Tips to Kickstart A Sustainable Lifestyle
Author: Anunay Mishra
Our generation owes a healthy and resourceful planet to our next generations, as we inherited from our past generations. Today, sustainability is the only path that leads to a future full of possibilities and resources. A sustainable lifestyle is the need of the hour and the only way forward for a better tomorrow.
What Is a Sustainable Lifestyle?
Sustainable lifestyle derives its essence from the word sustainable which means the ability of an entity to maintain itself. A sustainable lifestyle means to have such practices and actions in one's day-to-day life which can endure itself and are easy on the environment. Not all resources on our planet are endless and neither can they be used imprudently. A sustainable lifestyle demands the judicious use of the existing resources of our planet, especially those which cannot be replenished.
Why Is a Sustainable Lifestyle Important?
There is a gradual deterioration in the quality of food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, the environment we live in, etc. If the present generation is struggling to survive in this environment, it is probable that the future generations are going to face much worse conditions. Sustainability requires judicious use of our natural resources for meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising its availability for future generations. If we inculcate the essence of sustainability in our lifestyle and actions, we might preserve and protect the available resources of our planet. Today, climate change is posing the biggest threat to life on Earth. The melting of glaciers, forest fires, frequent floods, low crop yields, shortage of water, etc. is some of the results of unjustified and ignorant human practices. Humans are making a profit at the misery of animals, birds, plants, and other human beings. This indicates that there is something wrong with the way we live and perceive the world. A sustainable lifestyle should not be a choice but a necessity if we want to make tangible changes and protect our planet from the wrath of the environment.
How Can You Adopt a Sustainable Lifestyle?
Conscious efforts and small initiatives are the first steps towards achieving a sustainable lifestyle and encouraging sustainability. There are so many human practices and actions that are intentionally or unintentionally hurting the environment. These are the biggest impediments to the path of sustainability. One has to look around himself to get to know about the problems. There is always a solution for a problem but not every problem is addressed. The best way possible is to keep challenging notions to find better alternatives for the current scheme of things. Introspection is the foremost requisite for making changes at the individual level to scale it to a larger level.
So, What Should Be Done?
It is good to focus on the problems around us but it is better to be solution-oriented. Here's everything you need to know about how one can start a sustainable lifestyle.
- Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Everyone is aware of the "3-Rs" required for the betterment of our environment. One can reduce the wastage of natural resources such as water, electricity, food, paper, etc. The best way to avoid wastage is to adopt reusable products in our daily lives which can be easily recycled as well. Recycling is the key to a greener planet.
- A Little Less Dependency on Appliances
Our lives are unimaginable without being surrounded by machines and appliances around us. They not only make our lives easy but also do the job with utmost accuracy and precision. However, this dependence is a huge drain on energy resources globally. Hence, conscious efforts at the individual level are important such as using these appliances judiciously and trying to limit the use of ACs, refrigerators, electric stoves, etc. every once in a while.
- Reducing Carbon
The best way to strive towards sustainability is to reduce the carbon footprints on our planet. Carbon dioxide along with other greenhouse gases such as Methane, Carbon Monoxide, etc. are slowly poisoning the earth's biodiversity. The best possible ways to reduce and reverse this are to grow more trees, increase dependency on organic food, eat less meat, increase reliance on renewable sources of energy, and support green industries.
- Say No To Plastic!
Our planet is already being choked by the excessive usage of commercial and single-use plastic. A single sheet of plastic takes around 450 years to completely decompose. Recently, microplastic has been found in human blood for the first time which shows the seriousness of plastic pollution the earth is facing. Animals and marine life have been also facing the consequences of this plastic pollution. We can switch to reusable alternatives of plastic such as using wooden furniture in our homes, replacing plastic bags with jute and canvas bags, using paper straws, etc.
- Other small initiatives
We can better ourselves by adding certain small changes to our daily lives.
- Switching off fans and light bulbs when not in use.
- Stop tap water from being wasted by being vigilant.
- Getting rid of plastic and microplastic containers and jars in our homes.
- Observing "Earth Hour" every week in which all the non-essential electric appliances should be shut down to save and replenish electricity.
- Encouraging and normalizing the concept of reusability of second-hand products.
- Make a habit of using recyclable products.
- Proper segregation of garbage should be done and educating people not to throw away garbage in water bodies.
- Reducing the dependence on hair dryers, air conditioners, and refrigerators.
It is a common saying that the best time to plant a tree was 25 years ago and the next best time is now. Humankind has already made so many mistakes and atrocities on nature, that it is already a bit late to undo them. However, it is better to be late than to be ignorant. Now is the right time to act and now is the time to make and see tangible outcomes of our efforts. A sustainable lifestyle requires sacrifices and patience. Sustainability can never be a luxury but has to be a way of life. Philanthropists and governments have constantly been making new policies and changes in society but in the end, it all comes down to you, to me, and us. Individual efforts are the key to success and starting a sustainable lifestyle is an important milestone. All we need to do is to take care of the small things and the big things will take care of themselves.