By: Kat Sarmiento
Living sustainably can bring you many benefits. It can help you improve your quality of life, preserve natural resources, and protect the environment from irreversible damage. It’s no wonder why so many people are choosing sustainable lifestyles nowadays.
Surveys show that around 64% of Americans now live more sustainably than they did a few years back. Around 55% now also recycle more than before. If you haven’t started changing your consumption to live more sustainably yet, here are five sustainable habits to adopt at home.
Habit 1: Use Vehicles Wisely
Driving more efficiently is not just a way for you to lower your fuel costs — it’s also one of the best carbon budgeting techniques to use when trying to reduce emissions. While it may be necessary for you to drive your car on days when catching the train can be close to impossible, on other days, it may be smarter to leave your car at home.
Instead, consider taking the train or using a bike to get yourself to work, school, or wherever else you’re planning to visit that day. If you have friends or office mates that live nearby, ask if you can carpool with them instead of driving yourself to work. These ideas can significantly lower your emissions and can save you money in the long run.
Nowadays, most offices allow their employees to work from home a few days a week. Ask your manager or supervisor if they would permit you to work from home periodically instead of asking you to come into the office every day. This is just another way for you to use your vehicle less frequently.
Habit 2: Choose Reusable Products
According to surveys, around a million plastic bottles are purchased around the world every minute. That equates to around five trillion plastic bottles used worldwide yearly. While the convenience and value of single-use plastic are undeniable, people have grown accustomed — even addicted — to using this everyday commodity. Unfortunately, this can damage the environment and could result in social and economic unrest.
A great way to minimize the impact of plastic on the environment is to choose reusable products over single-use ones.
Choosing reusable products can help fight pollution and reduce society’s energy consumption. Reusable products can be used several times before it needs to be discarded, thereby reducing waste that goes into landfills. Additionally, since you won’t need to replace things as often, manufacturers won’t have to create as many new products every year.
A great place to start is by switching from paper towels to washable rags at home. These rags can be washed and hung after every use. If properly maintained, you can use these towels for well over a year before you need to replace them again.
You may also consider using steel water bottles instead of plastic ones to store drinking water. These bottles are safe to put in the fridge and have less risk of bacteria developing on them over time.
Habit 3: Practice Correct Food Disposal and Composting
While it’s easier to simply toss everything into a single trash bin, you must know that there are proper ways to dispose of leftover food waste — and this is not it. Mixing regular garbage with leftover food waste can create a breeding ground for germs and other illness-causing bacteria. One way you can avoid this is to practice composting.
You can use your compost bin to hold things like discarded coffee grounds, egg shells, potato peels, leftover food from your plate, and other food wastes. Keep your compost bin outdoors so the smell doesn’t spread inside your home. Empty your bin weekly by pouring the contents into your garden soil. Food compost is often great natural fertilizer, so you could be reducing your carbon footprint in more ways than one.
Habit 4: Use Automation to Streamline Procedures
Whether it’s paying your bills, planning your days, or making sure you’re updated on your car and home maintenance needs, you can use automation to streamline these processes and reduce your carbon emissions simultaneously.
For example, instead of sitting hours on end in front of your computer scheduling your week, it would be much easier and more energy-efficient to use an AI tracker to complete the task. Additionally, you could automate bill payments so you don’t have to drive down to the bank or your utility company and pay for them in person.
Habit 5: Buy Locally Sourced Products
Finally, buy products locally instead of buying them from off-state or off-country producers. Locally sourced products use up fewer resources in terms of transportation and packaging. Thus, they have less of an environmental impact than imported goods.
Another great thing about locally sourced goods is that you can buy them in their freshest state. These products don’t typically undergo the same preservation processes as imported goods. As a result, you can consume fresher, healthier goods at home.
The Bottom Line
It can be tough to make the shift toward living a more sustainable lifestyle. Taking small proactive steps daily is key to permanently changing your life for the better. Above are some of the easiest habits you can build to live a healthier, more eco-friendly life. Take the time to read each suggestion well and apply them where necessary. The earth is rooting for you!