••• The International Writers Magazine - 23 Years on-line - Living A Better Life
Image Source: Pexels
Sustainable Changes to Your Everyday Life
Thinking about what you eat and what you wear
The urgency of climate change can feel a little inescapable at the moment. There are frequent news stories about how society is not doing enough to meet global temperature reduction targets. Indeed, a recent United Nations (UN) climate report warns of an uninhabitable planet if governments don’t adjust their energy policies now. It’s a chilling issue to dwell on.
Yet, it is not just the actions of governments that can make a difference. Each human on the planet can make changes in their everyday lives to reduce their negative impact on the planet. It can seem as though we’re in a bleak situation. But, reviewing and adjusting your activities can add to the cumulative positive effects of others around the world. There’s still a little time left to avert the worst effects of climate change.
Still, it’s not always easy to know where to begin. Let’s have a look at some sustainable changes you can make to your everyday life.
Changes to Your Home
Your home is one of the areas of your life you can make the most impact on sustainability. Today, there are examples of technology and information available that make the process not only affordable but also accessible. You can independently and practically make impactful changes to your home right now. As such, it’s worth exploring this area.
Energy efficiency is often the best place to make a start. There is a range of budget-friendly upgrades to key points of home energy consumption to improve efficiency. Replacing traditional incandescent bulbs with light-emitting diode (LED) alternatives means your lighting uses less energy and lasts longer. Refreshing weather stripping around windows and doors prevents unnecessary leakage of heat or cool air, thereby reducing excessive energy consumption. Even installing solar panels has become an affordable and accessible way to minimize your reliance on damaging and inefficient energy sources.
Investing in green smart devices can be useful here, too. Systems that use sensors to automatically monitor rooms for the presence of people can ensure lights are only on when required. Similarly, smart thermostats allow you to program parameters for your heating requirements throughout the day in advance. This means your house isn’t being unnecessarily heated or cooled when there’s nobody present.
Changes to Your Travel
Travel is a major component of everyday contemporary life. Unfortunately, this is an area that can seriously exacerbate your carbon footprint. In essence, a carbon footprint represents the carbon dioxide emissions a person or organization is responsible for producing. By maintaining an awareness of which of your actions are primary contributors to your carbon footprint, you have a greater ability to make targeted reductions. Every time you make a traveling decision in your everyday life, whether it’s taking a car, plane, or walking, you’re making a choice about how many emissions you’re willing to release. As such, it’s vital you bear this in mind when making changes.
Today, investing in alternatively fueled vehicles is a practical option for many more people. This is usually in the form of fully electric vehicles or hybrid cars that utilize a combination of gasoline and hydrogen. Alongside a continued reduction in vehicle prices, there are infrastructural improvements. More charging points and hydrogen fueling pumps are being installed at gas stations and other areas throughout most towns and cities. Indeed, there are various state and federal tax incentives for sustainable vehicles that make them more affordable.
However, even if buying a new vehicle is out of your price range, you can still be more sustainable in how you use your current one. Certain maintenance measures can maximize your vehicle’s efficiency, thereby reducing emissions and unnecessary fuel use. This should include changing your oil regularly, keeping your tires inflated to the correct air pressure, and replacing your air filter frequently. Nevertheless, utilizing public transport rather than driving remains one of the most powerful everyday travel choices you can make.
Changes to Your Clothing
Among the most frequently overlooked ways to be more sustainable revolves around your clothing choices. It’s important to remember that even small purchasing decisions made here can have a serious impact on the planet and those who live on it. One of the planet's biggest and most unsustainable industries is fashion. Not to mention that it continues to have a negative reputation for its human impact, particularly in developing countries. It’s worth taking a little extra time to make more informed environmentally friendly and ethical clothing choices.
The first step here is to commit to researching the companies you buy new clothing from. Fast fashion may be convenient, but too often this also means it is made from unsustainable materials and utilizes heavily industrialized methods of production. There are significant emissions produced from transporting these products, as well. In some cases, there can also be unethical labor practices involved in manufacturing. Review company websites for information about their production partners and methods. Dig a little deeper by reviewing independent reports from investigators on these companies’ behavior.
Wherever possible, it’s also important to buy second-hand or upcycled clothing. These items tend not to put additional pressure on the environment through production and shipping practices. You may be able to get more durable and high-end items for lower costs this way, as well. It can also be wise to learn simple repair techniques so you don’t have to dispose of items with minor damages and can, instead, extend their lifespan.
Changes to Your Diet
Food is an essential aspect of both everyday life and the wider ecosystem. The earth provides us with the sustenance we need to survive and thrive. Yet, the human approach to food is often actively damaging to the environment. As such, one of the most impactful changes you can make is with regard to your diet.
Buying local produce is a good place to start. This is less subject to the more industrialized food production that creates a great deal of waste and energy overuse. Your actions here also minimize the emissions from transporting industrialized produce. Seek out local farmer’s markets that can provide you with fresh and sustainable foods. When you eat out, look for restaurants with partnerships with local farmers and food producers.
It’s also worth noting that the meat industry has a significant negative impact on the environment. This isn’t just regarding the strict industrial activities that produce waste and emissions. Overbreeding of livestock also contributes to excessive methane production and puts pressure on local geology. This doesn’t mean you need to go fully vegetarian or vegan. Rather, cutting down your consumption and going meat-free a couple of times a week can make a difference.
At this time of climate urgency, it’s important to find ways you can live more sustainably. This may include utilizing energy-efficient measures in your home and reducing the carbon footprint of your travel methods. It’s also vital to make more informed clothing and food purchasing choices. By continuing to minimize your negative impact in various areas of your everyday existence, you can positively contribute to the well-being of our environment.
© Indiana Lee 9.19.22
Creating A Home Office With Your Mental Health In Mind
Make that work-life balance enhance your soul
Ways for Freelancers to Start Marketing Their Writing Services
Indiana Lee 9.1.22
Learning how to market yourself
Urban Cities and Seniors: Why Retirement Homes Aren't the Only Option
Choose Life in the City as you get older - living in a city can offer seniors a better and healthier life with access to so much more than they would have if they were placed in a retirement or nursing home.