With individuals occupied by daily life tasks, it's common to overlook the universal issues that endanger us as human beings. It's become natural to rely on resources that harm our environment more than it helps due to convenience. People remain attuned to the latest updates in pop culture and entertainment services much more than the worldly concerns we are the ultimate culprits of. So, what can we do to change that? The first step is adopting a sustainable lifestyle.
Haven't you familiarize yourself with getting into the green scene? Now is a better day than any to get a head start! Below, we have provided a guide to help cultivate some awareness on thinking and acting sustainably!
But First, What Is Sustainability, And Why Is It Important?
Sustainability describes the cruciality of preserving our natural resources to support an ecological balance. Although hardly a new concept, it has engaged more of a following due to the prolifically advertised message that we are expected to protect our environment.
To sustain a healthy life on earth, one must reduce their constant participation in practices that negatively impact our world. As with so many uplifting events that have set an optimistic tone in widening perspectives, there are numerous ways to get involved and promote sustenance at home or anywhere. So, let's dig in deeper!
1. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Reducing your waste is by far one of the most crucial aspects of conservation. Opting to use refillable water bottles instead of individual plastic bottles, switching out plastic grocery bags for reusable bags, and employing reusable towels rather than disposable ones are key examples of narrowing the amount of waste you have. Decreasing waste equals a depleted need to construct more landfills, which occupy valuable space and are origins for water and air pollution.
Reducing doesn't just apply to waste; it also applies to most forms of energy. Energy conservation is just as important as any sustainable living tactic. Decreasing energy use results in reduced carbon emissions in the environment, resulting in improved air quality. Turning off the appliances, not in use, air-drying clothes instead of the dryer, and opening the windows for some air instead of air conditioning are prime examples of reducing household energy.
You can reuse products in a variety of different forms! Its flexibility is encouraging and fruitful in reserving the energy that comes with disassembling and remanufacturing items. Maybe instead of trashing your newspapers, reuse them as packaging paper for fragile china. Reusing remarkably lessens waste and pollution since it decreases the need for raw materials, preserving non-renewable supplies.
Recycling, often the last resort, is much better than merely dispatching materials to the landfill. Any method of waste reduction is an effective one! If possible, recycle as much as you can. If your neighborhood or nearby areas provide drop-off locations for recycling, then utilize those opportunities!
When recycling electronic devices, avoid businesses that ship waste overseas for unmonitored "recycling" and salvage functions. Goodwill Industries International is an organization that welcomes electronics for managed recycling.
2. Commit to Sustainable Purchasing
It's no surprise that what you buy either subscribes to sustainable living or detracts from it. When purchasing products from around the world -- namely, sugar and coffee -- make sure to look for a fair-trade certification. This verifies that these products were grown using sustainable agriculture routines and confirms that local individuals get fair prices for the merchandise produced. Watch out for products that lack this label, as this is a sign of exploitative labor operations.
When shopping for clothes, be aware of the materials some of the clothing products use. Synthetic fibers are great contributors to environmental contamination and challenging to fight shy of, but a little bit of awareness can take you a long way!
Fabrics such as nylon and polyester are catastrophic to the environment since they are produced using fossil fuels. Nylon creates nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas with a multiplied potency compared to other fabrics. Manufacturing it's not only an energy-draining process, but it also subscribes to increased environmental degradation. Polyester, a synthetic resin created from carbon-concentrated non-renewable resources, includes unfavorable chemicals like carcinogens and motivates fashion overproduction and waste. These materials are especially utilized by fast fashion companies such as Fashion Nova, Boohoo, and Pretty Little Thing. Fast fashion brands not only contribute to a vast environmental footprint and a tenth of the world's carbon emissions, but they also exploit workers.
Remember, sustainable living doesn't just entail protecting the natural environment. It's also about fair human quality of life.
3. Say Goodbye to Harmful Materials and Hello to Saving Wildlife
Where do plastics go once you dispose of them? Here. They stay on earth for a considerable amount of time and long after we're gone. They don't degrade but instead take up space in environments where they don't belong, affecting wildlife.
Today, you see billions of pounds of waste circulating in unity, making up about 40% of ocean surfaces. This disturbance alters an ecological balance, eradicating thousands of turtles, seals, and sea birds after ingesting or getting entangled in plastic. To avoid any further contributions to this, and if you can, ditch the plastics or minimize your use of plastics and utilize reusable material.
Along with limiting harmful materials, boycotting products goes a long way. Although there are regulations to prevent illegal activity involving endangered wildlife, some unprotected animals and plants need additional attention. Some animals and plants aren't labeled as illegal to buy, sell, trade or import into the United States and are more susceptible to harming someone's profit. Other practices threaten endangered species by invading their habitat -- from deforestation to urban sprawl -- it's a constant and severe threat to biodiversity.
Instead, look for products created from sustainable material such as a metal straw instead of plastic one and wooden cutlery instead of plastic cutlery. There's so much good in shopping conscientiously!
4. Vote. Vote. Vote.
One of the most effective ways to use your voice and demonstrate positive change is to become actively engaged in your community. Elect candidates with a reliable environmental platform and urge your representatives to pass more security policies to save our wildlife, fight climate change, and limit greenhouse gasses. Attend rallies, sign up for notifications, and talk to your friends about protecting endangered species while addressing overconsumption and human population growth. Spreading awareness and informing others about such an important topic is key to awakening a brighter future.
Be the change that we need by taking action towards sustainability.
There are several strategies to pursue in being a leading example in your community. Adopting a sustainable lifestyle not only helps your surroundings, but it also benefits your future self and you now. What's important is doing whatever you have the power to do, no matter how small it may seem. Fostering change equals brighter days ahead.