Sustainability, as explained by the EPA, is the idea that because everything we need for survival depends on the natural environment, we need to maintain conditions where humans and nature can exist so that current and future generations can continue to satisfy their needs. Keeping our life as we know it today is why living sustainably is important.
A question some may ask is, “Why is sustainable living important besides for the environment and our future?” It’s a fair question.
Some people believe they’ll be gone before the planet is destroyed. Others have more pressing needs like paying their bills and feeding their family.
In all honesty, for some people, the environment just isn’t important at all. Fortunately, sustainable living benefits us for more reasons than just our environment.
Being sustainable depends more on what your main motivation is in life and how this lifestyle helps you achieve that. If people can be convinced for those reasons, it’s a win for them, and it’s a win for our environment.
How to live sustainably
The way you can live sustainably can involve choices such as changing how you eat, using less energy, or adjusting the transportation you use. All of these choices help to cause less damage to the earth, which leaves enough food and other resources for future generations.
The Benefits of a Sustainable Lifestyle
1. Environmental Benefits
The main goal of a sustainable lifestyle is it helps cause less harm to the environment. As a result, it continues to function for the survival of future generations and species.
Let’s say for example that you choose to drive your car less. The EPA found that a typical passenger car can release 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year.
Now you might be wondering, “What do carbon emissions do to the environment?” What it does is it traps heat which causes climate change.
But how does sustainability affect us? If temperatures continue to rise, the earth will become impossible for humans to live on.
It may seem like scare tactics, but this is what will happen if we are not sustainable. Sustainability helps to reduce the release of carbon dioxide, decrease global temperatures, and continue to keep the earth comfortable to live on.
2. Financial Benefits
When you choose to eat only what you need, that lowers your weekly cost on groceries. When you choose to drive less, that lowers your weekly cost on gas.
Additionally, if you choose to use less energy in your home, it can reduce your energy bills. Using more energy-efficient sources such as wind and solar will save on your finances and improve the planet.
These are a few simple ways that sustainable habits can benefit you financially. If you own a business, it can even be a useful business strategy.
By highlighting your efforts to run your company in a way that’s good for the environment, you can attract new customers. Particularly millennial customers will find your business more attractive, since they’re more interested in companies that support social issues.
Be sure to be genuine about your efforts though, as people can sniff out fake companies that use social issues purely for marketing. Beyond attracting more customers, sustainable practices can help your business run more effectively, and lower your cost of operation.
Sustainable living examples
There many ways you can start living sustainably today. I’ve written a brief guide on how to start sustainable lifestyle that you can read. But here a few examples to consider:
1. Stop buying plastics
According to environmental health news, plastic survives thousands of years in water. As a result, it transports invasive species and harms our sea habitat.
If that doesn’t concern you, consider that plastic in landfills can cause harmful chemicals to get into our groundwater. Make it a habitat to buy reusable items.
Choose to buy for plastic alternatives. Look for items made of materials such as:
- Stainless steel
2. Use reusable bags
A great way you can help decrease plastics ending up in landfills is using reusable bags. Think of the number of times plastic bags get used to bag people’s groceries everyday.
Now imagine if we all used reusable bags. That would probably be a lot of plastic reduced in our landfills.
3. Be more energy-efficient
One easy way to be more energy efficient is using LED light bulbs. They last longer and save you more in the long run.
You could also consider keeping your appliances when not using them, and reducing how much you use your heating and cooling. Here’s where you can find out more on how to conserve energy in 2022.
Is Sustainable Living Expensive?
While some eco-friendly products can cost more, in general, living sustainably is not expensive. Remember, it’s about using less resources. The choice to use less resources actually helps you to save money.
A sustainable lifestyle is only expensive if you’ve been convinced by clever advertisers that it’s about buying a bunch of products. Even though some products such as LED lights are expensive, you’ll save more money because they tend to last longer than regular ones.
If you want to do an overhaul of your home, wardrobe, and food choices, you don’t have to do it all at once. Little by little, you can replace items in your home with sustainable ones. As long as you budget properly, this can become a completely affordable lifestyle.
Is sustainable living possible in today’s world?
Sustainable living is definitely possible in today’s world. Anyone can choose to use less resources and use more sustainable products. If you’re wondering if it’s hard to live sustainably, sometimes it is. If you live far from your job, it can be harder not to drive as often.
The products can sometimes be very expensive. Occasionally, you may feel like eating or using more resources than you need. Nonetheless, with planning and taking small steps of progress, you can create a sustainable lifestyle.
As a whole, sustainable living is important for life itself to continue for us as humans. Individually, the more you live sustainably, the more you realize how much it can actually support your own personal happiness.
When we start any new lifestyle, we feel a sense of purpose, which research shows makes us happy. In addition, sustainability helps you to do all the other things in life that can make you feel good. Perhaps, in the end, that’s the most important reason why you should live sustainably.