You probably reached this article because you are interested in a more sustainable lifestyle. You may already know that it is good to recycle, reduce the use of plastic, save energy and reduce your carbon (CO2) emissions.
Did you know that the average temperature on earth has risen so far by 0.8 degrees Celsius, compared to the temperature before the industrial revolution? If we do not control our carbon emissions, the earth will heat up way more. This will have huge consequences for the environment, our flora and fauna, and our well-being.
Sustainable living does not mean that you have to live without any comfort. It means that you consciously deal with some things and with the energy that you use, and think about the choices you make in daily life. There are all kinds of simple and useful ways to live a more sustainable life. Here are eight:
The Hidden Impact of Stuff on Our Environment - More info
The biggest impact we have on the environment is because we are constantly buying new things. You may not immediately see why this is so polluting (except when you consider that it eventually ends up as waste somewhere). But fact is that 92% of the impact of new stuff is "hidden".
This hidden impact is mainly a result of the production and transport of those items. Consider the carbon (CO2) emissions of factories in China that produce our staff which require great water and land use, pollution, deforestation and the impact that all of this has on biodiversity.
A simple way to reduce our (hidden) impact on the environment is by simply buying less stuff. By consuming less or minimizing, you can make your home life a lot more sustainable.
And if you need new stuff, use the free TreeClicks plugin. This is a free Chrome or Firefox plugin that plants trees when you shop. More than 10,000 shops are affiliated, including Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles, Best Buy, Wall Mart, Target, etc.. The majority of the commission TreeClicks receives from a shop when you buy something is used to plant trees. Trees store CO2, produce oxygen and have many other environmental benefits.
Did you know that the clothing industry is very polluting. Some call it the most polluting industry for the environment, but there’s worse polluters. However, the clothing industry still leads to water pollution, toxic waste, water contamination and residual waste. If you like shopping, choose sustainable brands that take the environment into account. Buy clothing that is made from organic cotton or clothing that has been produced sustainably. Or, buy second hand or vintage clothing.
Did you know that air travel alone only accounts for more than 2% of the global greenhouse gas (GHS) emissions. If you’re living in Europe, the train often is a great alternative. Especially, in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany with their great TGV, Thalys and ICE connections. But also carpooling reduces a lot of emissions.
If you’re still planning to travel by plane, check out FlyGRN, a flight search engine that automatically invests in solar panel projects in India to offset your flight’s carbon emissions (partially).
There are enough ways to save energy at home. The best way is of course to think about saving energy before constructing your house. When renovating your house, think of the material that is used, the design, natural ventilation / heating, solar panels, water heaters, good insulation, green electricity and the recycling of waste.
If you are not in the position to make choices at that level, you will get far with these ideas:
Have you ever heard of refurbished? These are second-hand electrical appliances, such as smartphones, laptops and refrigerators that have been "polished", repaired or returned by the customer because the packaging was broken. The devices are sometimes as good as new, but much cheaper than if you have to buy them new. Plus, it prevents the production of a new electronic device.
After stuff, meat has the greatest hidden impact on the environment. The carbon (CO2) emissions from the livestock industry are enormous. Cows emit between 70 and 120 kg of methane per year. Methane is a molecule that has a 23 times heavier greenhouse gas impact than CO2.
The meat industry is even more harmful to the environment than the emissions from road transport. If you eat a lot of meat, try an alternative, such as seitan, mushrooms, eggplant, lentils or plant-based ‘meat’.
How long do you show? 10 minutes? 15 minutes? That is about 120 liters of water that flows through the shower drain. Perhaps you only need a few minutes to wash your body and hair. E.g. set a timer for 5 minutes before you enter the shower. Or take a water-saving shower head. They save up to 26 liters of water per 7 minutes, which amounts to around 9,000 liters of water per person per year.
Another thing to think about: how often did you wash your hair? Did you know that it is better for your scalp and hair not to wash it every day? If you wash your hair 1 or 2 times a week, it will save you a lot of water and your hair will also look healthier. Your scalp is used to it after two weeks, so your hair becomes less likely to get greasy.
Livestock occupies 83% of the agricultural land, but only supplies 18% of the calories. Avoiding or reducing dairy and eggs significantly reduces your impact on the environment. In addition, it is probably also healthier for you, especially if you are lactose intolerant or have an allergy.
Some healthy alternatives to cow's milk are oatmeal milk, coconut milk or rice milk. And some substitutes for eggs are apple sauce, banana puree, ground flax seed or chia seed.
If you decide to stop eating all animal products and eat vegan, you must take the necessary supplements. There are certain minerals and vitamins (for example vitamin B12) that only occur in animal products, so replace them with supplements. And always contact your doctor before changing this lifestyle.
A better environment starts with yourself! By simplifying, making more conscious choices and making use of all the handy tools that are available today, you can certainly do way better!
Hereby all sustainable life tips at a glance:
Do you have another tip that you want to share? Let us know!
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