You’ve probably heard the phrase sustainable living on social media, in the title of your favorite blogger’s posts, and from your friends’ mouths. But what is sustainable living, really? It’s more than a buzzword—it’s a complex ethos that translates to a practical way of making a difference.
In this article, we’ll give you a beginner’s guide to sustainable living, including tips, inspiring thoughts, and actionable items so that you have everything you need to get started.
What Is Sustainable Living?
Think of sustainable living as a personal philosophy. It’s about minimizing your environmental impact, both individually and as a community. Sustainable living is a way to reduce your carbon footprint and bring awareness to the damage done at the intersection between humanity and the environment.
What Is the Goal of Sustainable Living?
Sustainable living is about making positive choices today so that future generations inherit a safe place to live and thrive tomorrow. To sum it up, we’re trying to utilize the Earth’s resources better.
We all want to reach an environmental equilibrium. In essence, this means to return whatever you take from the Earth.
This is the ideal form of sustainability. We’ll never be able to achieve zero environmental impact because the environment is just one of the pillars that keeps our society running. If we put all of our resources into it, the others would be vulnerable to collapse.
The three pillars of sustainability are:
We have to keep all three of them in balance to achieve a sustainable equilibrium. The idea is to change our collective mindset surrounding the taking and giving of resources to these pillars.
Currently, most people take much more than they give to these pillars, creating with stolen resources and then producing excess amounts of waste. The goal of a sustainable lifestyle is to change that; instead of taking, we need to focus on borrowing these resources, using them, and then returning them.
Seems simple enough, right?
How Do You Practice Sustainable Living?
Practicing sustainable living is a broad idea, so we’ve narrowed it down to the top three most impactful options that you can easily implement into your lifestyle.
Be Vocal About Environmental Causes
There is much to be said for the power of your voice. Lessening our collective environmental impact starts with individuals speaking up and living loud. Raising awareness around the importance of living sustainably is essential, so people are aware of their impact.
If we’re going to create real change in our societal mindset, we need to be vocal about sustainability and its importance.
Adopt Renewable Energy
Fossil fuels are extremely damaging to the environment. Extracting them is quite literally destroying the planet. Not only that, but they release an abundance of CO2 emissions when burned, which is a massive contributor to climate change.
Long story short, we want to avoid fossil fuels as much as possible (plus, we’re running out of them).
Renewable energy is the future. It is derived from unlimited sources, such as the sun, water, wind, biomass, and geothermal energy. These sources are clean, less impactful, and overall provide hope for our future.There are so many benefits to using renewable energy, both environmentally and economically.
Reduce Food Waste
Reducing food waste is one of the most impactful things we can do to make a difference. In the United States, about 30–40% of the food supply is lost or wasted every year. If this astronomical amount was represented as its own country, it would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, after China and the United States.
You can actively take steps toward reducing food waste in your own home by preserving or freezing food, planning better, and getting into composting.
8 Ideas For Sustainable Living Beginners
Getting started with sustainable living can feel overwhelming at first, but it’s important to take things one day, one choice at a time. Big and important things can be accomplished through small and simple means.
If you’re feeling daunted by the enormity of sustainability, don’t worry. There are many easy things you can do to shift your mindset and lifestyle.
Here are some sustainable living ideas for beginners:
- Buy reusable water bottles. It doesn’t get any easier than this. Swap your plastic water bottles for ones made from a reusable material (metal, glass, etc.). You don’t have to sacrifice your morning coffee ritual.
- Invest in reusable bags. The grocery store provides plastic bags for you with every visit, but those can add up quickly. Invest in reusable tote bags that you can take on your shopping trips to reduce waste. Or simply reuse the plastic bags you got on your last trip to the grocery store.
- Be mindful of your transportation. Take the train or carpool whenever possible. If you live close enough to work and/or school, ride a bike. Opt for electric or hybrid models when purchasing a new car.
- Take advantage of your neighborhood recycling program. You probably already thought of this one, but recycling is a big deal. Your neighborhood most likely offers a recycling program. Be sure to take advantage of it!
- Use a clean energy supplier. One of the easiest and most important ways to live sustainably is to subscribe to a clean energy supplier. Fossil fuels are a huge contributor to the issue, which is a big step in the right direction.
- Minimize your water use. You’ve probably heard this one before, but taking shorter showers and being conscious of water usage overall is a great example of sustainable living. You can even reuse unsalted cooking water to take care of your beloved houseplants.
- Reduce your product consumption. This is easier said than done, but it’s a simple mindset to get into. Reducing your overall consumption of products means minimizing waste, which lessens your carbon footprint. It’s a simple equation that yields major results.
- Shop locally to avoid shipping. Your regularly scheduled Amazon Prime orders come with lots of packaging. That adds up to a great deal of waste. Shopping locally (with your reusable tote bags) minimizes those wasted materials.
Educate Yourself with Spring Power & Gas
If you’re looking to get started with your sustainable living journey, reach out to us at Spring Power & Gas. We have tons of resources on sustainability, clean energy, and more to make sure you are set up for success.
To find out more, continue educating yourself with posts like this and find that environmental equilibrium for your household.