Reading about the effects of increasing carbon footprint, climate change, and other environmental problems can make anyone stressful. We hear about lots of environmental issues and it seems that their solutions are nowhere to be found. However, you should keep in mind that each of us can take steps to help save the planet. Living more sustainably is simpler than you might expect. All you need to do is make some small lifestyle adjustments that help reduce waste and carbon footprint.
Think Twice Before Shopping
The products we buy have a direct impact on the number of emissions we produce. One way to minimize your impact is to buy less. This may seem obvious but buying less means you actually have to think about your purchases and whether something is really necessary. Apart from this, when you do go shopping, it is highly recommended that you look for eco labels on products. Harmful practices and product waste of big companies is a major issue. As a consumer, you have a great deal of power to minimize the impact. So, leverage your buying power by purchasing from more eco-friendly companies.
Use Less Plastic
Plastic is one of the materials with the biggest environmental impact on the planet. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to cut back on your plastic consumption. You can start by bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, choosing products with minimal packaging, buying reusable metal or bamboo straws instead of using plastic ones, carrying a reusable water bottle with you, using reusable wraps or repurposed jars to store food instead of plastic bags, buying in bulk, and more.
Buy Second Hand Clothes
The clothing industry is responsible for a huge amount of product waste and pollution every year. Clothing is produced more rapidly in order to meet the “fast fashion” needs. Using cotton to make more articles of clothing leads to water stress. Fabric dye and pesticides are huge polluters in the industry and switching to synthetic materials results in the production of more greenhouse gas. There are a number of ways to reduce your role in the clothing industry’s inefficiency. Some of the things you can do include buying second hand clothes, choosing more responsible clothing companies, buying clothes from thrift shops, swapping clothes with friends, and more.
Adopt Pets Instead of Buying
If you want a pet, then it is highly recommended that you adopt one instead of buying. This is perhaps the greatest impact you can make as a sustainable pet owner. By adopting a pet, you would be saving an animal that might not have found a home. Not to mention, the growing population of homeless animals in the world is a very serious issue and adopting a pet is an excellent way to alleviate this. There are other benefits associated with this approach. Shelter pets are already neutered or sprayed and have been vaccinated to protect them from diseases. The cost of adopting a pet is also usually less as compared to buying one.
Sustainable living is about making conscious lifestyle choices that benefit you, the society, and the environment in both short and long-term. With this in mind, you don’t have to do everything listed above right away. You can start small and find what works best for you. There are plenty of other ways to live more sustainably. The suggestions listed above are just the tip of the iceberg.
Photos: Singkham, Victor Garcia, cottonbro, Charles Etoroma, Eric Ward