Sustainable habits you can incorporate in your daily life
Everybody knows that climate change is a real threat to human and animal life, as well as the planet itself. Rising temperatures will be the cause of ecological disasters in the form of a higher incidence of destructive natural phenomena and loss of biodiversity. To avoid this scenario, or at least try to minimise its effects, all people need to understand the importance of green practices. While doing everything in your power to ensure a better future sounds good in theory, it might be a little more daunting in practice when you realise that you’ll have to make some practical changes to your lifestyle to achieve the desired results.
There are quite a few things you could do, covering virtually all areas of daily life. Here are some of the most important that you should turn into habits this year.
The simplest rule when it comes to transportation is that the less you use your car, the better. Approximately one-quarter of all car journeys are less than three kilometres, which means that you can easily walk or bike to the destination. Not only does it help get your daily cardio exercise routine, but it’s also better for the environment. The car has become the preferred mode of transport for many people, and while nobody can deny its comfort, it’s important to be aware of the environmental implications as well.
When you choose to walk or use public transport, you contribute to reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, natural resources which are starting to become depleted. Air quality becomes better too. Moreover, you save money since you’ll use less fuel.
While it’s impossible to adopt a zero-waste policy overnight, there are several things you can do to reduce your rubbish output. Recycling is one of the easiest methods to reduce your carbon footprint and ease some of the burden placed on landfills, as well as the soil and water that come into contact with them. If you’re a business owner, you already know that recycling in the workplace is a little more challenging than at home. However, if you choose recycling business waste cardboard, you’ll get access to the best resources and solutions that ensure the materials can be repurposed.
You should also take a serious look at your purchasing habits. Becoming a conscious consumer and buying only the things you know you’ll use helps reduce waste and save money at the same time. Try and reuse the items you already have as much as you can. While it’s tempting to get new things all the time, doing so means you’ll be left with more items you must throw away.
Food waste is another big problem you can avoid by making a shopping list before leaving the house. Don’t buy more than you know you’ll eat since all that’ll do is cause products to go bad in your fridge. And next time you dine out, don’t be afraid to ask for a container to take your leftovers as well.
You probably already know climate activists consider plastic the archnemesis of environmental health. While that can sound like an exaggeration sometimes, it is actually true. Plastic isn’t biodegradable, and it can take hundreds of years to decompose, depending on sunlight exposure and other environmental factors. Even then, it transforms into microplastic, a hazardous substance that enters the human body and whose effects, while not yet fully understood, are detrimental to human health.
Even though most are fully recyclable, the reality is that most plastic items end up in landfills, where they contribute to pollution. Therefore, you must take the necessary steps to reduce the amount of plastic you use. The next time you go shopping, bring your bags to the supermarket. Cloth or canvas totes are among the most popular ways to ditch plastics, especially since they come in many fun and colourful designs. Get a reusable water flask instead of buying bottled water, and reduce the number of products wrapped in plastic packaging that you buy.
The fashion industry has had quite a bad rep over recent years due to its high environmental impact. Enormous quantities of raw materials and water go into making every single garment, as well as potentially harmful pesticides, dyes and bleaching agents, many of which end up in water sources and constitute a serious health hazard. On top of that, fast fashion brands have also been accused of unethical business practices, with employees forced to work long hours in unfitting conditions.
While many brands out there promise that their clothing is fully sustainable, the best thing you can do when it comes to garments is to reduce the number of items you purchase. The online space, and social media in particular, have contributed to the emergence of micro trends. As a result, items are only popular for a couple of months and, when they’re no longer deemed fashionable, are unceremoniously dumped in the bin.
Buying only clothing pieces that you actually like and know you’ll wear for a long time can drastically help reduce this problem. Before you head out to the mall, check the second-hand and thrift store options since they come with a much lower carbon footprint. Shopping for better pieces and choosing quality over quantity will enable you to get more life out of the pieces you use. On top of that, it ensures that your wardrobe remains stylish and is better tailored to your personal style.
Since the general public has begun to understand the importance of eco-friendly processes and procedures, the market has followed, and now you can see many products on shelves carrying sustainable labels. While in some cases it’s good to upgrade to the greener version, such as in the case of lightbulbs or older home appliances that can be less energy efficient, you mustn’t fall into the trap of buying things you don’t need. Purchasing new things because they carry a green tag contributes to more trash ending up in landfills and is an overall counterproductive approach to sustainability.
Changing your lifestyle to make it more environmentally friendly can be challenging at first, but if you keep a few simple things in mind, it’ll be easier to achieve.