“Hey, my life is complicated enough without having to think about all that.”
“Plus, I like living how I want.”
In all honesty, sometimes I still feel like that. It’s a constant battle and some days I just don’t want to fight, but I don’t give up that easily just because I don’t feel like it. There’s a reason why I do this, it’s important to always remember the why. I frequently ask myself this question:
Why would I want to practice sustainable living?
- For myself? – Yes, I would say that’s one reason. I do know the benefits and I know how fulfilling it can be when the results start to show. The more I stick to my program, the happier I feel. I know I end up with considerably more money in my pockets and I actually end up with more time than I had before. My house is cleaner, my concentration is better and I sleep easier at night. It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?
- Do I do this for others? – Of course! When you practice sustainable living, the impact of what you’re doing is small but it’s there. It will impact what’s around you in different ways. For example, your roommate or partner will appreciate the clean and organized environment they live in.
They may raise an eyebrow at you in the beginning and think: “How silly can you be to think this makes a difference?” But after some time, the effect of what you’re doing will start to compound. It will rub off on them too, maybe they will notice how happier you are, how free you feel. Stress levels go down when you’re conscientious about what you do. Dale Carnegie said it best:
“Our thoughts make us what we are”
- Why else do we do this? – The true fundamentals of sustainable living comes down to science. Many scientific papers out there can tell you all about it. For example, we are using the earth’s resources at a faster pace than it can recover. In the first 7 months of 2018 we had already used a year’s worth of natural resources.
In 2010, a typical Canadian’s carbon footprint in fossil fuel consumption per person was 15.7 tons, about 4 times higher than global average! That includes motor fuel, heating oil, natural gas, electricity, air travel, food. Clothing, electronics, furniture, appliances, household goods, packaging, trash disposal, water and sewage all consume energy and contribute emissions.
Why we should think carefully about how we live is quite clear at this point. We have thrived and progressed as a civilization because earth’s climate is ideal for us. Although in the modern era, our ever growing needs for resources are stripping the planet, our demand is exceeding what can be given.
The planet is always changing, that is certain, but we are increasing the pace at which it is changing. Without a drastic change in our behavior, the planet will become inhabitable for future generations. We need to act now, the 21st century needs helping hands, it needs conservation heroes.
We can all admit that we could get by life with a lot less than what we currently have. When we decide we do want to contribute to positive change, what we have to do is target and pinpoint every single thing we do in life and examine how we can do it with a lower impact.
7 things you can do to switch to a sustainable lifestyle
1. Bring your own reusable grocery bag
I can’t believe I spent years doing groceries and piling up plastic bags. We used to have a drawer where we kept our bags. I remember it got so full the drawer was stuck! Ugh, what a pain that was, we never managed to re-use them faster than they piled up.
With a couple sturdy reusable bag, we freed up a drawer, saved cash on plastic bags and prevented spreading around those nasty bags when they get thrown out.
2. Get yourself a good BPA free water bottle
How fast can those plastic water bottles pile up? It’s crazy to see how many we end up using when we buy bottled water. I remember this commercial on TV giving a visual of how many water bottles we use up in a year. The person’s apartment was filled to the ceiling with them. Using a reusable water bottle will save you cash on bottled water, will de-clutter your home, save resources and create less waste.
Get into a habit of taking your bottle everywhere with you.
3. Sign up for epost and E-billing
Gone are the days of receiving letters in the mail, to be honest almost all the mail I get now comes from marketing and advertising. Signing yourself up for epost and e-billing will save the paper resources that aren’t really needed in this age.
It’s easy, after signing up, all you have to do is log in to your email account and all your mail and bills will be kept safe there. Most companies actually charge you for paper mail, stopping this will save you money and reduce the use of resources.
4. Look into carpooling
Carpooling makes a lot of sense in this day and age with the roads getting so jammed up. Look around on your commute, most people are driving cars by themselves. What a waste of room and energy.
Check out your local carpooling services, depending on what you chose, you could be making money or saving money. It’s up to you, driving can earn you money and riding along save you some, it’s a win-win.
5. Get yourself low flow faucets
I remember in school we went to a fair that was all about Eco-friendly living. There was a display encouraging people to turn off their faucets while brushing their teeth. I admit it had been a bad habit of mine, honestly I just didn’t know any better. I wasn’t aware at that time that water was a precious resource.
Similarly to this example, a low flow faucet will greatly reduce the amount of water you use when you wash your hands, face, dishes, etc. It’s not something I would have thought of if not for my research. With one of these bad boys you will save some nice money on your water bill and reduce your consumption of the most essential resource to life.
6. Ditch the paper towels and get re-usable cloths
Paper towels can be so wasteful, you will find yourself going through roll after roll in no time. With re-usable cloths like microfiber towels and cotton dish rags, you will save some nice dollars and free up space. No more stack of paper towels! The trick here is to keep your cloths easily accessible in case somebody needs to clean up a mess.
7. Organize your garbage
Start by separating your garbage into 4 bins.
- Cans, milk jugs, glass bottles for extra $$ at the end of the month
- Recycling like paper, cardboard and plastic
- All other non-compostable garbage for the landfill like bones, meat, diseased plants or pet poop
- Compost like vegetables, fruit, eggs shells and tea bags for your eco garden!
The conservation journey begins…
Are you already doing these at home? If you are then you are already on your way to being a conservation hero! Don’t stop the fight!
Got any sustainable secrets to share? Share them here with the community!