Sustainable living involves reducing the amount of Earth’s resources that you use to help protect our planet

People are starting to come around to the idea that we need to become more sustainable to protect the Earth for future generations. Everything you do in your day-to-day life has an impact on the planet, from the food you eat to the car you drive. This doesn’t mean you should only eat vegetables and start riding a bike everywhere. Although, you could try consuming less meat and only driving when necessary. It’s small changes like these which could help you to lessen your environmental impact.

What is sustainable living?

Sustainable living involves reducing the amount of Earth’s resources that you use to help protect it. There are a number of ways you can do this, including limiting the amount of energy you use, using eco-friendly products, changing your diet and try to have as little of an impact on the Earth as possible, while also trying to replace the resources you do use.

How to live a more sustainable lifestyle:

1. Eat less meat

The production of meat is one of the biggest contributors to climate change and the pollution of landscapes and waterways. By eating less of it, you can help to reduce the impact the meat industry has on the Earth.

Did you know that 71% of our Earth’s land is considered habitable and half of that land is used for agriculture. Of that 50%, 77% is used for livestock, either as land for grazing or land to grow animal feed. However, despite taking up such a giant percentage of agricultural land, meat and dairy only make up 17% of global caloric supply and 33% of global protein supply. 

Industrialized animal agriculture rules the world’s current food system and is responsible for widespread habitat destruction, including rainforests, harmful air and water pollution, the extinction of species and it contributes greatly to climate change, adding more harmful greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere than the entire transportation sector combined.

2. Use reusable alternatives to plastic

Single-use products, particularly plastic ones, tend to end up in landfill and the ocean, causing harm to wildlife and the environment. Prevent this by choosing to use reusable and eco-friendly alternatives instead.

Eco-friendly products to use everyday:

* A reusable water bottle

* Reusable grocery bags

* Eco bio cosmetics – made of natural products without the use of plastic packaging

* Reusable straws made of metal, silicone, bamboo or glass

* Rechargeable batteries

* Wax wraps for wrapping leftovers or sandwiches, instead of cling film and plastic bags

* A bamboo toothbrush and bamboo cotton buds

3. Save energy

By using less energy, you can help to reduce carbon emissions.

There are a number of ways you can save energy at home:

* Switch to energy efficient appliances like light bulbs

* Turn off unnecessary lights and unplug unused electronics

* Use natural light

* Hang the clothes to dry instead of using a drier

* Reduce your water heating expenses

4. Save water

You can save water in and around your home by making a number of small changes:

* Install a water butt and make use of grey water to avoid wasting drinking water

*  Take shorter showers, turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving.

* Fix leaky faucets, toilets, appliances and sprinklers.

* Purchase water-efficient faucets, laundry washers, toilets and dishwashers.

* Practice smart lawn watering and plant native plant species in your garden

5. Go paperless

To avoid wasting paper, choose to receive letters over email and only print off documents if necessary. You could also ask shops to email you your receipt instead of printing it off. 

6. Use renewable energy

If possible, consider powering your home using renewable energy to reduce the amount of carbon emissions you produce. Replacing your petrol or diesel-fuelled car with an electric one would also help to achieve this.

7. Recycle and reuse

Make sure you’re recycling by putting your rubbish in the correct bins. Also, try to reuse products and items as many times as possible before binning them to reduce waste.

8. Compost food waste

Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Food scraps and yard waste together currently make up more than 30% of what people throw away, and could be composted instead. Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

9. Grow your own produce

By growing your own fruit and vegetables, you can ensure you’re not using pesticides that will contribute to water and air pollution. This will also help to reduce the amount fossil fuels used to transport produce to supermarkets.

10. Donate unused items

If you don’t use a product or wear a piece of clothing anymore, give it to a charity shop or someone you know would make use of it to help reduce waste.

11. Buy fair trade products

When a product has been Fair-trade certified it means it has been produced by a company committed to sustainable production. Keep an eye out for the Fair-trade mark on the packaging of products you buy.

12. Walk more or drive your bike

Walk or ride a bike to your destination instead of driving if it’s close enough – it’s better for the environment and your health. Using public transport is another good way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

13. Don’t waste food

If you have leftovers, don’t throw them away. Save them for your lunch or tea the next day, or even freeze them. However, if they do go off, use them to create compost for you garden.

14. Wear sustainable clothing

The fashion industry is one of the main polluting industries in the world. To lessen the impact this industry has on the planet, you could buy more of your clothes from charity shops and sustainable clothing outlets.

15. Use eco-friendly cleaning products

Some cleaning products contain chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. By committing to using green/eco-friendly cleaning products, you can help to prevent these chemicals from having a negative impact on the Earth.