What is sustainable living? In a nutshell, it’s a way of living that aims to reduce one’s carbon footprint. It means attempting to reduce an individual’s use of the Earth’s natural resources. This kind of lifestyle also aims to reduce one’s dependent on materialistic and worldly things. It wants to preserve our personal resources—time, energy, and money—because these are better used in more important things. In other words, the more you lessen your actions’ impact on the environment and your personal resources, the more you can achieve a sustainable life.
It is daunting to think about letting go of major convenience in your life, especially at home. Can you imagine not having an air conditioning repair company over even though you need one because you’re trying to stop yourself from relying on the air-conditioning unit? Can you imagine the sweltering heat of summer? Can you still function in a 105-degree Fahrenheit temperature?
That’s where people get sustainable living all wrong. Many think that sustainability means sacrificing important conveniences such as your ability to function when the heat index is through the roof. Sustainable living also puts emphasis on your well-being. This means that if the heat will cause your blood pressure to shoot up, turn on the air-conditioner. Mother Nature will forgive you. Although you might want to invest in solar panels and eco-friendly appliances. That’ll save costs in the future.
Air-conditioners and heaters are not the only appliances that have energy-saving counterparts. You can change the light bulbs, too. There are water-efficient showerheads and faucets, as well as washers that don’t use that much water. In the morning, open your windows and drapes. Let the sunlight in if the temperature is bearable. Try not to open the lights when you can rely on the good old natural sunlight.
In the evening, crack open a window as long as it’s safe. Let the cool breeze wash over the household. You don’t always need to rely on the heater and air-conditioner. For your backyard barbecue parties, go for solar cooking or natural gas grills. These are the most environmental-friendly options to cook up a party at home.
You might not know it, but you could be helping the environment already. Have you been stopping yourself from buying plastic packaging lately? Do you take your own container with you when you order from Starbucks? The goal is for each person to prevent generating waste. The problem, however, is that there has been so much focus on recycling that the “reduce” part of the process was overshadowed.
Reduce is more important than recycling. This means lessening your consumption of things that could hurt the environment. People tell themselves that these purchases can be recycled afterward, but the point of reducing waste is lessening the impact of manufacturing on the environment. So long as you continue to purchase, manufacturers are going to go on mass-producing these items. That’s not sustainability at all.
You have to discipline yourself to stick with your old phone until it gives up on you or until it doesn’t perform what you need. You have to digitize your notes and your paper bills. You have to produce less food waste. Take only what you can finish. If there are leftovers, put them in a reusable container that you can heat later. Remember to reduce, and not to recycle or reuse only.
Why should you buy your food from outside the state if your town is producing them as well? You could be paying more because the store needs to import these meats, vegetables, and fruits from another country or state. Buying local saves money, and it saves the local economy. When you buy local, it means directly helping the local vendors and small businesses. Their businesses will thrive because of your support.
Local farmer’s markets offer quality products. They sell these items a lot cheaper, too than the ones you find in grocery aisles. A thriving local economy is one of the surest signs of sustainability. If all localities can support themselves, there will be less reliance on the Earth’s natural resources. Not to mention that locally grown foods are great for your health, too.
It is not impossible to lead a sustainable life. While it is a lot of sacrifices, it doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the little conveniences of life. And aside from that, sustainable living is a more affordable lifestyle. You can grow your own food and save on the costs of doing groceries. You can let in more light and air to save on energy costs. It’s also great for your health. It’s a wonder not all people are rallying behind this kind of lifestyle.