If you’re like many people who watch the news, you’re likely very aware of the more consistent talking points around climate change. As more people populate our world, the need to preserve the planet, avoid waste, and protect natural resources is becoming more crucial by the year. This is the time to remember that you can make a difference on your own. Consider the sustainable lifestyle choices on this list and lead by example. You could start a movement for the betterment of Mother Nature.
1. Be Smart About The Clothes You Buy
One of the most significant ways to contribute to a greener culture is to think about what you buy and how you buy it. You live in a culture where everyone wants things to be shiny and new, but that thought process requires factories to work around the clock to produce those goods, and the results take a toll on the planet.
That’s most true in the world of fast fashion, which are lines of clothing that are rapidly produced with little variation to fit the needs of shoppers. Someone who wants to help the planet should avoid fast fashion because it hurts the environment. When factories produce these garments, they create pollution because, to run the machines, they need to burn fuel. That process creates chemical vapors and smoke that spews out of smokestacks. Plus, fashion companies produce many items that go unused, which end up in landfills. That’s on top of the fact that the rapid production puts factory workers in harm’s way.
If you want to be a part of the solution, consider shopping at thrift stores and donation centers like the Salvation Army. Many times, people donate their clothes that no longer fit, and a lot of what they donate is the same stuff that’s sold in regular stores. The clothes in thrift shops are all quality-checked and cleaned, so you’re getting great clothes, and the factories don’t need to work to produce more than necessary.
2. Support Local Agriculture
Your shopping habits can also help the planet when buying groceries. Make it a point to support local farmers and food producers. Not only are you getting fresher ingredients, but most major grocery stores get a majority of their food from across the country. That means they need trucks to transport those goods, and most run on fuel, which means they create pollution. When you’re looking for fresh produce, look for local farmer’s markets. You’ll find tasty vegetables, great fruit, and other delicious products, like salsa, jam, and more.
You can continue to live sustainably at home while helping the planet by growing a garden so you don’t need to drive anywhere to get the food you love. Avoid using pesticides and herbicides that contaminate the soil and vegetation and can also be toxic to animals and fish. Instead, go for natural solutions, like neem oil, which disrupts the life cycle of insects, or peppermint, which repels caterpillars, squash bugs, flies, and more.
Finally, instead of throwing away your food scraps, consider composting them. You can use what you create for rich soil in your garden. Plus, you’ll do your part to send less waste to the landfills.
3. Avoid Disposable Plastic
The next best thing you can do to be a part of the solution is to rethink how you use and dispose of plastic. Think about everything you use or buy every day, and chances are that it’s made out of plastic or the container is plastic. When that plastic is recycled, that material can be used to create new items. However, most plastic is not recycled correctly, and it ends up in landfills. It sits there for years, and over time, the chemicals in the plastic can seep into the soil and the water sources of humans and animals.
In addition to recycling whenever you get a chance, you can make swaps around your home to get rid of plastic as much as possible and invest in sustainable and reusable items. A big issue that many people are guilty of is buying packages of bottled water that they drink and throw away. Instead, invest in a reusable water bottle and bring it with you wherever you go and fill it at your leisure.
You can also look into the numerous items made out of bamboo. Everything from cutlery to coffee cups to toilet paper has bamboo alternatives, and focusing your attention on this environmentally friendly material can be a game changer for a greener future.
4. Make Your Home Energy Efficient
One big secret about living a more sustainable lifestyle is that you can make a difference without even leaving your house. The key is to be smart about how you run your utilities so they’re more efficient and use less electricity. There are ways that you can lower your utility costs during every season. The key is to adjust your thermostat properly. If you leave the heat on high and the air conditioner down low while you’re out of the house, you’re wasting energy. Consider investing in a smart thermostat that you can set to a modified temp when you’re away so you’re not overly heating or cooling an empty house, and you’ll save money on your bills.
It’s also essential to maintain your appliances, especially your heater and air conditioner, to ensure that they’re running efficiently or they could run longer than necessary. Also, consider upgrading your appliances as many newer items will be more energy efficient, especially those that are Energy Star rated.
By adding these four lifestyle choices into your routine, you’ll do a great service to the planet and your fellow human beings. Take the time to do what’s right for Mother Earth, and she’ll care for you and everyone else in return.