What is Sustainable Living – 28 Tips to Get Started in 2021

What is Sustainable Living – 28 Tips to Get Started in 2021

  • Post category:Lifestyle
  • Post last modified:January 12, 2021

A recent study showed that a whopping 77% of people are interested in living a sustainable life.

We too keep hearing and talking about sustainable living during our social discussions, knowingly or unknowingly. Ever talked about those melting icebergs in Arctic, or deforestation in Amazon?

But, do we actually know what is a sustainable lifestyle exactly?

With this post I’ve attempted to introduce the basic concept and the advantages of living an environmentally friendly lifestyle. In addition, I’ve also listed 28 easy tips and ideas that can help you get started as we pave our way into 2021!

What is Sustainable Living?

The planet earth has limited resources. We humans among all the other species are majorly responsible for rapid depletion of these resources.

Several credible reports estimate the timeline of depletion to be somewhere between 2050 to 2100 at the current rate of utilization. 

It becomes a moral obligation for us to do something about this catastrophic event. We have to prevent it from happening. Large corporations and organizations working together to prevent this. But, we as individuals can also contribute in our own little ways.

Sustainable Foods = Sustainable Health = Sustainable Life = Victory


ELIZABETH SALALMANCA-BROSIG

Wikipedia puts sustainable living definition as a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources, and one’s personal resources.

What it means for you in simple terms?

It means using eco-friendly resources and eliminating possible wastage at every walk in life such that can you still live comfortably without compromising on your existing lifestyle.

Why is it Important to Live Sustainably?

One of the biggest myths about a sustainable lifestyle is that you have to compromised heavily on your current lifestyle.

Well, there’s some good news! You can live a sufficiently sustainable lifestyle along with the blissful feeling of giving it back to the society.

Let’s take a look at the importance and benefits of living such a lifestyle:

Discourages Wasteful Expenditure

The theme of sustainable living relies heavily on minimalism.

Wasteful expenditure means spending on things that are not useful. Curbing that urge to splurge moves us a step closer towards sustainable living. Moreover, in the longer run, people who spend carefully tend to save more for a secure life in the times of need.

Supports Green Living Initiatives

The green living theme overlaps heavily with sustainability. While the green living points towards using renewable resources, sustainability goes a level further by using any resource at a rate that is sustainable. In simple terms, the rate of usage should not exceed the rate of creation for any resource.

Reduces Carbon Footprint

You can contribute a lot towards reducing the carbon footprint with some of the simplest ways. Using shared commuting, using bicycles, etc. are some of the several examples that not only help you save money, but also reduces pollution and depletion of minerals from the earth’s crust.

Leads to Self-Satisfaction

Apart from everything else, happiness is the most important benefit that churns out in the process. When you start embracing an eco friendly lifestyle, you will understand your role in the larger picture. With every activity, you will then feel empowered and that will motivate you to do even more. 

Every action that you take will have its positive impact on the planet. This is not a feeling you’d want to miss. Took your bike to office last Friday? Figure how much you contributed. Gas savings: xx dollars, Pollution reduction: yy %, increase in self satisfaction: zz%

It doesn’t take much to achieve this noble goal of sustainability. So, let’s see how easy it is to get started right away!

Sustainable Living Tips

Sustainable Practices at Home

cozy interior of living room with wooden chairs and table

1. Eat a Plant-Based Diet

Adopt a plant based diet to reduce greenhouse emissions, deforestation, water and land use. Above all, a plant based diet being low in both cholesterol and fats, helps living a healthy and active lifestyle.

2. Use copper and steel water bottles instead of PET bottles

We should think of reducing the use of plastic wherever possible. By using personal copper / steel bottles, you save the environment from the burden of several plastic water bottles.

Water stored in copper bottles aids in digestion and has several health benefits. You also maintain your personal hygiene.

3. Use maximum sunlight in the house

Open your doors / windows to let the natural air and sunlight flow in. Natural light reduces the need of artificial lighting and burning of fossil fuels.

You save on the electricity bills and enjoy a daily dose of Vitamin D in the early morning sunlight.

4. Switch off lights when not needed

This is the simplest way to contribute towards a responsible lifestyle. By doing this over time, you’ll enjoy reduced energy costs while doing your bit for the environment.

5. Use energy efficient appliances

Aim to procure only Energy Star Certified appliances in the house. There’s a minor difference in the cost and it definitely pays for itself in a couple years with the energy savings.

An average Star Certified appliance saves anywhere between 10% and 50% in the energy consumption.


FACT CHECK

6. Grow your own food

If gardening is one of your hobbies, you’d love to take this up. Start cultivating your own fruits and vegetables, spices, etc. in your backyard.

Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, lettuce, peas, peppers are among the several varieties you can cultivate in your backyard. You can grow these even in the balcony if you live in an apartment.

7. Reduce single-use plastic bags

Whenever you go out to buy groceries, make sure that you carry your own jute or cloth bags instead of coming with a plastic carry bag from the grocer.

8. Adopt eco-friendly products in your kitchen

Take a look around in your kitchen. You’ll find a ton of products that are either plastic based or single-use. Start replacing all of them gradually.

From containers to paper towels, food wraps to zip lock bags, from garbage bags to even the dish wash soap – there’s always a better and a sustainable alternative to these kitchen products.

9. Gift sustainably

We are inundated with holiday gifts during festivals. We do not even use most of the things that we receive. Same applies to the gifts you give to others.

Reduce this wastage by gifting usable and relevant things can be used in day-to-day life.

As an example, you can gift a cork yoga mat to a person you know is a yoga enthusiast. Your loved person will happily use your gift. Bonus: The cork (oak tree bark) used in the mat is sustainable raw material.

What a win-win!

10. Prefer used books

Wait for a while before grabbing a fresh copy of your favorite author’s latest release. You will be able to find one floating in the used book market pretty soon. Alternatively, read an e-copy if it is available.

Join local book clubs where you can exchange your books with others. 

Eco Friendly Commuting

pink bicycle parked beside a cherry blossom tree

11. Carpool whenever possible

Create a group of daily commuters in your community that have the same route to work. Not only this, carpooling daily increases bonding with your pool mates and may possibly creates some friendships for life 🙂

12. Use bicycles

While it may not be feasible to completely shift to bicycles, you can start by using your bike when you’re going just a few blocks away to buy groceries or anything.

You end up saving fuel and get your exercise round for the day.

13. Use public transportation

Bus, transits, metros, trains basically serve the same purpose as does carpooling. Additionally, you end up saving a lot of money. 

The cost of a monthly bus pass is sometimes far less than the weekly gas bill for your car!

14. Buy electric or hybrid vehicles

Modern day electric cars are at par with conventional vehicles that run on gas, both in terms of looks as well as performance.

A single charge can give you at least a 100 miles of emission free travel.

15. Walk

This is as simple as it can get. Start walking on your path to a healthy heart and environment.

Environmentally Friendly Office Practices

computer with leaf

16. Use Stairs

Don’t use elevators for less than 5 floors.


THUMB RULE

Climbing stairs to the office is a healthy exercise for your heart.

Do you know that climbing stairs is sometimes more effective than cardio exercises in the gymnasium?

17. Do not print

Do not print unless absolutely necessary. Use energy efficient shared printers and print on both sides of paper.

18. Switch off computer screens

Form a habit to switch off the computer screens whenever you leave your desk. You’ll be surprised to know how energy efficient this activity is.

How can You Become a Sustainable Shopper?

eco friendly shopping bag

19. Carry your own shopping bags

Make a habit of carrying your own bags on your shopping trips. There’s a large variety of bags available now that are both environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing as well.

20. Buy organic products

Most urban areas now have supermarkets with a full range of organic products.

Better yet, aim at buying the produce directly from the farmers at a nearby local farmer’s market.

22. Shop clothes from ethically conscious brands

Ethical fashion brands provide fair wages to the workers and use eco-friendly fabrics in production.

Move away from synthetic materials like polyester and start building a sustainable wardrobe of your own.

Eco Friendly Gadget Ideas

gadgets

22. Buy used and refurbished gadgets

Large e-tailers have now a dedicated section of second hand / factory refurbished gadgets including phones, tablets, and computers. These products are tested, carry additional warranties and look almost as good as new. 

23. Harness solar power

Green technologies like solar powered homes are becoming extremely popular in the urban world. Solar homes run on sustainable energy (the sun) and rely just a little on conventional sources.

If you do not want to stretch yourself to a complete solar home as yet, start with baby steps.

Invest in solar panel chargers, solar powered backyard lights or a solar heaters.

Even rechargeable batteries used in torches, appliances etc. contribute well to the cause.

24. Cloud storage

Using cloud storage promotes sharing of resources. It also eliminates the need of personal hard drives and memory devices that pollute the environment when disposed of.

Cloud drives are cheaper compared to physical storage devices. Moreover, you get access to your data anywhere. Just login and there you have it.

Bonus Tips for Living Sustainably

person s hands holding potted plant

25. Plant a tree

Plant and watch a tree growing over the years. It gives a feeling similar to watching kids grow from infancy to adulthood.

A single mature tree is capable of providing lifetime worth’s oxygen needs for one person.


KNOWLEDGE NUGGET

26. Detoxify

Try staying away from technologies for a day on the weekend. Move out in the woods. Take a hike. Go cycling. Take a swim.

A clear head allows more ideas to flow in and strengthens your resolution to live sustainably.

27. Donate

Make a list of things that you do not use and start decluttering your home. Give it to the needy. Count your blessings.

28. Subscribe to DIY and eco-friendly groups on social media

Keep getting new ideas on how to repurpose everyday objects by recycling and reusing them for different purposes. 

This is Just the Beginning

Once you get started with these simple ideas, you’ll be surprised that there’s so much you can do to help this planet sustain for generations to come.

Your list will keep getting bigger as you dive deeper.

Can you think of more simple tips that you can practice in your day to day life?

Please comment and share your ideas, so that we can build a bigger list together!

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