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20 Ways to Live More Sustainably

by Lily Morgen
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Live More Sustainably

We make choices every day that have an impact on the environment, such as air pollution, water pollution, climate change, and deforestation. Here are some ways to live more sustainably and help protect our planet.

1. Go Plastic Free

One easy way to live more sustainably is to reduce your use of plastic. Plastic takes hundreds of years to break down, and in the meantime, it can clog up landfills and pollute the ocean. You can cut down on your plastic use by:

  • Bringing reusable bags to the grocery store
  • Using a reusable water bottle
  • Skipping the straw
  • Avoiding disposable coffee cups

2. Recycle and Reuse Whatever You Can

Recycling is a great way to reduce waste and help the environment. You can recycle items such as:

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Glass
  • Metal

If an item cannot be recycled, see if you can reuse it or donate it to someone who can.

3. Eat Less Meat

Meat production is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, so eating less meat can be more sustainable. If you do eat meat, choose sustainably produced options, such as grass-fed beef or organic chicken. You can also try meatless Mondays, where you eat vegetarian meals for one day each week.

4. Avoid Food Waste

Food waste is a major problem, both in terms of the resources it takes to produce food and the methane emissions from decomposing food in landfills. You can help by reducing your food waste, either by eating leftovers or composting uneaten food.

5. Cook More at Home

Eating out or ordering in creates a lot of unnecessary waste, from packaging to the food itself. You can reduce your impact by cooking more meals at home. Not only is it better for the environment, but it’s also usually cheaper and healthier.

6. Save Water

Water is essential for all life, but it’s a limited resource. You can conserve water:

  • While you’re brushing your teeth, turn off the faucet 
  • Fix leaky faucets and pipes
  • When washing dishes, don’t let the water run
  • Only run the dishwasher when it is completely full
  • Take shorter shower
  • Water your plants during the cooler hours of the day, such as early morning or evening

7. Save Energy

Saving energy not only reduces your carbon footprint, but it can also save you money. Some ways to conserve energy include:

  • Using LED light bulbs
  • Turning off lights and appliances when you’re not using them
  • Unplugging electronics that are not in use
  • Insulating your home

8. Use Renewable Energy

Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, are environmentally friendly alternatives to fossil fuels. You can support renewable energy by:

  • Investing in solar panels for your home
  • Signing up for a green electricity plan
  • Buying Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)

9. Drive Less

Cars can lead to air pollution, so driving less is a great way to be more sustainable. You can cut down on your driving by:

  • Walking or biking when possible
  • Carpooling or taking public transportation
  • Combining errands into one trip

10. Buy Secondhand

Before you buy something new, see if you can find it secondhand. Buying secondhand items reduces the demand for new products, which helps to conserve resources and energy. 

11. Grow Your Own Vegetables and Fruits

One of the best ways to eat sustainably is to grow your own food. This way you know exactly where your food comes from and how it was produced. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the satisfaction of eating foods that you grew yourself.

12. Go Paperless

You can save a lot of trees by reducing your use of paper. Some ways to do this include:

  • Reading books and magazines electronically
  • Paying bills online
  • Using reusable shopping bags

13. Use Green Cleaning Products

Conventional cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that can pollute the air and water. You can choose more sustainable options by using green cleaning products, which are made from natural ingredients and are safe for the environment.

14. Buy Organic

Organic products are grown without the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals. They are better for your health and the environment. When you’re shopping, look for products that are certified organic by the USDA.

15. Boycott Products that Endanger Wildlife

Many products are made from animals or their derivatives, such as ivory, ocelot fur, and turtle shell. The demand for these products drives the illegal wildlife trade, which is a major threat to many species. You can help by not buying products that contain endangered wildlife.

16. Choose Certified Sustainable Products 

When you’re shopping for products, look for ones that have been certified sustainable. This means that they have been produced in a way that is environmentally friendly and does not harm ecosystems or wildlife. Some examples of certified sustainable products include:

  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood
  • Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified seafood
  • Fair Trade certified coffee

17. Support Local Businesses

Local and smaller businesses are frequently more sustainable than multinational ones. They often use less energy, have fewer environmental impacts, and generate less waste. You can support them by shopping at farmers’ markets and independent stores.

Local businesses don’t have to transport their products as far, so there are fewer emissions from transportation. Meanwhile, local businesses often use less packaging than large corporations.

18. Make Your Own Products

You can save a lot of packaging and waste by making your own products instead of buying them. For example, you can:

  • Make your own soap
  • Bake your own bread
  • Grow your own herbs

19. Say Goodbye to Fast Fashion

The fast fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world. To shop more sustainably, buy fewer clothes and choose higher quality items that will last longer. You can also buy secondhand clothing or rent clothes instead of buying them new.

20. Donate or Volunteer to Environmental Organizations

There are many organizations working to protect the environment and promote sustainability. You can support their efforts by volunteering your time or donating money or any unwanted items instead of throwing them away. 

Some of these organizations include:

  • Greenpeace
  • Sierra Club
  • Natural Resources Defense Council

Final Thought

Living sustainably is important for the environment and the future of our planet. By making small changes in your everyday life, you can make a big difference. Try incorporating some of these tips into your routine and see how easy it is to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

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