As more people become interested in sustainability, businesses and governments alike are moving to fill the gaps in sustainability programs. The example of growing interest in sustainability can be seen in the growing number of companies and conferences emphasizing sustainable concepts, products, and food sources.
The idea that there are only so many finite resources on the planet has spurred many people to action to choose more sustainable lifestyles.
Sustainability is defined as the ability to maintain and support a process over time. In the context of lifestyle and business, sustainability seeks to limit the depletion of natural resources to maintain their viability.
The megadrought in the Southwestern United States is a factor that is forcing companies, municipalities, states, and the people that live there to consider the severe need for developing sustainable plans for water use and conservation.
When human impacts on the environment are factored in, the need for developing a comprehensive plan for water use becomes crucial.
To limit the impact of humankind on the environment, the concept of sustainability is quickly gaining traction in many areas of life and business.
If you’re wondering how you can adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, it takes a combination of strategizing how to lower your energy consumption and changing your diet toward a more plant-based one.
If you’re curious about how you can change toward a more sustainable lifestyle, understand that making the change to sustainable living will require discipline and changing your daily habits.
Choose compostable packaging and reusable bags: In our everyday life, we throw away more in packaging and baggage than necessary. The impact on the environment is enormous. It takes a lot of energy to produce and recycle plastics, and that energy production could be better utilized elsewhere.
But until a significant population shift moves toward reusables, the “throw-away” consumer packaging will continue.
Ditch plastics altogether: on top of ditching plastic bags and packaging, ditch plastic altogether. Instead of the plastic water bottle, or throwaway cups from Starbucks, consider having reusable thermoses and cups you can take with you, wash, and reuse.
Reduce energy consumption: One of the largest wastes is energy consumption. Convert your home into a “green” home by:
- Changing all light bulbs to be more energy efficient
- Turn off all appliances and lights when not in use
- Increase the insulation of your home, including using thicker, tempered windows
- Choose to install solar power
- Only install energy-efficient, low-water devices and appliances
Another thing to consider is eliminating driving as much as possible or switching your car to an energy-efficient electric vehicle.
EVs were once derided and challenging to purchase and maintain, but the technology behind EVs has exponentially improved. Companies such as EVgo make it easy and quick to recharge your EV, and the recently passed infrastructure bill has earmarked over $5 Billion in funds to build electric charging stations throughout the country.
Shop local: In addition to lowering your overall energy consumption and amount of driving, you should consider shopping local.
By shopping locally, you’re decreasing the number of resources you need, lowering your emissions, and enhancing local economies as local businesses typically keep that money in circulation locally, which is a reinvestment in the local economy.
Change your diet: One of the largest wastes of natural resources is meat production. Changing your diet from animal-based to plant-based will save energy, food, and water needed to grow those animals for food production.
Research shows many common ailments, from food-borne allergies to some cancers, have been linked to an increase in animal consumption, so changing to a plant-based diet is a more sustainable and healthier decision for you.
It’s been said that living sustainably is something that is eccentric or costly. But truthfully, it’s a lot easier than people think.
Like a stone thrown into a lake can cause ripples, the little changes you make regarding your energy consumption, limiting the use of plastics, and changing your diet toward a more plant-based one will have significant long-term impacts on the environment.
Living sustainably is about doing more with less and moving away from a consumption mentality that will increase your satisfaction and save you money. It’s the smart thing to do for your life, pocketbook, and the environment.