The health of the environment depends on people like us to make positive and sustainable decisions every single day.
There are so many things we can do to live a more eco-friendly, conscientious life, many of which center around the idea that consuming less and wasting less is the best way to live.
Let’s dive into some practical tips and see which of them you can start implementing in your daily routine.
1 | Eat local and shop local
Prioritize farmers markets and local business and avoid big-name supermarkets whenever possible. Transporting food and other products to conventional stores requires huge amounts of fossil fuel energy!
2 | Reduce your household energy use.
Open your eyes to the little bits of energy that you may be wasting here and there. Turn off any lights and appliances that you aren’t actively using, and install energy-efficient alternatives if you can afford it.
3 | Do away with disposables and invest in reusables
Say no to “one and done” disposables like single-use plastic forks, razors, cups and bags. These days there is a sustainable alternative for everything you need!Every time you make a purchase, consider the item’s life expectancy: Will you be able to use this for years to come? When you’re finished with it, will you have to throw it away or can it be recycled?
4 | Recycle like you mean it
Get to know your city’s recycling rules and follow them! If your town doesn’t offer curbside pick-up services, seek out a drop-off location that will take your recyclables. I highly recommend using the app iRecycle to find recycling locations for those often-forgotten items in your bin – i.e. batteries and electronics.
5 | Drink from the tap
Bottled water adds more than one million tonnes of plastic to the waste system every single year.
6 | Conserve water like you live in the Sahara
Speaking of water: A very simple way to live more sustainably is to conserve your household water use. Install dual flush or water-efficient toilets if you can afford it, and start taking shorter showers. Do laundry only when you have to; use landscaping systems that conserve water. Buy drought-tolerant plants when you can, fix leaky faucets, and eat less meat. Every drop matters!
7 | Rely less on your car
Many of us are privileged to live in areas where everything we need is within walking distance. Bike to work when the weather’s good and carpool whenever possible. If you’re going longer distances, rely on mass transit options like city buses and light rail systems!
8 | Purchase fair-trade, organic, and sustainable goods
Fair Trade and Organic designations tell you that the item you are purchasing was created in a sustainable, healthy manner, and that the local people creating it receive fair compensation for their products or labor.
If you’re a coffee drinker, look for the designation “shade-grown,” which means the coffee was grown while keeping forest habitats intact for local species.
9 | Eat less meat
Meat production is one of the most destructive industries on the planet. It is responsible for a great deal of the world’s water use, greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, chemical run-off, and deforestation. Opt instead for locally-sourced fruits and vegetables and a plant-based diet.
10 | Start shopping plastic-free
Plastic never goes away. And yet, tons of it is sent to landfills all over the world each year. Every year thousands of marine animals like turtles, seals and seabirds ingest or become tangled up in it when it enters the sea too.
Cut down your plastic by opting for reusable options instead. Choose a canvas bag over a plastic one at the store, stop drinking bottled water, and shop local and package-free wherever possible.