Sustainable living involves minimizing your use of natural resources in order to preserve and care for the environment. If you would like to live more sustainably but aren’t sure how to get started, read on for a few tips.
Most people think very little about how much water they use during the day, but if you want to live more sustainably, then conserving water should be at the top of your list. There are a few easy ways to begin saving water right away. First, run the dishwasher only when it is full, and combine your laundry into larger loads. Also, make sure your appliances are energy-efficient for those use less water. Consider installing lower use toilets and showerheads, too, and put aerators on your faucets to reduce the flow of water. Be mindful also of how much water you are using when you shower, wash your hair, brush your teeth or do dishes.
Saving energy will also go a long way toward more sustainable living. Start by switching to LED light bulbs that use less electricity overall. Also, unplug appliances and electronics when they are not in use, and make sure you are using energy-efficient models. Turn off computers instead of leaving them on all night, or at least put them in power-saving mode. Shut off lights when you leave the room, and turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees. Additionally, make sure that your home is well insulated so your heat isn’t escaping outside in the winter and your cool air stays in during the summer. Check for air leaks around windows and doors, for instance, and fill them when you find them. Finally, consider switching part of your home’s power to renewable energy methods like solar power.
Think Before You Buy
Part of sustainable living can also be mindful purchasing. Think before you buy about whether or not you really need an item and about whether or not it is manufactured in a sustainable way. If it is not, and you don’t really need it, then leave it on the shelf. Also, look for products labeled “fair trade,” “organic,” “environmentally friendly” or “sustainably made.” This can apply to everything from food to clothing to cleaning products. Finally, consider how items are packaged, and avoid excess packaging if possible.
While commuting is part of many people’s lives, and most people must drive to work, school, shopping and events, you can at least make an effort toward more sustainable living by driving less than normal. Schedule errands and appointments so that you can accomplish multiple tasks in just one trip rather than several. Carpool with coworkers, and look into public transportation options.
Finally, eliminate as much waste as possible from your daily life. Recycle glass, plastic and paper. Reuse items or donate them instead of just throwing them away. Avoid wasting paper by using paperless options, and collect and use scrap paper rather than throwing it out or recycling it. Use cloth rather than paper towels, too. As environmentalist Richard Maize says, eliminating waste now will greatly benefit future generations.
That said, then, do your best to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle.