Sustainable lifestyle is an extension of this sustainability definition which seeks to look for long term methods of resourceful living by which both humans and the earth can coexist.
The Need for Adopting A Sustainable Lifestyle
Today, the goal of Sustainability is to preserve or conserve our earth – wildlife, marine life, and other natural aspects by resorting to simple eco-friendly ways of living that don’t harm the elements (air, water, and land) that makes life possible on the planet and along with it make it economically and socially beneficial to people. But in reality, when the concept of Sustainability started with the origin of the word from the Latin word “sustinere” which means “to hold“, the idea was to uphold life as it is, to make the environment prosper as it is.
Today, it has become impossible to let the environment be as it is. Because if we do that it will deteriorate further because of our harmful activities of burning fossil fuels, using plastics, eating meat, and many other things that are harming the planet.
This has necessitated the development of Sustainable Development Goals. The UN Brundtland Commission report first turned the Sustainability concept into Sustainable Development Goals back in the 1980s. With this, the concept of a sustainable lifestyle came to the forefront, and now in 2021 everyone is looking forward to it as we understand the necessity of it to survive from diseases, pandemics, and natural disasters.
Simple Acts of Sustainability
It might not be a mammoth task of doing a big thing like planting a tree or building a forest, or cleaning a beach or a river. While these activities are crucial they might not be possible for everyone in this fast-paced world. However, each one of us can take certain sustainable choices that can protect the environment, economy, and society
1.Reducing Your Emission from Traveling
- A humble choice of using lower fossil fuel burning cars is a good move.
- This can be further enhanced by using public transport or by carpooling or sharing cabs.
- Water transport and railway transport cause less emission than air transport, so opting for train and ferry travels is better than taking a flight.
2. Lowering Your Kitchen/Food Waste
We are what we eat. The primary source of waste in our life comes from the food that we take. Whether it’s the kitchen or a restaurant, waste generated in our eating pursuits is enormous.
- So simple acts of doing less takeaways and opting for more dine-in and cooking at home is a good change to start with.
- We can take it further by opting for eco-friendly kitchenware and tableware like areca leaf plates, bamboo plates, sugarcane bagasse plates etc instead of plastic containers. Even utensils made of coconut shells and bark like coconut shell bowls and spoons and forks make an eco friendly home.
- Our disposable plastic trash bags can become eco-friendly compostable bags made up of corn.
- Kitchen towels, dinner rolls, tissues, and napkins can turn eco-friendly if we switch to bamboo based products instead of paper based ones.
3.Reducing Your Energy Consumption
The power supply we use daily to keep our houses lighted up and charging our gadgets and devices is the biggest source of carbon and GHG emission.
- So, one critical step of reducing our carbon footprint is to simply switch off the lights when not in use, and use energy-efficient LED bulbs.
- Even using solar energy is a good thing if you can.
- Similarly other energy conserving acts like turning off the tap in time, rainwater harvesting are good practices
- Acts like cooking in low heat, not stacking the fridge and the washing machine to their fullest, or not using the AC and freezer to their highest capacity greatly conserves energy.
4. Making Your Bathroom Eco-friendly
Our daily acts of waste start and end in the bathroom. So, naturally, that’s the point where we need to be more mindful. While we can’t revert back to using twigs brushing and defecating in the open, we certainly can reduce the environmental impact of using plastic bath products.
- A simple change in a toothbrush, tissue paper, loofa, tongue cleaner, combs etc can go a long way to improve the environment. You might think it’s just a single plastic toothbrush. How much impact can it have? Well, that single one when accumulated from the 12 billion people of the world is a pile of everlasting toothbrushes that can fill up our oceans. So, opt for bamboo or neem toothbrushes, combs, tongue cleaners, loofa, tissue paper.
- You can even take it further by opting for chemical-free and natural soaps, shampoos, body lotion, detergents, insect repellants, and many other things.
5.Eat Organic & Local
What we eat and from where we buy has a huge impact not just in our life but on the environment and economy as well. Eating more processed food, packaged food, and exotic items means more use of energy and water to manufacture and transport them. This adds to the emissions.
- A simple way of reducing this carbon footprint from food is to opt for local products, seasonal produce and organic food items.
- Reducing or completely eliminating meat products is another good step. However, care should be taken that in the process of finding vegan alternatives you don’t export things which ultimately harms the environment.
- Using your food wastes like skins of fruits and vegetables, tea leaves etc for composting is another good way to reduce emission.
- Indulge in gardening or having a small kitchen garden or terrace garden is an added advantage.
- Furthermore, preserving food items naturally for a longer use like putting them in brine, vinegar, salt water etc or turning them into pickles is an effective way of healthy eating without much waste.