It’s clear that our planet’s health is at risk. Every day, we listen to the news and see a host of headlines: global warming, increased natural disasters, deforestation, gas flaring, pollution in the air, water, and land. With these issues at the forefront of the environmental movement, it’s clear that we must take steps to safeguard our planet.
While governments and NGOs are currently championing campaigns to safeguard and sustain the environment, we have a collective role to play, too.
What is Sustainable Living?
Building a sustainable lifestyle is more straightforward than you might think. The philosophy of sustainable living is rooted in developing new habits that are healthy and beneficial to you, your family, and the environment at large.
There is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all answer to how to live sustainably. It’s all about finding ways to decrease your carbon footprint in a way that works for you and your lifestyle.
Not sure where to start? Thankfully, here at Swig Life, we’re big on living sustainably, and we’ll show you how:
Swig’s 7 Tips for Sustainable Living
1. Lower your food waste
In the US alone, over 40% of food goes to waste. When sent to landfills, food products are not able to decompose properly, and in turn end up releasing harmful greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.
It’s important to lower your food waste by buying food in the right quantity, and taking steps to reduce the amount of usable food product you are throwing in the trash.
2. Make use of reusable cups
It is estimated that a total of 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily. The majority of these cups are made of plastic, which is often discarded instead of recycled. Oftentimes, these plastics make their way into our oceans, endangering aquatic life.
In an effort to live more sustainably, try boycotting cups that cannot be reused, or generally reducing your intake of single-use plastics. An easy way to implement this switch is by investing in eco-friendly cups and water bottles.
3. Boycott plastic bags
Plastic bags are only used for an average of 12 minutes—yet they take over 500 years to degrade in a landfill. And for the ones that don’t end up in a landfill, plastic bags become litter that make their way into our water sources and put aquatic life at risk. From the amount of oil used in their production to the lack of viable recycling solutions, it’s clear that plastic bags have got to go.
In order to live more sustainably, ditch the plastic bags. Instead, try investing in tote bags that you can use multiple times. (Plus, they’re a great way to show off your personal style!)
4. Consider family size
With an estimated 7.8 billion people in the world today, the global population is projected to hit 9.8 billion by 2050. This poses some concern: with this many people on the planet, our demands for water, health, fossil fuels, and even food become enormous.
Overpopulation and global poverty are on the rise. Thus, some environmentalists will choose to live sustainably by choosing to have a smaller family.
5. Buy only what you need
When every site you visit seems to have the perfect ad for you, there’s always an urge to order trendy items you don’t really need. However, before clicking buy, it’s important to remember that each of these items has an environmental impact: from production, packaging, shipping, and eventual waste it produces.
It is important to always ask yourself if you really, truly need it before buying it. This is a great (and economical!) way to live sustainably.
6. Invest in sustainable energy, big and small
From solar power all the way to a single lightbulb—your energy choices make a huge difference in the fight to live sustainably. For example, halogen and incandescent lights emit an excess of energy, which in turn increases your energy bill at the end of the month. If you have these specific bulbs in your home, ditch them and invest light-emitting diodes (LED) or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) instead.
What’s more? LEDs and CFLs can last 3-25 times longer than the typical bulb. Money and earth saving? Talk about a win-win!
7. Drive less, cycle more
Driving in your car regularly is a surefire way to increases your carbon footprint. To foster a more sustainable environment, opt for biking and take a ride to your destination if it’s nearby.
If you have several errands to attend to, try to combine them with one round trip to reduce your car’s total emissions to the atmosphere.
We all have a collective duty to protect our environment. And with these sustainable living tips, we can do so together.
While you’re here, check out our 7 Socially Distant Fall Activities to Get You Outside.