In recent years the number of people citing their intention to live sustainably is at an all-time high, but what does the term “sustainable living” even mean? Simply put, sustainable living is the reduction of dependency on the Earth’s natural resources. Achieved through a variety of different actions, individuals looking to lead an environmentally sustainable lifestyle might swap out certain products, carefully select the foods they consume, and opt for other lifestyle choices that will have the least negative impact on the planet. If you’re still unsure what sustainable living entails, or perhaps are curious to know more, here are some important things you should understand about the increasingly popular lifestyle.
Change Your Diet
Surprisingly, one of the most significant ways an individual consumer can reduce their carbon footprint is by changing how they fuel themselves. Though many opt for a vegetarian or vegan diet due to religious reasons or to avoid animal suffering, the truth is that knowingly or unknowingly, anyone removing animals or animal by-products from their lives is helping the environment. In addition to avoiding food waste and starting personal gardens, choosing local, buying organic, and axing meat from the menu are all incredibly effective ways of reducing carbon emissions. This is mainly due to the processes used in harvesting or sustaining non-organic or animal-oriented foods. It’s been proven that the beef industry uses disturbingly high volumes of water, all while contributing to greenhouse gas emission and pollution at an alarming rate. Plus, by eating locally, individuals are helping to discourage mass food transportation and the pollution associated with it.
Select Materials Wisely
When buying your next back-to-school outfit or office getup, one of the best things you can do is keep an eye on the clothing tag. If sustainable living is a goal, being intentional about which materials you buy, and therefore support, is crucial. Unfortunately, many toxic materials are being used as a cheaper substitute to materials that are biodegradable or multi-purpose. A prime example of an easy material swap comes from the same plant as marijuana. Though hemp plants are biologically classified as cannabis, the THC component in the hemp plant is negligible, and the plant lends itself to an astonishingly wide range of products such as textiles, food, insulation, and biofuel, just to name a few.
Despite briefly being made illegal in several countries, the world is slowly starting to recognize its versatility and environmental advantages. If you’re new to the concept of sustainable living and in the market for a bag, consider opting for a hemp backpack instead of a plastic one. A great compilation of some of the best selections can be found at https://www.trvst.world/sustainable-living/hemp/best-hemp-backpacks/, along with a fascinating history of the hemp plant. While plastics and other non-biodegradable materials lead the market, our lifestyles are the opposite of sustainable and the planet will suffer.
Ditch Fast Fashion
Here’s some sustainable food for thought: in a world where fast fashion reigns supreme, climate change will be happening on an even more rapid timeline. Large corporations and companies who inundate the fashion industry and global markets with hordes of cheaply made, cheaply priced goods are some of the major players in contributing to global warming. To cut their costs, many key fast fashion brands rely on outsourcing their work all over the world, in the process shipping millions of tonnes of product in planes and overseas.
Additionally, the brunt of the materials they use are inorganic, thus ending up in landfills and our oceans. To halt this process and truly embrace the concept of sustainable living, try doing clothing swaps with friends or hitting thrift stores for your next fashion find.
Every day, people are born into families with different philosophies, religions, and accessibility to wealth and resources. That being said, one of the universal struggles we all face is the reality of climate change and the not-so-gradual degradation of our planet. Sustainable living is the obvious and necessary next step for human action to avoid expediting global warming and a catastrophic worldwide flood and water crisis. Despite these grim statements, individuals can make a positive impact on the Earth.
Through changes to our diet, material mindfulness, and a willingness to source our clothes and other possessions locally, individual consumers can rally together to make a real change. By altering daily choices, we can continue to live harmoniously with the flora and fauna that make up the planet we are lucky enough to call home.