We only get one planet. Sure, it’s nice to think “we’ll just start a colony on the moon or Mars” but at the rapid rate our climate is changing & population is growing, who are we kidding? Our rain forests are being demolished and our glaciers are melting at record speed (have you seen this scary article? Or this one?). Our sea levels are rising and there are islands (yes plural) the size of Texas made of plastic and waste in the middle of our oceans. Our beautiful planet is wasting away and unless we start to live more consciously, we’re going to allow this to happen before our eyes and before our children’s eyes.
This is why I have transitioned into living a more sustainable lifestyle in the past decade and why I started a blog to try to teach people that living sustainably doesn’t have to be difficult. Instead, it’s quite the opposite: I feel lighter & happier on a daily basis. So with that, here is my list of 4 ways to live a more sustainable life.
Simply put a recycling bin next to your trash can. Rinse any cans, plastic or glass from food containers and packaging and recycle them. Same thing goes for newspapers, magazines, junk mail, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, empty soap dispensers and more. Rinse, recycle and repeat. This way those items are being re-used instead of piling up in our land fills. I’m proud that our recycling bin fills up much quicker than our trash can.
2.) Eat more plant-based meals
Incorporate more plant-based meals into your life or switch to a plant-based diet. Need ideas? Check out the recipes on this blog, or feel free to comment on a post and I’m happy to help with suggestions! Fact: approximately 18% of the green house gases emitted into our atmosphere come from cow’s bums. Yep. That’s more than all cars, planes, trains & boats on the planet combined. Let me repeat that: animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases than every mode of transportation on this entire planet combined. How crazy is that? By eating more plant-based meals, the demand for green-house gas causing meat will go down and the production of CO2-producing plants will go up. You’ll also save lives, so you can think of yourself as a superhero too. Here’s a wonderful article that Moby wrote last year that I still reference.
3.) Eat more locally-sourced foods
So you drive a Prius, take shorter showers… and eat pineapples and mangoes that were shipped 5,000 miles. That makes no sense & it is highly unsustainable. A better option? Shop at your local farmer’s market or co-op. If you don’t have one close by, check to see if you have a nearby CSA delivery service. Another option is to purchase items in your grocery store that are listed as being grown in areas closer to where you live. Pick up some apples & oranges that were grown in your home state instead of those blueberries from Chile. By supporting locally-sourced foods, you’re supporting local farms and your food will travel less to get to your plate. It’ll also taste better since it wasn’t sitting in a shipping crate for a week.
4.) Conserve water
Make it a habit to turn off your water when you brush your teeth, take shorter showers and turn down your water pressure when hand washing dishes. No need to power wash your plates, that’s what a good scrub brush is for. Sure 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, but only 2.5% of that is fresh water and desalinization consumes a lot of energy (the removal of salt from ocean water) so it’s not a sustainable option. Us Californians are in the midst of a 3-year drought that is about to get a lot worse (sadly, this was reported the other day) despite the fact that we’re next to the Pacific Ocean and the UN predicts that by 2025, 14% of the world’s population will encounter water scarcity.