Start Small & Think Big: How To Live More Sustainable
Sustainable fashion, sustainable food, sustainable lifestyle. Make a big contribution with small steps - how to start your journey to a more sustainable lifestyle.
Words:ChristinaImages:UnsplashAugust 29, 2021
Sustainable fashion, sustainable food, sustainable lifestyle. Our world is becoming more and more sustainable and that is good as well as necessary. Everyone can do their part, including you. But what does a sustainable lifestyle mean?
Living sustainably means reducing an individual’s or society’s use of the earth’s natural resources and your own resources. Sounds complicated? Not at all! The bottom line is that it’s not about doing without, but rather finding alternatives that are less harmful to the environment. And this is possible in practically all areas of our everyday lives.
Everyone knows that it’s good to recycle, to reduce plastic consumption and to save energy. But how exactly do I go about it? That’s what we want to show you today with a little guide. We want to prove to you that living sustainably means nothing more than simplifying your life. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Why we should start now
We probably all know by now that climate change is an issue that cannot be ignored. The average temperature on Earth has risen by 0.8° Celsius compared to the temperature before the industrial revolution. And the earth will continue to warm unless we get our CO2 emissions under control. Otherwise, there will be enormous consequences for the environment, our flora and fauna, and our own well-being.
Not only are global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer drastic ways in which the world is showing us that something is wrong. The depletion of our earth’s resources are real and only controllable and influenceable by us. And considering the devastating impact on human and animal life, it is beyond time to start stopping climate change.
It is not only an opportunity, but much more an obligation for us humans to take measures for a sustainable lifestyle. And it’s not that hard! Indeed, it’s the only way we can reduce our carbon footprint and environmental impact. We should start now, change our lifestyle and become an active part of the cycle of life.
We don’t have to directly turn our whole lives around to do this. We can simply start with a few first steps. Because even with small things we can achieve a lot. And if everyone contributes his small part we can achieve great things and have more power than we think. But never forget the big picture of a healthy world – we can start small, but always think big!
How to start your sustainable journey
Well, where to start? There are so many options. The first step is to raise your awareness. Think about and become aware of the things and resources you use. Question your choices for or against products and start educating yourself on where your products come from.
Maybe you’ve already started and are already paying attention to some of these things. That’s fantastic! But we hope to give you a few more new ideas with this little guide so we can all make this planet a safer and cleaner place together.
The list of possibilities is long. There are more sustainable ways to do things in almost every area of our everyday lives. That’s why we’ve also broken down the first steps you can take starting today into different areas. Just see where you want to start. It’s easier than you think.
Sustainable living around your home
Starting in your own home and beginning to live more sustainably by making minimal changes is the perfect way to go. Here are our top 3 initial ideas that you can implement super quickly:
- Change your light bulbs! LED light or CFL bulbs last much longer. They also use less electricity – a benefit for the environment and your wallet in one stroke. In addition, we can also use much more daylight. Next time, think twice about turning on the lights or simply opening the curtains and letting the sun into your home.
- Your bathroom offers super many opportunities to save energy and thus live more sustainably. Did you know that there are water-saving shower heads? Yes, it’s true! If you also pay attention to your shower time, that’s another great step. There are even shower timers for that. Hand washing instead of putting individual clothes in the washing machine or letting the already washed clothes dry on a clothes rack instead of turning on the dryer are also great.
- Grow your own vegetables, fruits and herbs! So you slowly become a small self-supporter. Plus, it’s super fun to prove your green thumb and watch the plants slowly grow.
We also can make a difference with our purchasing behavior. Pay attention to what you buy. The environment will thank you.
- Grocery Shopping: first of all, buy local! Support the farmer next door instead of buying imported goods in the supermarket. This way you not only support him, but also directly avoid buying plastic-packed food. Anyway, if you do have to buy something at the supermarket, don’t use plastic bags and bring your own cloth bag. Oh, and water from glass bottles and from the tap tastes much better than from plastic bottles, right?
- Fashion: Break the cycle – buy secondhand or support brands that produce sustainably. Don’t wash your clothes too often and opt for high-quality, durable clothing. If you don’t like something anymore, donate it or change the piece: An old dress sometimes makes a great top or skirt!
- Minimalism: For everything else, first think about whether you really need it! Do we really need three different rain jackets? Does it really need to buy even more decorative items or can I even build something myself from old things? Minimalism is a way of life. But reflecting on what you really need is a great start!
Your workday offers a lot of opportunities to make it more sustainable. It starts with the way to work and doesn’t end with the devices you use.
- Your way to work: Why always by car? Ride your bike to work if possible. Otherwise, public transportation is also much more eco-friendly. Alternatively, organize carpools with your colleagues. And during the vacation season: Reduce your air travel. There are also great things to discover close to home. Positive fact yet, some airlines are trying to implement zero-waste practices.
- Become paperless: Think twice before you print something. Emails, digital notes, digital invoices – today we have the possibility to go almost completely paperless! Start at work and even in your free time there are great ways and apps to get organized and eliminate the need for paper. If you do need to print something: eco-friendly printers and double-sided printing please!
- Your devices: Try to charge your devices like smartphones or laptops with solar chargers. For new devices there are also super many second hand offers or extra energy saving options. Also interesting and useful: switch to a sustainable search engine like Ecosia. They use a portion of their profits to plant trees and they run on 100% renewable energy.
Sustainable everyday life
Our everyday life. Unlimited possibilities and actually simple ways to change or improve something when it comes to sustainability.
- Nutrition: A big topic that can make a huge difference. Our meat consumption results in high emissions, not to mention factory farming. Have you ever thought about going vegan? Maybe start with one vegan day a week and see how you like it. Every little contribution will help to make society a little bit more sustainable.
- Replace disposables: Unfortunately, so many products can only be used once. Change your habits and buy reusable products: Towels, razors, cups, plates, diapers, batteries, pens, ink cartridges, coffee filters, oven or air conditioner filters, and so on. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? And the effect is huge.
- Talk about it: Many people don’t realize how easy it is to live more sustainably. Tell your family and friends about how you’re incorporating these first steps into your everyday life. You might even want to make a video or blog post about it and share it. Tell the world how we can protect the earth!
To sum it up
Living sustainably doesn’t have to be difficult. Even a few small changes can make a big difference. Always keeping the big picture in mind: protecting our environment, protecting our world’s resources and thus enabling the generations after us to have a great life on this planet. Be a part of it and start today.