Sustainability is not simply a trend; it’s a way of life for people who are concerned about the impact of their lifestyle on the environment. By making sustainable, environmentally conscious choices every single day, we are preserving some precious natural resources for the generations that will come after us.
But how can we lead more sustainable lives? From recycling to using active transportation, these 12 tips will show you how to be more sustainable in your everyday life.
1. Recycle as much as you can
If you are lucky enough to have a recycling program in place in your city, you probably already know how easy it is to recycle paper, cardboard, and plastic. But did you know it was also possible to recycle old batteries, and electronic waste? All you have to do is find a place that accepts those items.
2. Save some energy in your home
If you want to learn how to be more sustainable, it can be as simple as turning off lights and appliances when you’re not using them. You can also save some energy by buying energy-efficient appliances and a programmable thermostat, putting on a sweater instead of turning on the heat, and hanging your clothes to dry instead of using your drying machine.
3. Find different ways to save water
There are a few different things you can do to save water. You can replace your old toilet with a water-efficient toilet, buy a water-efficient shower head, add aerators to your sink faucets and, of course, turn off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth. If you have a sprinkler system, make sure it only sprays water on your lawn, and not on your driveway.
4. Make your own household cleaners
Cleaning products, even the ones that are supposed to be environmentally-friendly, can pollute our water supply. Fortunately, you can make your own household cleaners that are sustainable and safe for the environment. White vinegar can be used to clean windows and mirrors, and borax can be used as a great multi-purpose cleaner.
5. Plant a garden
Who doesn’t love fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits? Planting a garden in your yard, even if it’s only a small one, is a good way to be more sustainable. You could also make your own compost out of dead leaves, grass clippings and vegetable scraps, and use it to fertilize your garden.
6. Sell or donate the things you don’t need anymore
When you sell or donate the things you don’t need anymore instead of throwing them in the trash, you help reduce the amount of items that end up in landfills. The clothes you never wear, the kitchen appliances you never use, and the toys your kids never play with could be exactly what someone else is looking for.
7. Don’t drink bottled water
Many people choose to drink bottled water because they think it’s healthier than drinking tap water, and that it tastes better. The truth is that bottled water is often tap water that has been put inside plastic bottles, and those plastic bottles are polluting the environment when they are not being recycled properly.
8. Choose local foods
Choosing food that has been grown and produced locally is a good way to eat sustainable meals. Fruits, vegetables, and foods that come from all over the world have travelled a long way to get to your supermarket, so choosing local foods instead means you have less of a negative impact on the environment. It also means you are supporting your local economy.
9. Purchase products that are certified fair-trade
Products that have the fair-trade certification have been grown in a sustainable way. When you buy fair-trade products, you are also supporting companies who are paying and treating their workers fairly. Next time you want to buy coffee, tea or chocolate, look for fair-trade products.
10. Choose sustainable clothes
The fashion industry consumes a lot of water, and is responsible for incredible amounts of waste. Fortunately, it’s possible to buy clothes and vegan shoes that have been produced in a sustainable manner. Buying used clothes from a thrift store is another way to choose sustainable clothes.
11. Stop buying single-use items
For you to learn how to be more sustainable, you can stop buying and using plastic straws, cups, bottles, utensils, and bags. Single-use plastic items that get thrown away harm the environment, even if they end up in a landfill. Instead, buy and use reusable and sustainable alternatives, as much as possible.
12. Use public transportation or active transportation
Finally, you can be more sustainable by relying on public transportation instead of taking your car every single day to commute. If you don’t like taking the bus or the subway, active transportation, such as walking or riding a bicycle, is another way to reduce your dependence on fossil fuels while doing a bit of exercise and saving some money.