Have you heard of sustainable living?
Well, if you have, you’d know how important it is for more and more people to adopt a sustainable lifestyle in order to minimize our impact on the Earth’s natural resources. However, if you haven’t heard of this term before or aren’t sure what it really means, you should know this is not just a new trend or a fad. It is, in fact, one of the simplest and, probably, the most effective ways to stop climate change, which is gradually destroying our planet.
To make things easier, here is a breakdown of what a sustainable lifestyle actually entails and what does it mean to live a sustainable life.
What Is Sustainable Living?
By definition, sustainable living means practising a minimal-waste lifestyle with the goal of reducing the size of our carbon footprint on the Earth. Although most people don’t realize it, natural resources can be depleted if they are consumed faster than they can be replenished. This stands particularly true for wood, water and oil.
Therefore, living a sustainable life means ensuring we use as few natural resources as possible so they can be conserved for future generations. This objective can be achieved by practising a number of small yet healthy lifestyle changes. For instance, our modes of transportation, diet patterns, energy consumption and much more.
To put it simply, a sustainable community supports itself and its surroundings without relying heavily on non-renewable resources.
Why Is Sustainability Important?
The practice of sustainable living is much more important than most of us realize.
As the residents of Pakistan, we are no strangers to heat waves and cold snaps. In fact, just recently, most parts of the country suffered through an intense heat wave. In some cities, the temperature soared to above 50 degrees, according to the reports published by several national newspapers.
These extreme weather patterns are a result of climate change. Similarly, a number of animal species are becoming extinct. The marine life is also dying at an alarming pace because of global warming. As reported by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the rising sea levels and melting ice caps are threatening the habitat of several animals. This includes polar bears and penguins.
In addition to that, we might soon run out of wood and fossil fuel as well.
Now, if we want our ecosystem and the planet to survive, it is extremely important for us to address the concept of sustainability. Moreover, we also need to work towards adopting sustainable practices and creating awareness among others as a community.
Examples of Living a Sustainable Life
Some of the best examples of sustainable living ideas include growing your own food, using environmentally-friendly products, recycling and of course, planting more trees.
In order to tackle the increasing global warming, the Ministry of Climate Change recently launched a comprehensive Clean Green Pakistan movement. Although it is in its nascent stages, the movement includes initiatives to deal with reforestation, waste management and provision of drinking water among others. Previously, the country drew attention for planting over a billion trees under Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Billion Tree Tsunami project.
Tips on How to Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle
Here a few environmental sustainability tips for kids and adults alike.
- Say no to plastic bags. Instead, take your own biodegradable bags to the grocery store. You can also invest in a few glass jars for buying beans, lentils and other similar products. Also, avoid using plastic wraps at home.
- Do not spend money on single-use plastic bottles and disposable utensils. If possible, replace the plastic water bottles in your house with the glass ones. They are easily available at most hypermarkets.
- Open up your curtains and use natural light during the day. Apart from being a sustainable living idea, it will also improve your health.
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Also, don’t keep your porch lights blazing throughout the night. This is one of the best energy conservation tips for home as it will also help you cut down on your electricity bill.
- Hand wash and air dry your clothes instead of using washing machines and dryers. This will save both water and electricity.
- Grow your own produce instead of buying it. You can also grow an indoor herb garden or think about setting up a vertical garden inside your house. Similarly, farmers should also be taught about sustainable agriculture.
- Take the stairs instead of elevators. If more and more people do this, they will be able to conserve a lot of energy. Not to mention, taking stairs will also work wonders for your overall health.
- Research sustainable ways of transportation. You can also start riding a bicycle to work. Using public transport is also a good way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which is the biggest cause of air pollution.
- Go digital to cut down on paper consumption for sustainable living. Furthermore, read your books, newspapers and magazines online.
- If you are unable to recycle things, try reusing them. For instance, you can repurpose old clothes to make new eco-friendly products, such as a tote bag.
- Replace paper towels in your kitchen with pieces of cloth.
- Use metal straws instead of paper or plastic ones. They are neither good for your health nor for the environment.
- Before buying clothes and other accessories, make sure those brands practice ethical and environment-friendly methods to create their products.
- Similarly, before purchasing cosmetics, do a little research to figure out the company’s stance on issues such as animal testing.
- If your budget allows, consider installing a solar panel system for your home. Solar panels might be a little expensive, but utilizing solar energy is cost-effective in the long run. Using solar power systems are also one of the best ways to conserve energy.
- Last but not least, plant a tree. Of course, not all homes have a garden. But if you can’t physically plant a sapling, donate to one of the many organizations fighting deforestation and global warming in Pakistan.
These are just a few sustainable practices that can help tackle the growing threat of climate change and keep our natural resources from depleting.
For more information on how to go green to save the planet, stay tuned to Zameen Blog, the best lifestyle blog in Pakistan.