Image by Brian Garrity

10 EASY WAYS TO LEAD A MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFE

22/12/20
Daniela Ballvé

It’s not news that the planet is in trouble. Sea levels are rising, mountain glaciers are shrinking, and extreme-weather events are becoming more and more common every year. You may read this and think it may seem impossible for one person to contribute enough to this problem for it to help, but, in reality, every little bit counts. Actions as small as remembering to grab your reusable grocery bag before heading out or switching your plastic bottle for a reusable one have a big impact on our planet, but only if we all take our own steps and precautions individually. Adopting just one of these habits is already a big step, and chances are that once it becomes a habit, you'll start to think about what else you can do. Also, you’ll notice the majority of these tips save you money, which is another great incentive! Here’s a list of 10 easy ways you can lead a more sustainable day-to-day life, and what those tips will do for the environment and yourselves!


1. Buy a reusable water bottle

How it helps the environment:

  1. Currently, about 1 million plastic water bottles are bought per minute globally, while only 23% are recycled. Drinking from reusable water bottles helps to lower this number, while also emitting less carbon dioxide into the world, consuming less oil in its production and protecting water and marine life.

How it helps you:

  1. It saves you money!

  2. You know exactly where your water is coming from and what you’re putting in your body. The majority of plastic water bottles have harmful chemicals that end up damaging your body, such as BPA, so using your own bottle eliminates this risk!

  3. Studies show that drinking from your own bottles makes you more likely to drink more water during the day, so in the end, having your own bottle with you is healthier! 

2. Learn and remember to recycle

How it helps the environment:

  1. Waste can omit dangerous greenhouse gases if not recycled properly.

  2. Waste causes a loss of habitats for many animals.

  3. Helps to conserve many non-renewable resources.

  4. Prevents landfills from becoming overloaded.

  5. Creates new job opportunities.

  6. Reduces the need for constantly sourcing new raw materials (such as water, timber and minerals).

How it helps you:

  1. Let’s face it, recycling is pretty annoying and more time-consuming than throwing everything away in the same bin, so there aren’t that many personal benefits. Overall, however, the benefits that recycling has on the environment should be motivating enough! 

3. Take public transportation

How it helps the environment:

  1. Reduces fuel dependency → public transportation use saves the equivalent of 300,000 fewer automobile fill- ups every day!

  2. Using public transportation makes a big difference in our air quality and use of natural resources. During the summer months, when harmful ozone levels are highest, using public transportation makes an even greater difference.

  3. Public transportation creates jobs and is good for the economy! Every $1 billion invested in public transportation supports and creates more than 50,000 jobs.

How it helps you:

  1. Public transportation is a safer way of travelling compared to cars.

  2. It saves you  money!

  3. Public transit users are more active due to walking to stops and stations.

  4. Travelling with public transit allows time for recreational activities such as reading or catching up on the news.

4. Air-dry your laundry

How it helps the environment:

  1. Air drying your laundry saves energy. For many, the dryer is the second-most energy-consuming appliance, after the refrigerator.

How it helps you:

  1. Air drying your laundry conserves the quality of your clothes much better!

  2. Your energy bills will thank you -- air drying your clothes is much cheaper.

  3. It reduces wrinkles in your clothes.

5. Remember your reusable grocery bags

How it helps the environment:

  1. Only about 1% of the 4 trillion plastic bags used worldwide annually are recycled, according to the Earth Day Network. Using your own grocery bags reduces the number of plastic bags dramatically. 

  2. Conserves energy and oil that are being used to produce plastic bags.

  3. Protects wildlife that accidentally confuse plastic for food.

How it helps you:

  1. Reusable grocery bags are stronger and more durable than single-use plastic bags. They last much longer and won't break on your way home!

  2. It saves you money!

  3. You can also use the bag for other things → they don't only serve for carrying groceries!

6. Say no to plastic straws and cutlery

How it helps the environment:

  1. Reduces carbon footprint and saves energy & raw materials from being used in the production of such products.

  2. Less waste in landfills.

  3. Protects wildlife.

How it helps you:

  1. More durable and stronger appliances that last much longer.

  2. Easy to clean.

  3. Portability → they’re small and easy to carry around!

7. Buy organic and plastic-free feminine products

How it helps the environment:

  1. Reduces plastic waste and doesn’t pollute.

  2. The use of organic cotton prevents pesticides from entering our water sources, since normal cotton contains many pesticides.

  3. They’re fully biodegradable.

How it helps you:

  1. The lack of toxins and harmful chemicals is much healthier for the body.

8. Visit more thrift shops

How it helps the environment:

  1. According to the Huffington Post, the average American throws away 81 pounds of clothes every year. Buying second-hand clothing reduces waste and pollution.

  2. Mass production of clothes usually violates human rights, anywhere from poor working conditions to low wages and child labor. 

How it helps you:

  1. It saves you money!

  2. You buy original and authentic pieces.

9. Become a weekday vegetarian

How it helps the environment:

  1. It minimizes animal cruelty.

  2. Becoming a weekday vegetarian reduces meat consumption by 70%.

  3. It reduces the amount of dangerous gasses released into the atmosphere created by the livestock industry.

  4. It saves water. It takes 1,500 gallons of water to produce one single pound of beef.

How it helps you:

  1. It saves you money! Meat is expensive!

  2. You still get to enjoy meat and fish on the weekends.

10. Buy local

How it helps the environment:

  1. Buying local helps decrease your carbon footprint. It reduces the amount of gasoline needed to transport products, as well as the amount of dangerous gasses being released into the atmosphere.

  2. It is better for your local economy.

How it helps you:

  1. It is healthier.

  2. You know where your products are coming from.

  3. You get a more personalized experience and higher expertise when you shop.