With rapidly rising environmental issues like Global warming, Climatic changes, and Groundwater depletion & scarcity, etc., the concept of Sustainable Living is gaining importance. A Sustainable lifestyle is a way of living that aims at making judicious and efficient utilization of natural resources to meet human needs and maintain an ecological balance so that quality of life is not compromised. It also ensures the ability of future generations to satisfy their needs.
A few years ago, a sustainable lifestyle was a choice, but with depletion of natural resources at a faster pace, today it has become a necessity. Nature provides us enough to satisfy human needs but not their greed. We will never have sufficient resources if we chase our greed and pursue unsustainable development, and its consequences will become more severe.
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”- Robert Swan. So, don’t sit back and let our planet be destroyed, rather follow simple steps mentioned below to adopt a sustainable lifestyle:
Ways to Achieve Sustainable Development-
- Reduce energy use in your house- As they say, ‘Charity begins at home.’ Therefore, one should start conserving the resources at home in the following ways-
- Turn off the lights and other appliances when not in use,
- Hang the clothes to dry up in sunlight than using a dryer,
- In case of pleasant weather, open windows for fresh air rather than turning on the Air conditioner,
- Use energy-efficient appliances like LED tube lights instead of bulbs, inverter AC instead of more power-consuming AC,
- Use solar energy in the form of solar cookers instead of Gas stoves etc.
- Less use of Disposables or Single-use Products- Consumption of single-use plastics in the form of polybags, disposable plates, spoon, fork, razors, etc. should be minimized, as many health issues arise from the toxins released by trashing these and have become one of the greatest contributors of environmental pollution. Instead, one should use re-usable products.
- Donate or Re-sell items- When we stop consuming anything, it must go somewhere or to someone. Things that are no longer required by you should either be re-sold in exchange for money or should be donated to someone in need. It can be your old clothes, books, home appliances, etc. Also, there is no special event that goes without any leftover food items, so donate the excess food to NGOs who can further distribute it to the poor people.
- Save Water- We never realize the value of water until we are parched, and the well is dry. Conservation of water is critical for our survival and can be achieved in the following ways:
- Close the tap properly to ensure no dripping,
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving,
- Use dual flush toilets which have half-flush and full flush options,
- Use washing machines for full loads and not for a few clothes,
- Do Rainwater harvesting,
- Use soapy water to clean the car and use a hosepipe only for rinsing the car.
- Car-Pool- With limited petroleum reserves, using fuel for a single person traveling in every car is not viable and is the greatest cause of air pollution. Therefore, to ensure sustainability and reduce transportation costs, one can do Car-pooling while traveling to the office, use public transport, use CNG instead of petrol/ diesel. One should try to use a bicycle/ electric vehicle as much as possible.
- Re-cycle- Use separate dustbins to dispose-off recyclable material like paper. Try to buy products made up of recycled material. It not only reduces the demand for raw material, but also reduces the cost for mining, extraction, and transportation of material. Therefore, recycling is the most common method of being sustainable.
- Plant seeds in your garden- Food available in super-markets is not always grown through sustainable methods. Therefore, try to buy organic food or plant your own seeds like coriander, aloe-vera, vegetables, etc. without any chemicals and utilizing your kitchen waste as a fertilizer.
- Plant Trees- Try to plant as many trees as this would help in improving the air quality as trees absorb carbon dioxide and provide oxygen. This will also reduce the impact on climate caused due to deforestation.
- Purchase from companies engaged in CSR activities– Before purchasing a product, check if items like coffee, tea, fruits are grown using sustainable methods. Check if the brand engages in CSR activities like Go Green initiative, plant a tree initiative, donates out of purchased value, etc.
- Use of sustainable material- Manmade materials are synthetic and toxic. One should use biodegradable materials that are sustainable like bamboo, wood, etc. Use handkerchiefs instead of tissues, shopping bags made of cloth instead of plastic/ paper bags, reusable cloth instead of paper towels to clean up.
Benefits of Sustainable Lifestyle-
- More resources will be available at the disposal of our future generation.
- Consumption of non-chemical-based food and less dependence on machines such as walking, cycling promotes an individual’s health.
- Re-use, re-cycle, and waste management will lead to lower living costs.
- The Environment will be nurtured through better air quality, fewer climate changes, and will make the earth a more stable planet.
Being sustainable is not only an individual’s responsibility. Rather, businesses are also taking a step towards sustainability and are benefitted in various ways like Brand image strengthening, reduced cost and resource conservation, attracts investors and stakeholders, reduced waste, etc.
“We have not inherited this earth from our ancestors, rather we have borrowed it from our future generation.” So, stop exploiting this planet as we do not have any other one to go to. Sustainable living can only be achieved if we come together to follow the footprints that reduce wastage, elevate re-cycling, and foster the environment. We should keep in mind that each one of us has a role to play and can make a difference if we accept the responsibility of making lifestyle choices that are considerate to people and our planet.