How to Support Sustainability

When people hear the words “sustainability” or “green living,” ideas of tree huggers or Greenpeace fill their minds. Living a life that’s more conscious of the environment doesn’t mean you have to fulfill any specific idea of an environmentalist. It’s actually much less complicated than you think. How exactly can this be achieved? It’s not just recycling. Incorporating a few of these steps into your daily habits can assist you with showing respect to the environment:

  1. Use less plastic. It’s easy to pick up bottled water at lunch and toss the empty container in the trash. It’s easy to go out to lunch and take home your leftovers in Styrofoam that not all places recycle. It’s easy to use the plastic bags at the grocery store each time you shop. What’s even easier? Carrying a reusable water bottle, taking collapsible food containers with you, and stocking your car with a few fabric grocery bags. Taking a few small steps like these to use less plastic means less plastic waste in landfills. It’s a win-win for everyone, including the environment.
  2. Eat locally or cook. Eating at a local restaurant, shopping at a local market, and cooking your own food are just a few steps you can take to support local resources and clean eating. Schedules can get busy and overwhelming, but finding time to cook your own meal can be rewarding and a break from the everyday stress. What’s even better? Eating less meat. Not everyone can or wants to commit to this, but even selecting one day to be meat free is helpful.

    Granville Island Cherries

  3. Contribute to organizations that take action for carbon offset. As a travel lover, my trips around the world can affect the Earth. How can I make up for it? By donating to organizations that commit to reforestation and renewable energy projects. If you want to travel more responsibly, check out my posts on plastic-free travel, World Oceans Day, and Lonely Planet’s post on ecotourism.
  4. Listen up. If podcasts are your thing, consider a few of these great podcasts: Costing the Earth, Green is Good Radio, The Ethical Business, and The Slow Home Podcast. Each podcast on this list inspires listeners to take weekly steps to live a more Earth-friendly life. Some of the steps I’ve found to be helpful include unplugging and learning how to take time for yourself every day.

    Dovetail, Chicago

  5. Buy less, waste less. Before you purchase something, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” I’m asking myself this question more often and as it turns out I don’t always need what’s in my shopping cart. And, even better it helps my bank account.
  6. Purchase used clothing, books, and furniture. Rather than shopping new, consider other alternatives for certain items. Upcycling and repurposing old furniture has been décor for former apartments and shopping at Goodwill and Savers has provided incredible staples in my wardrobe. Used book stores have also become my shopping pastime because they allow me to trade in books I won’t read again and find some new favorites. Shopping used also has the same benefits as buying less since it’s affordable and beneficial for my bank account.

These suggestions are simple and require small steps to incorporate them into your lifestyle. You may forget or make missteps in the process, but sustainability is something we can achieve more every day. There are many more ideas when it comes to living a more conscious life, but these are the few I’ve found that I can easily maintain in my life.

What recommendations would give for living a more sustainable life? How do you show your support for sustainability?