What it Means to Live Sustainably
The last few years have put the spotlight on environmental issues. Scientists have uncovered new information about the state of our Earth, noting how corporate exploitations will eradicate all our fish resources by 2050. As a result, oxygen is rapidly depleting, and our sea levels are rising. Even worse, businesses are exploiting habitats for profit.
Albeit, awareness of these issues has also been on the rise. We have seen multiple activists, young and old, fighting for our future—because yes, if we don’t stop this now, this will be our future. There is a new wave of people living sustainably. Those who haven’t fully lived sustainably commit themselves to reduce carbon footprint as much as possible and being more ethical about their decisions.
But, what exactly does living sustainably mean?
Well, the dictionary defines sustainability as the ability to be maintained at a certain level. The word also refers to conserving an ecological balance by avoiding the depletion of natural resources. Simply put, to be sustainable is to take only what is necessary and to give back. To keep the cycle balanced and sustained, to not have any significant losses nor gains.
Our ancestors lived sustainably by respecting nature and its resources. Thus, we knew what it was to be sustainable. Then, however, the industrial revolution came, and that once well-maintained balance ceased to exist. Albeit, we can still bring back the sustainable balance without sacrificing our modern luxuries!
So, let’s break down how exactly we can live sustainably.
We now understand the meaning of the word sustainable, but what does it mean to live sustainable. Honestly, it’s not too far off the purpose of sustainability itself. All we need to be is to live more consciously about our actions and inaction and what the consequences are.
Of course, everything is more accessible said than done. But that’s precisely why we’re here! To help you evaluate your current lifestyle and change it to be more sustainable!
First is our clothes. Clothes are a significant part of our daily lives. It’s how we express ourselves without having to say anything! They are our outer shield and your first impression of the people around you. So, it is not an exaggeration when we say that we would want to dress to impress. However, there is a way to make this factor in your life more sustainable!
Choose wisely. Yes! That’s all you need to do. First, take a look at your closet and see the types of clothes you have, so when you buy new ones, they don’t overlap with what you already have. Then, purchase new, diverse items that you don’t have to diversify the functions in your closet!
You can also ask these questions when you are trying to buy a new clothing item:
Will these last me another five years?
Is this something that I would still wear in 5 years?
Does this fit with any other clothes in my closet?
How many times will I wear this? Can I mix-and-match this with other items I have?
Is this brand ethical? Do they exploit their workers and resources?
(Yes, that last point needs a bit of research. But by researching, you would also gain new knowledge and increase your awareness!)
Another thing that you should pay attention to is food. Food is a tricky, tricky business. Many perceive healthy and sustainable food are expensive—from the free-range daily and poultry to organic vegetables. But with every problem, there can be a solution. Stocking your fridge with produce from the local farmer’s market is a great way to support local businesses while reducing your ecological footprint!
But what if you live in a big city? Well, if there is no farmer’s market nearby, you can live sustainably with other things! One of them is to provide your own utensils, containers, and bottles to restaurants, cafes, or take-out orders.
City life is usually more hectic than living in suburbs or the country. This lifestyle results in many more take-out orders, and take-out orders come with disposable containers and utensils. That is unnecessary waste that you can reduce by bringing your own! Especially for those of you that love to order coffee without getting your own bottle.
Now, moving on to transportation. We should all be familiar with the concept of taking public or carbon-free transit to reduce our carbon footprint—and that’s what you need to do! (If you aren’t already.) Carpool with your friends. Ride bikes to go to short-distance destinations. You can also walk! Did you know that 2 million tons of CO2 are reduced in one day if everyone in the US biked to work?
There are plenty of options to go around for you to consider. This alternative by no means forbids you to invest in a car, but use them wisely. Of course, choose your vehicles wisely as well!
So, what do you think about living sustainably? Are you ready to start a new adventure to be sustainable? It may seem strenuous and weird and challenging at first, but everything comes with practice! Start with the small steps. Try changing one aspect of your life to be more sustainable, and everything else will follow!