Updated: Aug 28, 2021
Sustainability. It’s a word that can bring on a varying range of thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
For some, sustainability equals practicality and being a good, well-intentioned steward of our Earth. For others, it may bring more mixed emotions; the issues are likely unclear, often confusing, and even sometimes controversial.
If you fall in the latter category, you’re not alone. Sustainability dictates much of how business and politics are conducted today, and rarely a day goes by without us being exposed to conversations on the topic. The ubiquity of the term has catapulted in the public discourse in recent years with no signs of slowing down—and, as we’ll discover in this article, for good reason.
Global warming is a very real threat and is the most straightforward way to explain why the concept of sustainability (and the so-called ‘green’ lifestyle that comes with it) has become a popular way of life.
I’ll introduce some easy ways to start living a greener lifestyle (it’s easier than you think), how it can lead to a more fulfilling life, and why the concept is of utmost importance in the coming decades—let’s get you from ambition to action.
Take a look at the simple, everyday tools you can integrate into your life right now. These little things are a part of a bigger picture—and help contribute, albeit incrementally, to the changes we need to make.
1. Add a compost bin to your household waste practices. By composting, you are letting the waste naturally decompose and be absorbed into the ground. If this is not an option, make sure you are at least recycling as much as possible. Better yet, steer clear of anything that isn’t biodegradable or can be made into something new (soft plastic food packaging is an obvious and everyday culprit with regards to this).
2. Maybe you could try a small indoor herb and vegetable garden, adopting a farm-to-table approach to your home-cooked meals. Picking natural ingredients that you have grown yourself means you won’t need to buy as many store-bought foods. Store-bought foods are often grown with pesticides or other chemicals that aren’t good for the environment. You’ll even have total confidence in what’s in the food, altogether avoiding any risk that any of those aforementioned nasty chemicals are ingested along with your food.
3. Although sustainability has grown in prominence in recent years, one pursuit of sustainable living has endured for decades: transport. Next time you jump in your vehicle, think about whether your journey can be accomplished via public transport, on foot, or even on a bike.
4. A slightly newer (and more in-vogue) idea is the vegan diet. Many find this lifestyle choice a head-scratcher. However, studies suggest that a diet that doesn’t rely heavily on animal products is significantly better for the environment. The agriculture industry is a huge polluter, and some data shows that it’s even worse than the transport industry. Maybe try cutting your meat-based meals by a third or a half. For me, I try to eat meat only once or twice a week.
So, those are four instantly actionable changes you can make in your day-to-day life, and you’ll be a step closer to a sustainable lifestyle by helping out our planet.
Start your (small) steps toward a more sustainable lifestyle, today.
How sustainability can lead to a hopeful, fulfilled life
Oftentimes, peeling off that small sticker on your piece of fruit, drinking from that plastic straw, or filling your vehicle up with fossil fuels can induce feelings of guilt or anxiousness.
We are knowingly consuming or using things that are either wasteful or bad for the planet (or a combination of both). This is where the real benefit of a sustainable or cleaner, greener lifestyle comes in.
Any decision you make that helps the environment induces feelings of both calm and assuredness that you’re doing the right thing. These feelings, over time, can be incredibly fulfilling and will give you peace of mind that you are a mindful steward of our Earth.
Some important factors to keep in mind
As you begin (or are continuing) your journey into a more sustainable lifestyle, it’s easy to falter when things get a bit tricky or overwhelming.
There are some amazing resources out there that are, quite literally, at our fingertips. The internet has an endless supply of the information (such as the content you are reading right now). You can also recruit friends, family, and other members of your community to start this journey with you.
Accountability is a great friend to have when it comes to sustainability. Beyond your inner circle, see who else in your area is doing similar things. There’ll inevitably be businesses promoting circularity or sustainability, and plant-based restaurants are becoming more popular by the day.
Additionally, try to keep some of the more damning facts surrounding global warming front of mind—extreme weather events, ocean acidification, climate change refugees, and food droughts, for example. These are all widely documented as some of the more affecting situations that the coming generations will almost certainly face.
Thanks for sticking around, and reading to the end—all of this information may be daunting, but you’re certainly now more equipped to go green. I’ve given you the how, the why, and the what. It may have made the issue more harrowing for you; I’d hope that you’re now looking at it with a little more optimism and with more clarity surrounding how you fit into the puzzle.
It’s a collective effort, and we all need to play our part. Our planet’s global community has never been more connected, more resourced, or more needed. Be a part of the change. Be on the right side of history.
Move from ambition to action, and begin living your sustainable lifestyle.
A Call To Action and offset your carbon footprint today.
This article is independently prepared. Everything you buy or support through our links may earn us a commission.
Prepared by Mitchell Winton-Smith. 2021. All rights reserved.
Mitchell is a writer from New Zealand specialising in people, planet, and products. He writes under his brand, Miles & Miles, and you can reach him via his website.