Published on March 15th 2024

10 Simple Ways to Embrace Sustainability in Your Daily Routine

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10 Simple Ways to Embrace Sustainability in Your Daily Routine

Arfa

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10 Simple Ways to Embrace Sustainability in Your Daily Routine

Table of Contents

1

. Understanding Sustainability: Satisfying Present and Future Demands

2

. Sustainable Development Examples In Everyday Life

2.1

. Question Your Consumption:

2.2

. Make meaningful purchases:

2.3

. Reduce, reuse, and recycle:

2.4

. Make wiser food choices:

2.5

. Use public transportation, bike, or walk.

2.6

. Plant trees and support conservation.

2.7

. Use Cold Water

2.8

. Increase Your VegIntake:

2.9

. Start a Compost:

3

. Conclusion

With growing environmental problems, incorporating sustainable practices into our daily lives has become increasingly critical. Through our conscious choices, we can contribute to our planet's prosperity and help achieve sustainable development.

In this blog, we will examine 10 simple ways to be sustainable in everyday life and give real-life examples of sustainability.

Understanding Sustainability: Satisfying Present and Future Demands

Sustainability is a fundamental concept based on the ability of human societies to remain self-sufficient while obtaining the resources necessary to satisfy their ever-changing needs.

Fundamentally, sustainability is based on the idea that our existence and welfare are inseparably connected to the health of our natural environment.

The UN Brundtland Commission in 1987 simply defined sustainability as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." This definition highlights the core of sustainability—maintaining a balance between today's needs and tomorrow's.

Sustainability is often dissected into three interconnected dimensions, commonly referred to as pillars: environmental, economic, and social. Each dimension contributes significantly to carefully handling a balance that assures the sustenance and thriving of human society.

Sustainable Development Examples In Everyday Life

The uniqueness of climate solutions directed and implemented by individuals cannot be overemphasized in the global agenda of fighting against climate change. Although large-scale treaties and political and economic transformations are indispensable, every person can contribute substantially to protecting the environment.

The United Nations Act Now initiative accentuates the efficiency of simple and inexpensive individual actions. Below are some of the ways to be sustainable in everyday life.

1. Question Your Consumption:

Small steps frequently initiate significant changes. Analyze the material components of everyday items such as toothbrushes and wastebaskets and replace them with sustainable substitutes, like bamboo.

Bamboo toothbrushes and woven baskets made from sustainable materials such as jute, seagrass, or hyacinth water are excellent substitutes for striving for an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Examples of eco-friendly products and alternatives:

  • Bamboo toothbrushes: They are produced from renewable bamboo and are 100% derived from natural plant bristles. They are completely biodegradable and compostable.
  • Natural fibre baskets: If you like them eco-friendly and stylish, consider seagrass or jute-woven baskets for your multi-purpose storage. They are durable, sustainable, and fashionable.
  • Reusable menstrual products: Avoid waste and save money by going for washable cloth pads, menstrual cups, or period undergarments instead of disposable sanitary napkins/tampons.

2. Make meaningful purchases:

Fight the wave of municipal solid waste by being mindful of what we buy. Buy only what you need; invest in things that last longer. Select durable materials like vegan leather in laptop bags and opt for sustainable fashion through versatile, timeless pieces.

Consider the production process of your clothing, prioritizing organic materials such as cotton that generate less carbon. Support eco-fashion by opting for basics that can be paired with multiple looks. Examples could include investing in high-quality pieces that will never go out of fashion.

  • The manufacturing process for your clothes should be an area of focus, where organic natural fabrics such as organic cotton with a lower carbon footprint should be prioritized. The fashion industry is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions globally; it contributes to 10% of annual emissions, as per the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • A World Bank statistic reveals that the textile industry contributes 20% of the world's industrial water pollution. Shopping for green and sustainable apparel can mitigate water pollution, lessen resource utilisation, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Based on the statement of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the fashion industry generates 92 million tons of textile waste annually.
  • As per the information obtained from WWF, 2700 litres of water are consumed to make a single cotton t-shirt.
  • A 2017 Ellen MacArthur Foundation report predicts that by 2050, the global clothing industry could consume up to 26% of the remaining carbon budget if it continues on its current course.

Talk about facts and figures globally to make the article more effective.

3. Reduce, reuse, and recycle:

Live by the three R’s daily to minimise waste and save resources. Repair things instead of replacing them, and use reusable alternatives like glass bottles instead of single-use plastic bottles. The ethical approach to forestry to have a renewable supply complements the benefits of paper as a recyclable, biodegradable, and reusable material. The real danger comes from the overconsumption of any material, including manufactured ones.

However, going completely paperless should not be the primary objective. Instead, the target should be reducing overall consumption, reusing materials, and recycling. Try adopting a conscious lifestyle focused on waste reduction, resource conservation, proper disposal, etc. The entire aspect of your lifestyle should address these concerns.

Facts and figures:

  • Figures from the EPA state that Americans, on average, tend to produce 4.9 pounds of garbage daily.
  • According to the EPA, community waste of 32.1% is managed through recycling and composting in the United States only.
  • The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) states that only about 9% of recycling comes from worldwide sources.

Going paperless increases the footprint of digital devices, which is more harmful. Paper is never a threat to the environment.

Be Smart with E-Waste:

Be aware of the harm e-waste, which weighs about 50 million tons annually, causes the environment. Rather than disposing of old devices, consider modifying your organisation's policy on old laptops and devices.

Mobilize your colleagues to collect the e-waste together and donate it to the organisations involved in sustainable e-waste processing. It not only de-clutters but also promotes circular economies and constrains the hazardous work conditions of informal e-waste recycling.

4. Make wiser food choices:

The food industry accounts for 26% of all greenhouse gas emissions. To reduce your carbon footprint, select seasonal produce, prefer organic produce, and purchase in smaller amounts to avoid food waste.

Prepare a weekly menu to cook meals well, and organise potluck parties or team lunches to boost imagination with leftovers.

Meat and dairy farming can have a negative impact on the environment because they are one of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gases. One way to reduce your contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is by consuming a more plant-based diet.

  • Research by the University of Oxford showed that plant-based diets have a much lower environmental impact and will cut down your carbon footprint by 73% as compared to a typical Western diet. It is known that a plant-based diet has a lower environmental impact, and your diet's carbon footprint can be decreased significantly compared to the usual part of Western nutrition.
  • A fruitarian diet is based mainly on fruits and nuts, seeds, etc., which can be brought without killing the plant. This regimen is also ecologically friendly and, in some cases, more environmentally friendly than a vegan diet.
  • Purchasing locally grown foods from farmers and complying with organically grown produce reduces your carbon footprint and leads to sustainable farming systems.
  • Try planning your meals ahead, making conscious food choices at the market, and working out creative means of consuming leftovers or composting the food scraps to reduce the environmental impact of food waste.

5. Use public transportation, bike, or walk.

Reducing dependence on cars is a common and probably the most efficient way to lower your carbon footprint. When available, try to use public transport, bike, or walk. This option also benefits the environment since it lowers emissions and has other advantages.

Walking and biking improve one's health, but public transportation reduces fuel and maintenance expenses. By choosing sustainable transport, you are joining the global struggle against climate change.

  • Adopt walking for distances less than a mile: Walking is environmentally friendly and handy for keeping healthy by integrating it into your daily therapy.
  • Adopt cycling for distances between 3 and 5 miles: Cycling has the twofold benefit of being an eco-friendly and efficient mode of transportation for short distances and promoting health benefits.
  • Adopt public transportation for distances greater than 5 miles: While a private car with individual driver for longer commutes will require more fuel, resulting in a bigger carbon footprint and additional costs for maintenance and repair, public transportation options like buses, trains, and carpools are pretty helpful for individuals who have to make longer trips from home to work or school.

Adopting the above-mentioned sustainable transportation practices is thus a great way of promoting a healthy and green environment by minimising emissions and greenhouse gases. Adopt walking for less than a mile, cycling for less than 3 to 5 miles, and public transportation for more than 5 miles.

6. Plant trees and support conservation.

Tree planting and conservation programs are effective ways of contributing to sustainability. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and give out oxygen, thus reducing greenhouse gases.

Moreover, conservation activities enable the saving of endangered animals and the protection of their habitats. Through active involvement in native tree planting and conservation initiatives, individuals have a meaningful role in preserving and sustaining the environment and, ultimately, the health of our planet.

7. Use Cold Water

Energy-efficient decisions encompass much more than transportation and conservation efforts. Small changes in daily habits, such as using cold water for laundry, can significantly reduce energy consumption.

Water heaters account for approximately 20% of a home's energy consumption, and cold washing saves energy and clothes vibrancy.

One popular solar water heater that we suggest is the Rheem Ecosense. It has been doing well, appreciably for its effectiveness, reliability, and affordability. Taking advantage of the high level of expertise of a well-known brand that has been active for more than 90 years,

Up to 70% of the annual hot water needs are satisfied by Rheem Ecosense, which has received Energy Star certification. It also comes with a 10-year warranty on the tank and components.

8. Increase Your VegIntake:

The other impactful change is reduced meat consumption. Though a vegetarian diet is admirable, it may be reduced to eating white meat (say, chicken), significantly reducing carbon emissions.

A study by the University of Michigan found that if an individual substitutes beef with chicken in a year, he or she can reduce his or her carbon footprint by 882 pounds. Efforts like Meatless Mondays and leaving meat out of one meal per day are doable and sustainable ways to cut meat consumption.

9. Start a Compost:

Composting, a foolproof method of reducing food waste, is also helpful for sustainable living throughout the year. It not only diverts organic materials from landfills but also makes the soil richer, supplying it with nutrients for fruits and vegetables. Potato skins, eggshells, fruit peels, and old newspapers are naturally decomposable, making them suitable for composting.

By making composting a part of your everyday life, you create a circular system that reduces waste and creates a more sustainable interaction with nature.

Conclusion

Sustainability should not be a matter of choice in your daily life; it is a responsibility. Adopting these 10 easy ways to be sustainable daily contributes to the global tendency towards a more eco-friendly and resilient future.

Every little act matters, and cumulatively, they considerably impact sustainable development. Therefore, let's pledge to make conscious and environmentally friendly decisions, setting up an ecological world for the next generation.

Ar. Vinay Manchala Cropped.jpg

Reviewed by Ar. Vinay Manchala

Environmentalist

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