to change your lifestyle- take it slow.
Few examples of sustainable living are using handmade and organic soaps instead of the regular ones, using bamboo toothbrushes and straws, eating less meat and dairy products, becoming a vegan, saying no to plastic of any form, using pubic transport or walking and cycling, purchasing sustainable clothes and other products, etc.
Sustainable living aims to achieve an environmental equilibrium- mostly known as net zero living or making a zero-energy balance with the planet. In simple terms, give back to the earth what you take away from it.
The above is an ideal form of sustainability. No one can truly achieve zero environmental impact. This is why sustainability, in its broad sense, also refers to how achievable that end is.
Sustainability has three pillars: Environment, Society, and Economics- environmental, social, and economic sustainability. They all are connected and cannot exist without the other. Environmental sustainability is important; however, it can collapse with economic and social sustainability.
What Does Sustainable Living Actually Look Like?
As mentioned before, sustainable living is not a perfect picture. It’s mostly a personal interpretation. However, many strategies, actions, and lifestyle tweaks make up a sustainable lifestyle.
While there can be no perfect sustainable lifestyle, the sky is still the limit for how far one can go along the sustainable journey.
Raise Your Voice
Using your voice through raising awareness about the environment and standing up for change or making sure what you use your money on really counts. The most important thing you can do to make an impact is to vote for those challenging the status quo, making positive changes, and demanding better leaders, and vote for those actually making a difference.
A sustainable lifestyle generally says no to fossil fuels, as their extraction destroys the earth, and burning them releases large amounts of emissions. Renewable energy is clean and has much less impact on the environment. The most important action here would be to research clean and renewable energy providers in your region and make the shift. You could also encourage your workplace and other people to do the same.
Regenerative and Organic Farming
Organic and regenerative farming is much better for humans and the environment. Traditional farming practices are one of the major contributors to biodiversity loss. As responsible citizens and customers, we can choose to buy produce from farmers that use regenerative methods. The more of us that are privileged enough to afford the extra cost, the more these practices will become affordable and feasible.
Shifting to a plant-based diet is an extremely impactful way to live a more sustainable life. A diet full of meat is unsustainable. Thus, it is better to shift to a vegan diet. Some people argue about the health concerns of a plant-based diet. If this is you, simply consider eating less meat. Avoiding meat for a few days or even one day can make a big difference.
There is a spectrum when it comes to being self-sufficient; some people are advanced in it. A sustainable journey takes us off-grid; it refers to a decentralized self-sustaining home independent of fossil fuels or other non-renewable energy sources. These homes also make use of rainwater, wood-burning heat, compost toilets, and grow their own organic produce.
Why Sustainable Living?
Sustainable living needs to become the status quo. It is a lifestyle needed for this century; it should become the default lifestyle to protect and preserve the planet for future generations. The climate is changing currently- biodiversity is disappearing, health risks are rising, ecosystems are degrading, and more. Humans are making the world an unlivable place.
The term sustainable living denotes its importance: a means of sustaining all life on earth. While protecting ourselves, we all have a duty to protect our planet. The future of the planet depends on how we humans behave. It’s time we start changing and taking action. This is exactly what sustainable living is about.
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