What it Means to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle, and How to Do It
July 18, 2018
Being the change that you want to see in the world takes daily practice. While we read about environmental challenges threatening the world, it can seem like the efforts of one person hardly make a difference.
But you have to start somewhere. Living a sustainable lifestyle is something each one of us can do to make a positive change in the world.
There are many things you can choose to put into action, and each person’s efforts will combine to make a real impact. Each little change you make to live a more sustainable lifestyle adds up, and you can start off small and build your sustainable living one piece at a time. Here are some of the many things you can do to lead a sustainable lifestyle.
Skip the Plastic Bags
By bringing your own bags when you shop for food, you can eliminate a lot of waste. In addition to passing on plastic bags at the register, you can also do so in the produce department. Putting each fruit and vegetable purchase into its own plastic bag creates so much unnecessary waste. This is an easy and direct way to start building a sustainable lifestyle.
Buy Local Whenever Possible
Buying locally-produced food can be a challenge at times. When possible, this is another way to make a positive impact. Food that is shipped from other parts of the country, or the world, has a much larger carbon footprint than locally-produced food. An additional benefit of buying local is, of course, supporting local businesses and having your dollars stay in your community.
No More Bottled Water
Bottled water adds huge amounts of waste to the world. You might need to get a water filter at home, but one major way to live a sustainable lifestyle is to not buy bottled water.
Be the Engine
Biking is perhaps the most efficient mode of transportation. If your commute will allow for it, start riding a bicycle every day or a few days a week for your commute. It is great exercise and eliminates a significant amount of pollution over time.
Take Public Transit
If you have a long commute or when the weather is a factor, take public transit to work. You will still get a car off the road, plus you can give yourself more time for reading each day.
This is one way of living a more sustainable lifestyle that may take more of a concerted sacrifice for some people. By choosing to take vacations closer to home instead of flying, you can do your part in eliminating a significant source of pollution.
Live More Sustainably at Home
Let the Sun Shine
Use as much natural light as you can instead of turning on the lights. By keeping your blinds or curtains open, you can reduce the amount of electricity you use.
When you do use the lights, make sure you use energy efficient bulbs.
Slow the Water Flow
As populations rise, our water supplies are put under greater strain. You can live a more sustainable lifestyle by reducing the amount of water you use. Take shorter showers, plant drought-resistant plants, and use water saving fixtures.
You can further reduce the amount of energy you consume by turning off devices at night, including the wifi. You can also use power strips with off switches for your electronics and turn them off when not in use.
Make Sustainable Investments
If possible, make sustainable investments like installing solar panels for your house. It will cost a certain amount of money up front, but the savings, both financially and in terms of sustainability, will add up over time.
Our Partnership with SunPower by Venture Solar gives customers a range of financing options that best meet their needs when investing in high-quality solar energy solutions. Qualifying customers can choose to lease a system with little to no money upfront, which covers all of their installation and maintenance costs, or they can finance the purchase of a system to take advantage of federal, state, and city incentives. Visit https://kiwienergy.us/solar/ to learn more!
Buy Rarely and Buy Well
Fashion is an important part of anyone’s lifestyle, and it is also an important part of a sustainable lifestyle. You can make a positive difference by being more of a minimalist when it comes to the clothes you wear. Buying fewer items reduces waste in terms of discarded clothing and shipping, and you can get more out of each piece of clothing by choosing to buy higher quality items that will last longer. They may cost more, but you can apply the savings you get from buying fewer items to invest in better clothes.
Like buying food, choosing clothing that has been produced sustainably by responsible companies goes a long way. Items that are made from responsibly-sourced materials and that have not been shipped thousands of miles can really help bolster your sustainable lifestyle.
So much of our work can be done without paper. Read and share documents electronically whenever possible and really think about what needs to be printed before using the paper.
This is another easy one. Sign up for paperless billing for all your bills. This will save a lot of paper and the fuel it takes to deliver printed bills.
When you do need a piece of paper to write a note or make a list, use scraps of paper or the backs of papers that you no longer need.
Use Your Sustainable Imagination
Use Reusable Containers
When storing food and other things, we often use plastic. If you do so, reuse those containers as much as possible. Using glass or other more sustainable materials is even better.
Borrow Instead of Buying
Next time you need a tool or other item, see if you can borrow one from a friend or family member instead of buying one. Also, visit your public library to borrow the books and movies you want instead of buying.
The Benefits of Simplifying
We are often told that living a sustainable lifestyle is expensive. Instead of costing more money, though, it really often comes down to giving it more thought and energy. Living a sustainable lifestyle is often about living more simply and getting by with less. This will actually wind up saving you money. One key to living a more sustainable lifestyle is to do what you can. If you cannot afford or practically implement some of these ideas, just do what you can without feeling guilty. Like anything to do with a sustainable lifestyle, each little bit adds up over time.
If you want to learn more and do more to live a sustainable life, sign up for Kiwi Energy.