Sustainable living is so much more than an ecological concept. It is about respecting the planet we live on by consuming and living mindfully, knowing that actions have consequences.
1. What Is Sustainable Living
Sustainable living stands for a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's use of the Earth's natural resources. It is often called earth harmony living as it implies living in a way that is respectful to the Earth’s ecology. It is closely aligned with the philosophy of ecological living.
In a nutshell, sustainable living is the application of sustainability to lifestyle choices and actions.
2. Benefits of Sustainability
With all of that being said, you could be surprised how much you could personally gain by showing respect to the planet. Besides getting to feel great you are actually contributing to making the world a better place, living in a way that does not disrupt nature and wildlife will also benefit your long-term health and wallet.
Going green saves you green
Sustainable living implies conserving energy which can help to make your home and lifestyle more energy-efficient, bringing down your United Illuminating energy costs. If you drive less and walk or bike instead, not only will you need less gas but fewer miles on your vehicle translate to fewer maintenance costs. Making your own food, cosmetics, and household cleaners will both reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals and help you save money.
Choosing sustainable ingredients and materials reduces our exposure to toxic chemicals that wreak havoc on our health. Eating organic foods does more than benefit your community as you get to eat more nutritious food due to less time than it takes to get it from the farmer to your plate. Sustainable materials within a home equal to better quality indoor air. Ditching plastics means ending the vicious cycle of BPA disrupting your endocrine system.
3. Simple Sustainable Tips
The whole idea is to apply this concept everywhere: from your home to your office, from baby to fashion and beauty items, from gifts to technology.
Practice sustainability around the house
Dryers are not a necessity so you might as well hang dry your clothes. Donate old devices and clothes. Use e-waste recycling programs when disposing of your electronics. Invest in a smart thermostat. Not only will it make your home more comfortable, but it will also prevent your air conditioner and heater from running when they don’t need to. Make home-cooked meals. If you invest in a pressure cooker, you will reduce your cooking time and energy used by 70%. Make homemade cleaners. Make your own coffee instead of buying takeaway.
Laptops, coffee machines, chargers, and all sorts of devices continue using energy even when they are not in use if they are left plugged in. You might think it must be negligible, but a plugged coffee machine uses up the same amount of energy like a lit-up LED bulb. All you have to do is remember to unplug and you will avoid phantom waste.
Adopt a minimalistic mindset
What many realize is that most items we crave fade away. This is the whole concept behind “sleeping on it”. A minimalistic lifestyle is about simplifying things yet what happens is it helps us see more beauty. It benefits both the wallet and the mind. Give people experiences instead of gifts.
Explore the DIY / homemade universe
Bloggers do have a point. There isn’t anything you can’t make on your own, and it’ll be healthier, cheaper, and safer. For example, all you need for a household cleaner is vinegar, salt, baking soda, and lemon.
Buy second hand
Even brands such as Levi’s are entering the second-hand market as this is the place to be. Maybe buying second-hand was looked upon before, but people across the globe are realizing that by doing so, they are doing everyone a favor, including the planet. You can buy so many things, even luxury items, that look brand new and for a fraction of the cost, so what is there to lose? If anything, it will force manufacturers to make items that last as opposed to falling apart after one use.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking of sustainable living as one of the two extremes: one is the tree-hugging hippy who is shaming meat eaters and the other is a housewife that raises a family with homemade non-toxic cleaning recipes. Sustainable living simply means being aware that our actions have consequences and doing our best to avoid future generations having to live with the negative consequences of our personal footprint. It’s about consuming and living mindfully.