Easy Ways to Live More Sustainably
Living a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle is easier than you might think. We have put together seven simple actions that can be easily introduced into your life. These easy steps will not only reduce your carbon footprint but will also allow you to live a more conscious lifestyle.
1. Adopt a minimalist lifestyle
A simple or minimalist lifestyle means living with less but not living without. This starts with tidying up your home and donating what you don't use. If you need something you don't have yet, why not borrow or rent it before you buy? If you need to buy something, always look for more environmentally friendly options such as second-hand items. You will not only save yourself money, but you will also save the planet at the same time.
2. Food waste reduction
Reducing food waste is a practical way to save money and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Make sure to check the cupboard and fridge before heading to the grocery store. In the event there are leftovers, they can be eaten the next day for lunch or frozen for later.
You can go one step further and compost your food waste. As part of their garbage collection service, some local councils provide this service. If this is not available in your area then you can compost at home or donate your food waste to a local community garden to compost on your behalf.
3. Switch up your diet
The food we eat affects the planet and contributes to carbon dioxide emissions. Some products, including meat and dairy products, require a lot of water, energy, and land to produce. Why not adopt meat-free Mondays or simply only eat meat for dinner? Shopping locally reduces the carbon miles added to the product dramatically. Visit your local farmer's market to find products from local suppliers.
4. Change your bank
Banks and retirement trust funds can make a big difference in your personal carbon footprint. The world's largest banks commonly use your hard-earned money to fund the fossil fuel industry. Unfortunately, most consumers don’t even know that this is happening. If you don't believe in supporting the fossil fuel industry, switch to a bank that only supports renewable energy and sustainable practices. Inform your current bank of your reasons for switching so that they are aware of the reasons for your departure.
5. Travel Mindfully
Rethinking how you travel can drastically reduce your carbon dioxide emissions. Aeroplanes are the most polluting means of transportation. You can reduce your footprint by up to 90% by choosing to travel by train over by plane or car. However, this is not always a viable option. If you need to fly, choose a direct flight as most CO2 emissions are emitted during takeoff and landing. Offsetting CO2 emissions from flights is always a good idea however it is like a bandaid to the real issue. Offsets work by funding projects such as tree planting.
6. Change Energy Suppliers
Research if your current energy provider provides a green power package. If they do not offer this service switch to a green power provider. Green energy includes solar, wind and hydropower. It will make you feel good every time you flick on a light switch that you are using only green power in your home. Why not ask your work to only use green power at your workplace?
7. Vote for the future you want
Research the candidates and vote in every election you are eligible for. Make sure your candidates support climate-friendly policies and match your values before submitting your ballots. Larger systematic changes will likely be introduced in your area by voting for the beliefs you hold.
The easy steps listed above will assist you in living a more sustainable lifestyle. Talk to your friends and family members about the changes you are making and why these are important to you. You never know what effect you might have on the others around you.