Every time we eat, travel, or shop, the choices we make have a direct impact on our planet. As the globe begins to heat up, ice caps are melting, and species are going extinct. Forests are being cut down, and our natural resources are disappearing at an alarming rate. While these issues may seem overwhelming, learning how you can live a sustainable lifestyle allows you to do your part to help the environment.
How to Live Sustainably
Living a more sustainable lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult. Despite what you see on social media, living sustainably doesn’t have to fit an aesthetic or cost a lot of money. Here are a few ways you can live a more eco-friendly life.
1. Stop Shopping
One of the best ways to live more sustainably is to stop buying so much stuff. Since the rise of online shopping, it has become so easy for us to buy things out of boredom or impulse. The items we buy on a whim often end up in the landfill or the back of our closets. Manufacturing and shipping these items uses up valuable resources and harms the environment. When you discard the item, it takes up more space in the landfill. If you want to reduce your impact on the planet, start by reducing your shopping. If you do need to buy something, try to purchase it secondhand.
2. Eat Less Meat and Reduce Food Waste
Meat production is one of the biggest drains on our natural resources. Raising livestock requires forests to be cleared, and it uses up an insane amount of water and energy. Pollution from livestock can harm our air quality and water supply. When you eat a plant-based diet, you are saving habitats, reducing water waste, and keeping the planet clean. When you switch to a plant-based diet, it’s also important to plan your meals to reduce food waste. Like meat, fruit and vegetables use up resources and produce pollution when they are shipped. If you can, try to source your produce locally, and only buy what you need.
3. Go Solar
Fossil fuel usage harms wildlife and contaminates our waterways. If you are able to choose your electricity company, try to select one that uses solar or wind power. You may also be able to earn cash or tax credits by installing solar panels on your roof. When you install solar panels, you will reduce your impact on the environment and potentially create green energy for your community depending on your production.
4. Say No to Bottled Water
Plastic water bottles pollute the environment when they are manufactured and take hundreds of years to decompose. Millions of tons of plastic bottles are floating around in our oceans today. Not only do plastic bottles create unnecessary pollution and waste, but the extraction of the water that goes in them also harms animals and their habitats. You can reduce your water consumption by taking shorter showers, installing low-flush toilets, and landscaping your property with plants that don’t require a lot of water to survive.