The Concept of Sustainable Living
Sustainable living is the act of reducing your need for natural resources by replacing what is used up. The biggest driving force for environmental damage is the fact that we’re eating up precious resources at an alarming rate, this is why production around the world has surged within the last decade. Ambassadors of sustainable living hope to conduct their lives consistently in a way in which sustainability is at the forefront of importance, rather than an afterthought. By reducing what you own, you will naturally buy less, and in doing so, create less waste.
You need to ask yourself a set of questions before buying an item if you plan to live a sustainable life. Do you really need it? How did the production, distribution, and disposal of this product impact the environment (and associated packaging materials)? May attempt to implement the 30-Day Rule in which after the first time you decide you want a product, you wait thirty days, and if you still believe you need it after all that time then you can purchase it. Our planet only has a finite amount of resources, and can only withstand a certain level of greenhouse gas emissions in order to stay healthy. We only have one Earth, once that is gone we are done, We are utterly dependent on it for our survival and well-being so we need to do everything in our power to stop it from falling to pieces.
Our society & culture has done a terrible job of educating us about where the products we buy every day comes from and what sort of harm you are supported by creating a demand for these items. We already collectively own so much that we could all survive for quite a while on the existing products - if we just reused them a few times! Much of the planet’s economic growth has been achieved as a result of over-exploiting resources, such as fossil fuels. But as the world’s resources are coming under increasing pressure, so the constraints to growth are becoming increasingly visible. If available, instead of buying processed food, bring your own bags and containers and buy in bulk from grocery stores. Minimize or eliminate other types of purchases that generate waste. Switching to an animal-free, vegan diet is a powerful way to help protect our environment, help ensure everyone has enough to eat and improve their health.
Sustainable living aims to achieve an environmental equilibrium. This is sometimes called “net-zero living” or striking a “zero energy balance” with the Earth. In other words, return to the earth whatever you take from it. The terms of sustainable living and zero waste living are often used interchangeably. It’s easy to see why, because the two lifestyles are driven by the same goal – to preserve the planet. Even in practice, there’s plenty of overlap.
For example, reducing plastic is always good for the environment, so zero waste practices are inherently also sustainable living ones, too. On the flip side, those aiming for a zero-waste lifestyle also tend to adopt other sustainable living habits. While driven by the same underlying motivation, zero waste and sustainable living prioritize lifestyle changes differently. Zero waste focuses on the trash problem (at the consumer level) and the closed-loop cycle of production and consumption (at the systematic level). It doesn’t specifically address things like transportation or green pension funds to invest in. Those things are domains of sustainable living, a much broader concept that deals with ways to reduce the environmental impact of large-scale day-to-day activities that don’t necessarily produce quantifiable or physical forms of waste.
Sustainability and zero waste may be trending, but sustainable living must become the status quo. It’s a necessary lifestyle ethos that should become the default if we want to preserve the planet for future generations.
Climate change is happening. Resource depletion and biodiversity loss are happening. And we’re not just running out of unnecessary fossil fuels, but out of things like freshwater, which every single person and lifeform on the planet needs to survive. The term itself denotes its own importance. Sustainable living: a means of sustaining life on this planet. Even more than protecting it for our own self-preservation. We have a duty to protect our one and only planet…because the chances of finding another are probably at this stage more sci-fi than anything. The sheer existence of Earth is a statistical improbability, and the future of this extraordinary planet depends very much on how we humans behave.
This article is in association with SWAPABEE. An environmental app company that allows anyone to swap their items for others. Create an account and start swapping today at https://swapabee.co.uk/.