Sustainable Living: Simple Ways To Start in 2023 (Part 1)
Sustainable living has been mentioned so much these days as a lifestyle initiative. But among sustainable living ideas, how can you apply them to your daily life? Let’s discover simple actions right at our article.
1. Understand what sustainable living means
There is no specific definition of "Sustainable Living". It is much more like an individual interpretation, which is determined based on each person’s consciousness, purposes, and actions.
In general, sustainable living is a lifestyle that reduces an individual's negative impact on the environment, makes positive changes to deal with climate change, and minimizes damage to the environment.
Sustainable living incorporates many aspects of life, such as consumption, energy, transportation, food, health, fashion, and more. No one can be perfectly sustainable. Instead, we had better focus on our different actions and habits to make a more sustainable lifestyle.
2. Think carefully before deciding to buy
Every purchased item has an impact on the environment, regardless of much or little, positive or negative. Due to Florida State University research, it takes 2700 liters of water to produce a cotton T-shirt, and this amount is enough for one person to drink in 900 days. Therefore, consider and think carefully before purchasing any item.
Let's look at the pile of clothes in your closet. How many of them do you really wear? Do you need all of them? Or there are items you even only wear once and wonder if it is necessary to buy new clothes.
Similar to other items, do you really need to buy a new one? Or you can buy second-hand, trade your products, or repurpose any furniture.
Changing your shopping habits is one of the simplest ways for sustainable living.
3. Choose eco-friendly furniture
You can start shopping with a clear mind: Be aware of materials, the product-making process, and the company's commitment.
- Is the company aware of and committed to the environment?
- Does the product-making process have any harmful steps to the environment?
- Is the product made of natural resources and renewable materials?
The trending raw materials are wood (FSC and PEFC certification), vegetable fibers (wicker, rattan, bamboo, cotton, linen), animal fibers (wool, silk), and natural fabrics (velvet, cotton, linen, silk).
Natural woven wall decor is a prime example of sustainable living. With hand-woven textures and neutral colors, they can perfectly fit any space.
4. Decorate your home with green plants
Plants are one of the affordable home decor ideas for any space. They can purify and improve the quality of in-house air, through which you can improve your physical health. In addition, green helps make your home more vital.
But remember that, it is not sustainable to bring many plants into the house, then not take care and let the tree die.
Notes you should keep in mind when taking care of an indoor plant:
- Provide enough light, nutrients, and water.
- Change the soil and remove damaged leaves periodically.
- Do not leave plants in the bedroom at night.
- Limit the use of pesticides inside the home.
- Use a wicker basket to protect the plant from damage.
5. Use multi-functional products
Influenced by the fast-shopping trend, we tend to purchase seasonal products without consideration. And then, after the holidays, these items don't seem to have a chance to appear again.
The most potential solution is to use everyday products, instead of disposable ones. It may take time to clean every festival and party, but significantly help reduce amounts of waste.
Considering features to buy multi-functional products:
- Easy portability
- Frequency of use
- Quality of the materials
- Adaptability to different home styles
- Possibility to change the purpose of use
Take a placemat as an example. Its basic function is to protect the table from dirt and heat. Moreover, its beautiful design can be used both every day and every holiday (Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas).
6. Buy second hand
There is no shame in taking advantage of used products.
You can buy a bunch of items at thrift shops, such as furniture, cars, clothes, toys, books, musical instruments, and much more. Rather than spend unnecessary money on a new product, you can absolutely negotiate a cheaper price with almost the same quality.
In addition, this action can lessen manufacturing processes or materials needed for new products. This helps save natural resources as well as inessential waste to the environment.
However, these items should not be bought used: medicines, food, baby stuff, underwear, swimwear, bedding stuff, and mattresses.
7. Drive less, cycle more
Consider switching your transportation to more eco-friendly methods like cycling or walking (within your means). Exercise will help relax muscles, increase metabolism, and make you healthier. Furthermore, you can save a number of parking fees, as well as carbon emissions into the environment.
8. Use compostable products
Although plastic is made to reduce the use of wood, its convenience and high tensile strength have become a huge problem. Products made from plastic are difficult to decompose, causing a great impact on the problem of environmental pollution. However, living sustainably doesn't mean you have to totally cut down on all plastic use.
The better way is to give preference to compostable plastics in particular, and compostable products in general. Consider items made of PLA (Polylactic Acid), whose manufacturing process lessens 80% of carbon emissions than traditional plastics.
9. Appreciate what you have
Being aware of and grateful for what you have is an indirect way to live sustainably. When you love things around you, you will not want to throw them away or replace them. This will help reduce the number of discarded items in the environment.
The way you appreciate it also empowers surrounding people. The more people we can spread this appreciation to, the bigger impact we can make to protect this Earth together.
- Are you happy with the things you have?
- What makes you love this Earth?
- How can you keep your love sustainably?
- How can you turn your appreciation into action to protect the natural world?
These questions will help strengthen your thinking and actions toward living sustainably.
How many actions can you immediately turn into practice? Be aware that sustainability also comes from taking consistent and disciplined actions to make an impact. Subscribe to us for more sustainable living ways.