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Easy Steps Towards Sustainability
Easy Steps Towards Sustainability
Even though living life in a more sustainable way has been at the forefront of so many of our minds for years now, sometimes it feels like we take two steps forward and three steps back. Knowing the best moves to make that will have the most significant impact on the climate crisis is hard to pin down. Thankfully, science is ever-evolving, and knowledge is power. With that in mind, let's take a look at some tangible, immediate things we can do in our homes and lifestyles to make them more sustainable and genuinely make an impact.
We can do quick and easy things about the clothing we choose to purchase and wear that make a significant impact on multiple levels. Firstly, deciding to buy items made from sustainable materials like cotton, linen, and silk is a given. Even your undergarments make a difference; instead of something fabricated with synthetic materials, opting for bamboo underwear or cotton makes a huge difference. You also can make a conscious decision to steer clear of fast fashion. The harsh dyes used impact the climate, as well as the factories and the shipping methods. Beyond that, it can be a humanitarian issue as far as said factory workers are treated and the conditions they are exposed to.
Additionally, when you're done with clothing, whether you've outgrown it or it seems outdated – don't toss it in the garbage. If you feel like investing the time in selling your unwanted clothing, there are apps for that, or you could consign. Beyond that, there are always donation centers or shelters that will happily take your unwanted clothing items.
While it might not be in everyone's budget to go and outfit their homes with solar panels immediately, there are smaller steps you can take to make your home more sustainable. Some areas are as small as simply turning off the water while we brush our teeth. Maybe it's been on your wishlist to replace your air conditioning unit, get new windows, or a new washer and dryer. Saving up for these big-ticket items is not only rewarding to you in dollars saved as they are more energy-efficient, but they make a significant impact on the environment as well.
On top of the big things we can do to our home, what is inside of the home makes a difference. Please commit not to bring any more single-use items into the house and opt out of them when you're in public. It's not as inconvenient as it may seem to travel with your reusable straw or bamboo utensil set – they take up almost zero space in any bag. As far as storing leftovers go, make sure you're using glass containers – not only do they last longer, they're cleaner as far as production goes, and you don't have to worry about anything leaching into your food when you reheat it. As you'll soon find on your sustainability journey, the benefits aren't just to the environment; they're for you and your family in the immediate term as well!
Ditch The Car
Now, this one might sound downright tricky for most people but think about it. Not only does a family owning one car instead of two (or even three) impact the climate crisis, you get some serious payback yourselves. Money saved on another car payment, not having to insure the extra car—more time spent with your family carpooling together. More time spent using public transit – running with or without you on it, so don't weigh the environmental cost there. And, most importantly, if you're in a city or small town, you can quickly get from A to B by good old-fashioned walking, which pays off in your physical health. It may seem impossible, but it's worth considering downsizing to one vehicle.
At the end of the day, the time to act is now. It is becoming more and more evident every year. So, we collectively should stop making excuses about how what we do as one person doesn't have an impact; it one hundred percent does. And, what's even better, is it's not that hard to start implementing changes when and where we can. If you feel constricted by budgets, make it part of your plans to save so you can make some of these changes. And, as mentioned earlier, the benefits affect you immediately in such positive and healthy ways; you can let that be a motivator. But most importantly, you want to leave the planet safe and sustainable for the future generations to come, our children and theirs. We can change the world; you can do it!