It's easy to feel helpless when confronted with a crisis like climate change. Why should I sort my recycling as society as a whole, dumps 43 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year? Or even replace plastic bags with a reusable tote? However, our individual actions do have an effect on the world. According to a 2018 study by Rare, a charity that uses behavioral science and design thinking to solve environmental issues, human consumption is responsible for nearly two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions. Even without wider policy changes, changing these consumption habits has a huge potential for reducing pollution and saving the planet.
What is Sustainable Living?
Sustainable living is a realistic concept aimed at reducing personal and societal environmental effects by implementing meaningful improvements that mitigate climate change and other negative environmental issues. Simply put, sustainable living is a strategy for lowering one's "carbon footprint." “Sustainable living” allows people to use the Earth's resources sparingly and to mitigate the harm caused by human-environmental interactions.
How to start living Sustainable life?
Living sustainably does not have to mean that you make big changes in your life at once. You could start by making one change at a time and gradually learn how to live sustainably. It can be as simple as buying or at least looking for a more sustainable option of something you have run out of. For instance, if you want to change your bedsheets, maybe try looking for a more sustainable option. If you’re looking to buy clothes, perhaps look for upcycled clothes online. There’s plenty of options available!
Here are some super easy things you can do to make an impact without putting in too much effort!
Opt for Smart devices by keep being lazy and yet live sustainably
1. Turn off your appliances
Did you know that even though your TV, machine, or other appliances are switched off, they are silently draining electricity all day, every day? This is known as standby control, or the amount of electricity used by goods when they are turned off or in standby mode. Plug appliances into a power strip and switch them off fully while not in use, including your phone, to save energy. Unplugging your products is another surefire way to reduce your standby power load. Let’s face it, pressing the power off switch on the remote every single time seems a lot of work, perhaps you could use a WiFi smart plug - these are as cheap as INR900! Now all you have to do is give a command and your work’s done.
2. Turn off lights(!)
This is one of the worst ones, don’t you just hate it when you are done peeing or getting some food from the kitchen- things that should probably give you the most satisfaction- and all of a sudden it’s ruined when your mother or spouse gives you lecture about switching off the damn lights. Yes, we are all guilty of that one. While it is a tedious job to constantly keep a check on whether the lights are off or not, a sensor bulb can help make it easier for you! These are just regular led bulbs that fit in your regular bulb lights, but switch on and off with motions, now isn’t that magic. You’ll never have to worry about the lights again!
Opt for sustainable food habits
3. Reduce meat intake
Reduce your intake of meat, poultry, and fish. Meat production consumes more energy than plant production. Cows, as Bill Gates famously pointed out, would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases if they were a nation. Not only because they emit methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, but also because the land they need (for pasture and rising feed) is often cleared through mass deforestation. Even the most adamant carnivores can improve. According to the Post report, replacing one five-ounce steak per week with less environmentally unfriendly meat like chicken or pork will reduce carbon emissions by 260-270 kg per year. And besides, if you're too lazy to work out, it’s better to skip on the meat!
4. Reduce napkin usage
Reduce the number of napkins you use. To eat your takeout, you don't need a bunch of napkins. Take just what you require. This even applies to toilet paper. Try avoiding the use of them if possible, they create a lot of waste, which is completely avoidable. Use a reusable coffee cup and water bottle. Reduce waste and possibly save money at the coffee shop.
5. Sustainable seafood
Shop only for sustainable seafood. Seafood is good for you, but not all of your options are sustainable. When it comes to seafood, you want to make wise decisions for both your family and the world. Fish must be caught or farmed in a manner that does not affect the ecosystem and allows fish to survive in the future in order to be considered safe.
6. Limited packaging products
Try to purchase products with limited packaging so that when you're finished with them, they don't end up in landfills. Recycle as much of the waste as possible if you can. Food waste can be composted. Composting food scraps has the potential to minimize greenhouse gas emissions while also recycling nutrients. Recycling paper, glass, aluminum, and plastic waste keeps landfills from growing.
7. Let your hair and clothes dry naturally
Instead of running a machine to dry your clothes or hair, let them air dry. If you do wash your clothes, make sure the load is full. When it comes to hair, I know it can be the most time-consuming and boring thing to do. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably too lazy and don't blowdry your hair anyway, but in case you do, do a beachy wave or a messy bun, using no heat- these are super sexy as well!
8. Save fuel
To get to work, ride your bike, walk, or use public transportation. If you are too lazy to cycle to work, well if the pandemic taught us something, it's that many meetings should have been done through Zoom. You will significantly reduce your carbon emissions if you can take the experience into your post-pandemic life and reduce unnecessary business travel by one trip per year. Car-pool, electric bikes or cars are equally becoming viable options.
When thousands or even millions of people make small changes, it adds up quickly. Global emissions and pollution can reduce drastically if you just take a few steps towards it. Perhaps you're already doing some of these things and aren't even aware of it. If that's the case, congratulate yourself and set a goal for yourself to add one or two more items to your daily list of planet-saving activities.
9. Raise your voice for sustainable living:
Now here is a way that requires you to sit on your couch and save the planet. When we said this is a lazy person’s guide to sustainable living, we meant it! Request that the state and national governments participate in programs that do not adversely affect citizens or the environment. You may also express your support for the Paris Agreement and request that your country ratify or sign it if it has not done so already. The easiest way to show your support would be to sign petitions online or contribute to different initiatives. Social media can also act as a powerful platform to put your thoughts across. Raise your voice on social media and save the planet- one tweet at a time.
10. Carbon offsetting for sustainable living
Offsetting your carbon footprint is one of the simplest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Carbon offsets allow you to “offset” your personal emissions by financing projects around the world that remove carbon from the atmosphere or prevent it from entering in the first place.
11. Saving water for sustainable living
There are definitely times when you feel like taking a long shower or sitting in the bathtub for an hour. However, this is extremely wasteful. Take short showers as often as possible. As much as you might want a nice bubble bath, bathtubs require gallons more water than a 5-10 minute shower, thus, try to avoid it. Another fun way to save water is by showering together, though you probably shouldn’t get distracted cause you might just end up wasting more water there!
12. Sustainable Clothing
Opt for eco-clothing. People are now buying clothes made of recyclable materials, hemp, or textile with low carbon emissions. The fast fashion industry depletes the earth’s resources and as more and more people switch to sustainable clothing, this will contribute to accelerating the use of preferred materials across the global textile industry. Big brands are now taking initiative towards sustainable clothing, Adidas ocean recycled plastic shoes or Hermès using travel bag made of mushroom, its time to educate yourself fashion industry´s environmental impact & find alternatives to fast fashion. Clothes made of waste material or upcycled clothes there you will be spoiled with a lot of options. Just familiarise yourself with these brands start with your first piece of clothing towards a new wardrobe. Lazy or nor not we know you can shop.
Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, world leaders gathered to build on a list of eight sustainable development goals known as the Millennium Development Goals, which were first established in 2000, to a list of seventeen far-reaching goals. People all over the world might unite around essential social values that go beyond being wealthy in this way. These objectives were given a timetable and were dubbed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. (SDGs). These include- No poverty, zero hunger, quality education, gender equality, sustainable cities and communities, climate action, and others.
The Sustainable Development Goals are important, world-changing goals that will necessitate collaboration between governments, international organizations, and world leaders. It appears that the average citizen cannot have an effect. Does that mean you just shouldn't try? Definitely not!
It is up to you to initiate change. Every individual on the planet is a part of the solution. Fortunately, there are a few simple items we can incorporate into our daily lives that, if we all do them, can have a significant impact.