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9 Ways to Live More Sustainably in a Changing World

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Author

Paaez Coleman

The Earth is changing.

From rising sea temperatures to natural disasters more powerful than ever, it’s clear that our environment is becoming more inhospitable every year. 

Although many scientists have predicted a point of no-return within the next 10 years, there are things you can do right now to curb some of the man-made causes that have led to the global warming threat we see today.

If you’re ready to move past problems and start focusing on solutions, here’s how to get started.

These are 9 ways to live more sustainably in a changing world.

1. Walk When You Can

A few months ago, people weren’t too keen on the idea of walking, but quarantine changed that for a lot of people. Lately, you’ll see sidewalks filled with pedestrians trying to take in some much-needed vitamin D and oxygen. This is a habit that we should all aim to keep because it provides exceptional benefits for your health, as well as the environment.

Surely, you’ve heard people mention carbon footprints before? If not, let us delve in a little deeper. Your carbon footprint is the number of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide) that you contribute to the atmosphere. So, when you opt to walk instead of drive, you drastically reduce your carbon footprint!

Understandably, you can’t walk everywhere. You’re going to need actual transportation sometimes. In these cases, alternatives such as public transportation or carpooling are effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint while getting around. 

2. Turn Off the TV, Pick Up a Book

A woman reading

It’s easy to turn on the television and sit like a log after a long day, but that’s not helping you much, is it? Television really has a way of numbing the senses. You could be exercising your mind by reading. Did you know that reading actually increases brain function, memory, and can even alleviate stress? 

Some people claim they don’t like to read, but the argument there could be that you haven’t explored enough genres. Take some time and look into different types of books––nonfiction, fiction, self-help, etc. You might be surprised to find out that you love to curl up with the latest sci-fi thriller and a cup of cocoa!

As far as reading sustainably, rent books from your local library or share with friends. Most of us don’t think about how much paper is used to create physical books or the amount of electricity and nonrenewable resources used to create ebooks. 

Something really nice you could do for your neighborhood (or a less fortunate neighborhood) is creating a book box. It’s basically a book sharing location that people can use to share with the community. 

3. Eat Local

All of our local businesses really need our support right now, especially the restaurants. Did you know that restaurants are one of the riskiest businesses to start because they have a 60% chance of failing in the first year? It jumps up to 80% over the next few years of business! So, you see, these people are really in it for pure passion. 

Look into some of your local restaurants that source their fruits and vegetables from local farmers, also see if those restaurants make use of every part of an ingredient instead of throwing some parts out. 

If you’re looking to stock up the pantry, don’t forget to check out some of those smaller, local grocery stores because most of the time, they stock local farmers and vendors!

4. Vintage is the New Thrift

A huge part of sustainability is reusing and recycling, and clothing is no exception. There are probably some phenomenal thrift stores in your area that you don’t even know about! Not only is it a sustainable act, but sometimes, you can find the coolest stuff––it’s like a treasure hunt! 

If you want to really step it up, you can also take a pile of your old clothes to trade at the vintage shop or donate them to a local charity or shelter!

5. Shut It All Down

A turned off tv

When you leave the house, you turn off all the lights and electronics, but do you take it a step further and unplug everything? You’ve probably got your face scrunched up in confusion (so did we at first), but yes, this is a real way to be sustainable and even cut down your electricity bill. 

Sure, it’s harder when you’ve got a lot of stuff plugged in at all times, but you can make it easier. Unplug those items you don’t use as much, and simply plug them in when needed, and unplug immediately, so you don’t forget. 

You’ll be doing your part to improve the environment and saving money––it’s also not a bad way to rest and recharge your batteries after a long week.

6. Embrace Minimalism

Do you notice that you’ve got baby piles of random stuff growing in different corners of your home? If so, it might be time to do some deep cleaning and decluttering with the goal of becoming more minimalistic. 

Think about people who might want those items––friends, family, charities, or even create a page to sell those used items for extra cash. Tackling some of those junky areas might seem like a daunting task, but if you really want to downsize, you’ll make it a priority one random Sunday. 

When you’re sitting there, with all that extra space, you’ll see you’ll have a clearer state of mind without all that stuff clogging up your headspace!

7. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

You’ve heard this phrase more than once, and it’s still true––we need to recycle when possible. You can make this a simple task by creating bins at home for paper, aluminum, and plastic. Recycling these items can save a staggering amount of energy in the reproduction of some of those products like paper, plastic, etc. 

It saves our natural resources and lowers those greenhouse gases we spoke of earlier. We know, recycling can seem like a chore, but it’ll become second nature once you do it for a while. 

Besides, don’t you want to beam with pride knowing that you’re doing your part to save our planet?

8. Drink More Water

We’re sure you already know how much water contributes to your overall well-being? That probably has something to do with your body being 60% water! Ditch those unhealthy carbonated drinks that break your skin out and riddle your body with harmful chemicals and toxins. 

Get yourself a cool little refillable water bottle to stay hydrated with! Your body will thank you with benefits ranging from clearer skin, improved digestion, enhanced brain function, and much more!

9. Use Solar Power

You’ve seen those cool panels that line random roofs in your neighborhood? Those are solar panels and they are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint because you’ll drastically cut down your electricity consumption. 

Once again, you’ll see your bills dwindle down as a result of those panels!

Final Thoughts

Although the world seems to be moving faster than ever, change starts with you. If you’re willing and ready to do your part, you may just inspire someone else.

Let’s get to work.

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