Have you ever wondered how you could have a sustainable lifestyle? It is simpler than you may think. It requires only a few steps to be completely sustainable and it will also help you save money. So I think it is a win-win situation for your wallet and for the planet.
What is a sustainable lifestyle?
A sustainable lifestyle means to have a lifestyle that worries about our impact on the planet. It focuses on reducing our carbon footprint by reducing waste and provide a better quality of life for us and our future generations.
It doesn’t only apply to you in your home, but it applies to everything we do, we buy, even at work, we can be sustainable. I see sustainability as a way of life, it’s my normal because I want to give a proper future to my kids one day.
Anyone can make a difference by changing a thing or two on their lifestyle. So I compiled a list of 10 ways you can have a sustainable lifestyle that goes beyond the usual reuse, reduce and recycle that you were being told since you were born.
1 – Look for sustainable companies
Companies that are sustainable they will tell the world about it. So usually when you are looking for a new product or for a brand in particular, search on Google for that company and then add “sustainability” to the query.
The first result should be that company’s mission to be sustainable and what they are doing to reduce their environmental impact. If a company doesn’t have a page stating their mission almost certainly they don’t have any plan regarding it.
But be aware, one thing is what they say, other is what they’re really doing. This is my life motto! Always check the facts. Look out for news about that company on Google News and usually if they’re doing something nasty it will appear on Google’s first page while you’re looking for it. So you vote with your wallet on who you are doing business with.
You can look up this post where I gave an example when buying a new pc and what I looked for.
2 – Buy things to last
There are lots of communities that are focused on buying things to last a lifetime. I follow /r/BuyItForLife/ on Reddit that is a community with almost 900k members and it is very active.
Another site I follow is BuyMeOnce, it has a store that curates products that come from sustainable and environmentally friendly companies. It may cost a lot up front, but their products will certainly last a lifetime and they have great support in case you have any problem.
Even locally it’s easy to watch out for things that were built to last you a lifetime, you’ll feel the quality the moment you look or touch it. Sure they’re expensive when compared with other similar looking products. So try to create priorities. For example: when I’m buying new clothes, I try to buy top quality coats, shoes, and jeans. Shirts, shorts, socks, underwear, and other clothing that I use more I buy cheap because I know that something will happen to that shirt sometime soon.
For technology, it is harder to choose from. Usually, I buy Apple products because I know it will have at least 5 years of support and software updates. And that is important to me. The laptop I’m using to write this post is almost 6 years old and still going strong.
3 – Buy locally and seasonal food
It’s always cheaper to buy seasonal food. That’s food that is more abundant, so producers can drive the price down as they don’t have to use greenhouses, or other expensive pieces of equipment to produce food. Also, by buying locally, you are reducing pollution produced during shipping to get that food delivered at your location and you are helping your local business to thrive.
You’re supporting your local economy by using local products and spending money on local businesses and people. That’s a great way to create local jobs and to keep money flowing. It brings more and better conditions of life to you and your community.
4 – Start composting
Composting is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and thus, you’ll get more sustainable as it reduces water consumption. It’s also a great way to get nutrients back to the food chain because by composting you’re giving all that nutrients back to earth.
Once you have enough compost, you can use it when planting your vegetables in your own backyard. One day they’ll back on the supply chain and you’ll have a healthy meal from your hard work one season before.
5 – Grow your own food
If you have terrain that permits you to grow food, go ahead and don’t look back. It will save you loads of money and you will that sense of pride of having your own food. You will be sourcing your plate directly from your backyard. No one can beat that feeling!
Nothing beats the nutritious value of homegrown vegetables, they always taste better, they are organic, and you are sure no-one is lying to you because you planted those vegetables.
Pro-tip: compost helps a lot of your vegetables to grow strong and full of flavor.
6 – Have solar or wind power
This is only for homeowners, if possible have renewable sources of energy on your house. It’ll bring down the expenses and that initial investment will pay itself in a few years.
By reducing your dependency on the grid power you will be able to provide energy for those times when the power goes off. Just look at your house, even your oven is electric. If the grid goes down you can’t heat yourself a meal in a microwave oven. With solar or wind power you always have an environmentally friendly alternative. And it is also a good alternative to fuel generators.
7 – Plant trees
By planting trees you are reducing your environmental impact and combating deforestation. There is no doubt about what a tree can bring to the table. They supply our clean air, they help to reduce temperatures and keep humidity by providing shadow and they’re home to different animals.
If possible, plant some trees locally every year. Join a local community and help by creating a better place to live for the next generation. If that isn’t possible, or you don’t have the time nor the will to go out and plant trees, you can contribute by donating to your local community or by joining causes like the Great Green Wall or #teamTrees.
You can choose other causes to donate your money or your time. These two are the causes I believe and support and are merely suggestions for you in the cause you want to help but don’t know-how.
8 – Go minimalist
Minimalism is a trend and is here to stay for a few more years. I tend to believe in minimalism as a lifestyle, but not to an extreme. Let me explain… I believe that we should buy less, have less, and waste less.
But I still want to enjoy the comfort of having what I need and enjoying my hobbies. Vinyl is one of them and unfortunately, I know that isn’t one hobby that is environmentally friendly as I’m buying pieces of plastic to reproduce music. My compromise is to plant or donate the equivalent of five trees for each record I buy or receive as gift. I call this “Green tax”. As I buy only albums that I really like, that’s a tax that I’m happy to pay.
9 – Let the car in the garage more often
If you have a car, let the car in the garage more often and use a bike, or public transportation instead. For shorter commutes, you can go on foot. It will help to reduce more than your waistline, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint and reducing the expenses that come with owning a car: maintenance, insurance, fuel, taxes… The list goes on.
By doing this you’ll be saving money, you won’t be spending fuel, your car will have less wear and tear so when it’s time to sell, it will worth more money when compared to a similar car with more mileage.
10 – If you really need a car, buy electric
If your budget allows it of course. Don’t buy an electric car only because it is the right thing to do. If your budget allows you to buy a brand-new car and if it fits your needs, choose an electric or hybrid.
Not everyone can buy a brand-new Tesla, a Toyota Prius, or a Nissan Leaf, so adjust your budget and buy the best car your money can buy. Always buy from a reputable brand that has a good record on viability and if possible, a car that has zero or low carbon emissions.
I know that not everyone can have an electric car, I have a diesel myself. A brand-new car where I live costs more than 30 000 Euros, and the car I drive did cost me 8 000€. It is economic but not that green friendly. I also apply my “Green tax” on step 7 every month for my emissions.
In total, I pay from 20 to 30€ every month for my “Green Tax”, that’s at least 240 trees and goes up to 360 trees planted a year. I’m not counting on trees that I help to plant locally during the Spring.
Now, more than ever is important to reduce our carbon footprint. We are in constant contact with other people, from other families and it can lead them to follow our example. I’ve seen this happen before and it’s so satisfying to see this chain effect. That’s what I’m trying to do with this site. I’m sharing my experience in the hope of inspiring someone to be more sustainable.
NOTE: No link on this post is affiliate, I really enjoy their products, communities, or causes.
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