A Guide to Sustainable Living

Young African man with a goatee wearing a white t-shirt with the recycle symbol stands in front of a wooden background.

Sustainable living is about more than just not causing harm to your environment. (Image: Gerasinajulia via Dreamstime)

Have you ever thought about going green? That is, you want to reduce your carbon footprint and make your life more sustainable. Generally, sustainable living is a huge part of being environmentally aware, but it can be hard to know where to begin.

Sustainability is so much more than recycling — and in fact, it’s not just about what you do with your trash and recyclables. Taking really small steps toward a truly green lifestyle can greatly impact the planet. Green living is growing in popularity, with many people setting sustainability as the goal for their lives. But what does that mean? Well, this article will help explain it.

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Sustainable living

Sustainable living is an approach to life that strives to preserve the beauty and well-being of the world. It includes an emphasis on environmental and social issues, such as recycling, organic food production and gardening, green building, energy conservation, responsible business practices, and community involvement.

Sustainable living includes things like organic food production and gardening.
Sustainable living includes things like organic food production and gardening. (Image: Joseph Golby via Dreamstime)

Additionally, sustainable living is about minimizing your impact on the environment through choices you make in your daily life. It goes beyond recycling and reducing the amount of waste you produce to include living in a way that preserves the quality of life on the planet.

Why is it so important to live sustainably? Below are a few reasons.

Clean air

It helps keep air pollution down and improves the quality of life in your local area while boosting the overall health of everyone there. The healthier your community, the better it is for everyone.

Waste reduction

Sustainable living isn’t so different from regular living, but you’ll save the planet with less waste. By reducing your weekly waste, you’re also saving energy and money. You can also help your local communities become more sustainable by diverting waste from landfills.

Increased economic opportunity

By implementing sustainable living in a community, the entire economy can be stabilized. With a more stable economy, jobs may also be created for those who stand to benefit from living sustainably.

Environment, economy, and society

When discussing sustainability, you must take a holistic approach and consider everything. The three pillars of sustainability are the most fundamental aspects, and they’re all interrelated. These are the environment, economy, and society. Each of these is important on its own, but they all impact each other. 

Sustainable living is about more than just not causing harm to your environment. It’s about attaining a balance between consumption, production, and waste. Additionally, it’s about knowing where all your trash is going and how to conserve resources efficiently.

Three barrels labeled for collection of paper, trash, and plastic.
Sustainable living is about knowing where all your trash is going and how to conserve resources efficiently. (Image: Sava Sandu Gabriel via Dreamstime)

Living sustainably

These are some steps toward a more sustainable lifestyle, but it is by no means limited to these things. Saving the planet can feel like a difficult task, no matter how many steps you take. Here are some to consider.

Avoid single-use plastics

Plastic has many negative environmental effects, and you can go plastic-free in several ways. Recycling is always good, and reducing the amount of single-use plastic products you use is another thing to consider.

Recycle 

Products that you can recycle or that biodegrade are good for the environment. They reduce the amount of waste in landfills and reduce emissions from manufacturing processes.

With the goal of sustainable living in mind, it’s important to start small. Change one thing at a time, and you’ll build momentum as you go. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many changes all at once, but focus on incorporating some small ones into your life daily.

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