Sustainable Living – it’s a common phrase these days, but what exactly is it all about? You may be asking yourself questions like ‘How can I live sustainably?’ or ‘Why is Sustainable Living important to me?’. But, with it being such a big topic, it can feel a little overwhelming, so at Earthkind, we want to tackle this one together.
Sustainable living is evolving and developing more each day. Put simply, sustainable living is reducing demand for natural resources by making changes. These changes include the things we use and how we use them to the best of our abilities.
Today we’re going to dive into the who, what, where and why’s of it all.
Who should be doing this?
You might be wondering if this is for you. Should I be making these changes? Does this really matter? Can I change anything? This simple answer is yes.
Every single person is emitting carbon into the air, it’s inevitable. But, there are many things we can do to reduce. As the old saying goes – “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”! If there’s an area in your life that you can swap for a more sustainable option – do it!
Simple things such as opting for fruit and veg that aren’t wrapped in plastic to big ambitions like planting 100’s of trees. These all make a difference. Not only for us but for the future generations to come. We want to make this world a better place for our children, not a worse one.
Now, an important thing to mention when talking about the “who” of sustainability is massive corporations. The fact is, major companies are the largest carbon emitters. There are just 100 companies who are responsible for 71% of GHG emissions. Now, instead of just getting angry at the major companies – there is something that you can do single-handedly.
In our society – you vote with your pounds. When you decide to use your money in different places, supporting local businesses, ethical products and sustainable initiatives, you are making a difference. There is a way we can stop these 100 companies. It just involves using our money somewhere else.
What does this mean for me?
Sustainable living doesn’t mean going without things. Instead, it encourages us to think more mindfully about the products we consume. It makes us reflect on the way products are produced. It also gives us a chance to walk away from products that aren’t serving us. Or, better put, David Attenborough says – don’t waste’.
“Don’t waste electricity, don’t waste paper, don’t waste food. Live the way you want to live but just don’t waste. Look after the natural world, and the animals in it, and the plants in it too. This is their planet as well as ours. Don’t waste them.”
Sustainable or eco-friendly living is described as being a positive way to optimise our own health, the health of our communities and most importantly the health of the planet. It’s not necessarily about living off-grid in the countryside and growing all our own vegetables. But, instead, being more aware of how the products we consume affect not only us but the world around us. It’s not about drastically changing our lifestyles overnight but about making small mindful decisions on a daily basis. It encourages us to have a more active part in the cycle of life and to look at how our everyday living affects the environment around us.
What about my carbon footprint?
Sustainable living is also about reducing our carbon footprint. We know that “carbon footprint” is a pretty great buzzword at the moment. We use it all of the time but, what does it really mean?
Your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide that gets released into the atmosphere.
This is affected by pretty much everything that releases carbon including:
- Where you live and how much energy goes into keeping your home habitable
- How you commute. To work, school, for travel and everything else
- The stuff you buy and how far it travels to get to you
- The food you eat
We can think more about how we can reach our destination using the least pollutant form of transport. Remember to switch off lights and plugs. We can also be aware of how long we’ve been in the shower or running the tap whilst brushing our teeth.
There are many different ways you can go about reducing your footprint. This will all circle back to living a more sustainable lifestyle. These two things go hand and hand.
Where can I make these changes?
There are so many different directions you can take when starting to live a more sustainable lifestyle. It all starts with a simple audit. Take a look at all of the things you have and use. What do you have that is maybe not necessary? Is there anything that can be swapped out? Do you have too much plastic?
Once you reflect on the things you need – you can start making a game plan. This game plan will include items that will be swapped out for longer use items once they’re finished. For example, swapping out your tubes of toothpaste for solid toothpaste. Swapping your plastic razor for a metal, reusable safety razor. Experimenting with different menstrual products and so much more.
Why not consider buying organic food when and where possible? Or, helping the local community by purchasing from the local farmer’s market, greengrocers or butchers. We can be more aware of the products we are putting on and in our own bodies. And, we can be more aware as to how these possibly toxic products may impact not only our own health but that of the planet and animals too.
We have also put together a list of 10 easy ways to start living sustainably. This can help start you off in the right direction.
Why should I live sustainably?
With almost 8 billion people living on the planet – it’s reasonable to question if only one person can make a difference. Each person in America right now is predicted to produce 27 tons of carbo a year. That’s the weight of 3.8 full-grown elephants.
Now if every person – all 8 billion of us stopped producing just one ton of carbon a year by making simple swaps to our daily life. That would be HUGE!
We are in the midsts of a climate emergency. This is real and it is happening right now. But, if we all get together and make some changes we can stop this.
There are many different components that are involved in sustainable living. There are so many different routes to take. The most important part of it all is being educated and doing what you can. We are powerful people, and we can save the world.
What are some changes that you’ve made to lead a more sustainable lifestyle? We’d love to know in the comments below. If you’re interested in learning more about eco-friendly living please visit our blog page where we’re constantly updating and sharing what we know!