In today's world, the term sustainability gets thrown around like a hot potato. Although the term is quickly becoming more commonplace, sustainability still remains a multi-faceted concept that many don't wholly understand.
As we enter 2020, it's becoming increasingly important for us to take action that ensures the longevity of ourselves, our society, and our planet. The vital first step in sustainable living is educating ourselves and others. In order to live sustainably, we must understand what sustainability means in practice, not just in theory.
This crash course in sustainability will give you the tools you need to start your journey to a greener, more sustainable lifestyle in 2020.
What Is Sustainability?
We hear the word all the time: sustainability. But what is sustainability exactly? And what does it mean to live sustainably?
In its simplest form, sustainability is living in a way that promotes the well-being of our environment, our communities, and ourselves. It's also based on the principle that these things are not mutually exclusive, and that collaboration and cooperation with the planet is necessary for survival. If we neglect any part, the whole will suffer.
There are plenty of concepts that fall under the umbrella of sustainability – like waste reduction, clean energy usage, and land restoration to name just a few.
The bottom line is this: sustainability is living in a way that ensures the survival of our society and preserves the beautiful world around us.
How Can I Live More Sustainably?
Now that you know what sustainability is, you're probably wondering, "How can I live more sustainably?"
You're in luck! In recent years, numerous businesses and household brands are making a strong effort to go green, which means you have many more options to choose from to live a sustainable lifestyle.
From choosing sustainable goods to making our communities greener, there are plenty of ways for anyone – everyone, really! – to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Choose Sustainable Goods
There are a number of brands offering goods that are substantially better for the environment than their less green counterparts.
Here are some of the most sustainable goods available that will help make the environment a better place for years to come...
When we move into a new space – whether it be a new apartment, home, or office – one of our first instincts is to decorate it. But many of the most common items with which we fill these spaces are not environmentally friendly.
Fortunately, bamboo products have become a rising star in the arena of sustainable home decor.
Each year, around 26 billion pounds of clothes will meet their end in a landfill. In response, there are several companies offering sustainable fashion options that have you covered from head to toe in everything from ethical underwear to sustainable sneakers.
Sustainable Packaging & Brands That Promote It
Most packing materials weigh heavily on our environment, but there are several recyclable and biodegradable materials that can be used instead.
When you package goods sustainably, you'll be following in the footsteps of influential companies that are already paving the way to greener e-commerce.
Create Sustainable Communities
Sustainable communities are valuable pioneers in the fight against climate change. These communities are oftentimes leaders in many different green initiatives that make society a more sustainable place.
There are countless unique and distinct sustainable communities around the globe. While each community is different, STAR Communities – a member of the U.S. Green Building Council – explains that their basic components are, "a healthy environment, a strong economy and the well-being of the people living in the community."
Sustainable communities are each unique, but they all share common fundamentals. These elements can be found in every sustainable community in the world. In fact, there are several of these communities here in the United States.
Sustainability Principles to Live By
The big picture is making our communities and society as a whole green, clean, and sustainable, but we can't neglect the little things. What each of us can do in our own lives is just as important as what we can do as a society.
Here are a few simple yet impactful ways that you can live more sustainably.
- Reduce waste by using fewer single-use, disposable products, such as plastic straws, bags, and utensils.
- Eat in season for better tasting food and to reduce the food mileage we put on the environment.
- Minimize driving. Instead, take public transportation, walk, or ride your bike!
- Conserve water or collect rainwater to use outdoors to reduce the usage of this scarce resource.
These practices are easily implemented yet important to the health of our environment. Give these a try and before you know it you'll be making our world a better, greener place.
An increasing number of sustainable brands and communities are popping up here in the United States and around the globe. These groups all have a great deal to teach the rest of the world about sustainability and green living.
Living sustainably can be tough at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's easy. When we live sustainable lives, we create a healthier, more liveable environment for ourselves and generations to come.
The first step in saving our environment is spreading the word. Share this post on Facebook to make your community a greener place!