As human society evolves, we consume more and more of Earth’s natural resources to fuel our lives. With every technological advancement comes an even greater need for minerals and raw materials, and the production of these devices results in a large environmental footprint that leaves indelible marks on nature.
Thankfully, there’s a growing awareness regarding this matter. More and more people are fighting against large corporations, asking them to follow the rightfully strict measures to ensure that the damage to nature is minimized as much as possible. However, what can you as an individual contribute to this growing movement?
Enter a sustainable living, a lifestyle dedicated to reducing environmental footprint and the use of natural resources as much as possible. What was once a niche community of people wanting to slow down nature’s decline has now grown to an international phenomenon, with many adherents from different countries. People living a sustainable lifestyle vary from those who want to live off-grid for personal reasons, to those wanting to save money and avoid paying unnecessary bills, and those who truly just want to help reduce the damage to nature.
What Can One Person Do?
You might feel small and that your contribution won’t matter. Especially in the face of large corporations, producing waste by the metric ton. Add the fact people around you are living carelessly, one can’t help feeling that we’re fighting a losing battle. But living sustainably, even through little ways is possible. And at this rate, any bit of help counts.
Why Bother Living Sustainably?
Beyond helping Mother Nature, there are other reasons why you should consider it. Among the most common reason why people choose to live this lifestyle is that you get to save money. Reducing your carbon footprint often entails reducing purchasing packets and buying in bulk, as well as buying directly from farmers and producers. This then results in saving more as you tend to buy less one-time use items and you cut out the middleman who adds flourish (and price!) to the product through packaging and shipping.
A sustainable lifestyle often comes hand in hand with a healthy diet as well, as even food is not safe from the over-processing. By eating self-grown vegetables or bought directly through farmers, you get your fill of the necessary nutrition, for a cheaper price too.
Despite all the benefits (both personal and ethical) of sustainable living, suddenly shifting your lifestyle to accommodate sustainability is impossible and frankly not ideal. You simply can’t rearrange the interior decoration of your home to assimilate organic and plastic-free furniture. And the trash you would make in the process is simply counteractive. Luckily, you can slowly integrate sustainable living concepts into your everyday life until it’s become your new normal.
Bring Your Water Bottle
One of the easiest ways you can begin sustainable living is to stop using disposable cups. In place of these single-use items, you can use your own glass water bottle. You can purchase the metal ones, or if you fancy yourself a bit of a recycler (and a free soul), you can use old wine bottles with a stopper at the end.
Use Tote Bags for Everything
Plastic bags are among the top pollutants. We’ve all seen what they can do to sea-dwelling creatures. They pollute our rivers and waters and end up in the stomachs of poor sea creatures. Instead of using these things that will inevitably be trash after one use, you can go for tote bags that you can reuse over and over. You can even make one out of old clothes or fabric material if you’re the artistic type.
Carry Your Cutlery
Plastic spoon and forks are produced by the thousand and are thrown by the thousand as well. You can do your part by using your own metal cutlery. It would create way less wastage, and it will be a lot more comfortable for you to eat as well.
Many people throw perfectly useful items all the time. Perhaps they’ve bought something new and find that the old one has no purpose anymore. Whatever it may be, there’s little to no reason why they can’t be used again. And there’s no reason why you should buy an expensive brand new item if you can buy an equally useful second-hand one too. You’re also helping reduce waste footprint by purchasing used items- they’re a lot cheaper than brand new ones too.
Ride Bikes, Not Cars
Carbon emissions from vehicles are among the top culprits for the world’s pollution. This fact has become very common but is rarely followed. But there has been a cheaper alternative to cars, and it’s quite fun too: bicycles. If you’re traveling within a 10-km radius, it’s better and more environmentally-safer to just use a bicycle instead. It’s cheaper and you get exercise as well.