How to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

How to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

With a stronger push than ever for sustainability, more and more people are looking to make changes in their own lives. The will of the few can drive change for the many, and many people are picking up on this. The majority of Americans want to live more sustainable lives, but many simply don’t know how to. Abandoning every modern comfort for foraging in the woods isn’t most people’s idea of a realistic lifestyle or a good time. Luckily, there are ways to make small changes that still make a difference—without abandoning your current lifestyle entirely. Check out this guide on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle by making small changes in your everyday life.

At home

Little changes you make in the way you live in your home can actually build up and make a huge difference after some time. You’ll feel this difference in the air you breathe at home and in your lower your utility bills. Here are some ways you can live a more sustainable lifestyle at home.

  • Install energy-efficient appliances: Energy-efficient appliances use minimal energy, but they’ll do just as good of a job as your old ones.

  • Unplug appliances: Even when they’re turned off, appliances that are plugged in can still drain energy. Save on your electric bill and help the environment at the same time by unplugging appliances when you’re not using them. This includes your TV, coffee maker, and chargers.

  • Turn off the lights: If you’re not in the room, you don’t need a light. Keep your shades open during the day so that you let in natural light, which reduces the need for artificial light and can even improve your mental health.

  • Use a programmable thermostat: This allows you to lower or raise your home’s temperature from anywhere.

  • Hang clothing: Cut down on your usage of the dryer and let the air do the work for you.

  • Wash clothes in cold water: Most of the energy that washing machines use goes toward heating the water.

  • Start a garden: Even if you simply plant herbs in a jar on your kitchen counter, every little step counts.

  • Skip the heat dry: If you use a dishwasher, turn off the heat dry cycle and simply hand-dry your dishes, or let them air-dry.

  • Plant some plants: Air-purifying plants are simple to care for. They also thrive indoors and help you breathe better while cleaning the air around you.

  • Change your morning beverage: Switch to pour-over coffee, reusable single-serve pod filters, or loose-leaf tea to reduce waste from single-use pods.

  • Add a compost bin: Starting a small compost in your outdoor space can cut down on waste immensely.

In stores

Many stores contribute greatly to unsustainable methods. To combat this without giving up on grocery shopping or leisure shopping, try to make these little changes to lessen your impact on the Earth.

  • Reuse: Buy reusable items instead of single-use or disposable ones. Some popular reusable items include straws, cups, water bottles, silverware, napkins, and plates.

  • Stay local: Buy local produce and locally made products.

  • Go paperless: Request paperless versions of bills, receipts, and tickets for things such as airplanes, theater shows, and concerts

  • Bags: Bring your own bags to the store when you set out to shop instead of using paper or plastic ones.

  • Buy sustainably: Buy older items from resale shops when possible. You can also buy items such as vintage-style jewelry from sustainable clothing brands such as Home Folk.

During commutes

Commuting is unavoidable for some people, but commuting methods are important to sustainability practices. Here are some helpful ideas to lessen the impact of your commute on the environment and some sustainable alternatives to single-rider driving in personal cars.

  • Commute with others: Try to walk, bike, carpool, or take public transit whenever possible to reduce the amount of fuel you use to get places.

  • Drive smarter: If you must drive, carpool and/or make sure your car is electric or hybrid and that it gets good gas mileage. Be aware of how often you drive to places within walking or biking distance. Try to make changes such as walking to the local café instead of driving there, even if it’s a bit less convenient.

  • Eliminate your commute: If possible, work from home or from a place within walking distance, such as a local café with good Wi-Fi.

  • Skip the lift: Use the stairs rather than an elevator or escalator whenever possible.

Throughout the community

Take a step beyond making changes in your own life by encouraging those around you to partake in sustainability. The more people who practice sustainability, the better—plus, you can all hold each other accountable. Here are some suggestions for how to promote sustainability throughout your community.

  • Volunteer at a community garden: Community gardens promote local growing, sustainable farming, and bringing people together in the name of sustainability.

  • Write to change-makers: If you’re feeling a little powerless in the world of sustainable versus unsustainable practices, try writing to someone who might be able to advocate for you. Advocating for the needs of their community members is your local representative’s job anyway.

  • Share your passion: Encourage friends and family to live more sustainably with you. Try to introduce them to the little changes you’ve made and show them the positive impact these changes have had on your life—and utility bills.

  • Give sustainable gifts: On gift-giving occasions, try to give the gift of improved sustainability while keeping the other person’s interests in mind. Gifts such as reusable water bottles, coffee cups, and reusable bags are great and useful for most people.

Living more sustainably is doable. Small changes every day add up to make a real impact on the world we all live in. You don’t even need to do everything on this list to make a difference. If living more sustainably still feels like a big step, pick one point and try to implement that change. As you get the hang of life with that task, try adding one more. This way, you’re still making a big impact with one little change.

Sustainable Lifestyle


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