Sustainable lifestyle attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth's natural resources, and one’s personal resources. Now when we hear sustainable living, it sounds very challenging or even daunting to reduce your carbon footprint. We often believe that we might have to venture out of our comfort zone to adopt a sustainable lifestyle but mark my words, it is much simpler than that. I will convince you that adopting ecologically conscious habits is not a Herculean task. You can easily incorporate some small changes in your life without changing the way you live drastically. Bonus is that you might even save some money in the process.
The first step towards a sustainable lifestyle is to recognize and acknowledge the problem. Assessing your habits or the way you do things is a catalyst to this process. For instance, you might not even think twice before wrapping that cute shirt you got for your best friend in a plastic wrapping sheet (while paper wrapping sheets are very easily available and are cheaper).
However, now that I have put this thought in your mind, you, as a rational and responsible global citizen, might consider another alternative.
So here are some small things that can make a huge difference, collectively, in our footprint on this planet. They’re categorised as very easy or easy with respect to accessibility, feasibility and affordability.
- Instead of turning on the heating, wear an extra layer. Seriously, doubling up your socks does wonders! Winter is coming.
- Open those curtains! Use as much natural light as possible before using the lightbulbs. Bonus is that you’ll get a good dose of Vitamin D.
- I know how we all like nice and long hot showers but think about timing them. If you cut it short by a few minutes, you’ll save around 90 litres.
- Stop buying bottled water! Carry a bottle with you.
- Start cycling to places, stop using transport for small distances.
1 reusable water bottle equals 167 plastic water bottles.
- Support ethical and environmentally conscious brands.
- Try not to wash clothes until the laundry bag is filled.
- Reuse old clothes or DONATE!
- Opt to receive digital letters and notices
- Send electronic invitations. Be a responsible party host.
- Use double-sided printing as much as you can.
- Use metal straws and save the turtles!
1 metal straw equals 540 plastic straws.
- Don’t waste food, respect it!
- That running tap while you wash your face or brush your teeth is extremely unnecessary.
- Opt to not receive disposable cutlery while ordering food from home.
One reusable cup equals 500 coffee cups
- Turn off the light when you leave a room.
- If you see a leaking/running faucet, take an extra step and close it tightly.
- Switch to replaceable razors. Swear off disposable razors.
- Stop taking both plastic and paper bags from stores. Carry your own shopping bag. (Choose a paper bag if you have no other option)
1 reusable bag equals 170 plastic bags.
- You won’t need to go bulb-shopping often if you switch to LED lighting as it’s proven to last longer than CFL bulbs.
- Ditch your car and embrace car pooling. However, if you’re in the market for a new car, invest in electric-powered vehicles.
- Use cloth instead of paper towels in the kitchen.
1 cloth towel equals 7300 paper towels
- Switch to menstrual cups and reusable pads. Bonus is a guilt-free period.
- Use glass or steel containers instead of plastic. Bye-bye Tupperware.
- Use a compostable bamboo toothbrush and steel tongue cleaners. 1 bamboo brush equals 4 plastic toothbrushes.
- Switch to cloud computing instead of using physical hard drives and servers. It’s more convenient too.
- Invest in better quality items that last longer. Think about needs versus wants. We’ve become a society of shoppers. Do you really need one more pair of jeans, my friend?
- Buy second-hand clothes. Thrift shopping is a very promising experience. Slay fast fashion.
- In the name of humanity, don’t buy pets from breeders, adopt them. A lot of orphaned pets need families. Children too, by the way.
- AVOID USING SINGLE USE PLASTIC. Please keep repeating this sentence until you have it engraved in your brain.
It isn’t very hard, is it?
We often forget that climate change is our problem and we need to find a solution for it. There’s only so much that mother nature can take. If we don’t stop acting recklessly now, mankind will have to pay a huge price. We’ve already started witnessing the perils of climate change. We obviously cannot make big decisions so let’s leave that to the government for now but we can incorporate some eco-conscious habits in our lifestyle and move towards sustainable living. Let’s revive this beautiful but dying planet filled with an astounding diversity of flora and fauna for the coming generations.
- (Nandita Gattani)