First-timers have several misconceptions about living sustainably. Social media influencers have made zero-waste lifestyles about cute tumblers, reusable straws, and printed tote bags. While millions have “ditched” disposable straws and bags, not many commit to their new lifestyle.
Eco-friendly trends entice curious newcomers. However, they don’t explain the long-term benefits of sustainability. Most so-called eco-friendly brands just want to profit. Studies even show that single-stream recycling options focus on branding and customer convenience—not sustainability.
Stop patronizing self-proclaimed eco-friendly brands! If you want to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, we will talk you through how to adjust the following aspects of your daily life below.
Sustainability: What Is It and How to Achieve It
Over Reliance on Single-Use Products
You might not notice it, but most of your trash consists of single-use products. Reports indicate that the global population uses 5 trillion plastic bags per annum and one million plastic bottles every minute. Moreover, half of these are only used once.
A wasteful lifestyle relying solely on disposable products compromises the environment for short-term convenience. For instance, it’s easier to buy bottled water than carry around a reusable tumbler.
If you want to live more sustainably, however, you’ll have to find alternatives to the single-use products you commonly use, such as:
- Cotton Rounds: Most people use around a hundred cotton rounds per month, totaling a thousand annually. While practical, cotton isn’t exactly eco-friendly. Manufacturing two pounds of cotton wastes over 5200 gallons of clean water. If you want sustainable alternatives, try LastObject cotton rounds. Each pack contains seven pads, which you wash and reuse up to 1,750 times.
- Grocery Bags: Several local and international grocery stores have sworn off single-use bags to control the planet’s growing plastic waste problem. Shoppers now have to bring reusable bags. For durable, easy-to-clean options, try the shopping box bags from the Creative Green Life Store. These heavy-duty box bags can carry several pounds of groceries at a time.
- Toilet Paper: Solely wiping with toilet paper is wasteful and unsanitary. Instead of thousands of rolls every year, switch to a toilet bidet. Options like the SonTiy handheld bidet produce a powerful stream of water that effectively cleans your bottom after using the toilet.
- Bottled Shampoo: Most people go through a dozen large shampoo bottles every year, wasting millions of unrecyclable bottles. To help minimize the growing plastic waste problem, opt for shampoo bars. Brands like Ethique carry a wide range of sustainable, vegan, and all-natural bars for various hair types.
Preferred Modes of Transportation
SUVs and crossovers recently grew in popularity for their comfortable driving experience. However, they might not be the most practical vehicle. Urban dwellers who often travel alone should forgo large, bulky vehicles because these consume too much gas and road space.
The most sustainable, eco-friendly option is to take public transportation. Opt for shared modes of transportation so that you consume less space, burn fewer gallons of fuel, and produce minimized carbon emissions. Those who primarily travel within the neighborhood can ride a bike.
If you need a private vehicle, however, opt for compact, fuel-efficient options. Mid-size cars and SUVs offer luxury and comfort, but they consume two to three times more than subcompact cars like the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Accent, and Chevrolet Sonic.
Waste Segregation and Disposal
Participating in cleanup drives isn’t the only way to leave a positive impact on the environment. Waste segregation goes a long way.
Instead of dumping all your rubbish in the same bin, get three different containers for your biodegradable, non-biodegradable, and recyclable waste. Single-use plastic wouldn’t hurt the planet as much if companies started repurposing them.
Note: Ensure that your apartment complex or neighborhood also does waste segregation. Otherwise, your segregated trash might end up in the same bins on garbage collection days.
Obsession With Trends
We live in a fast-paced society ruled by trends. Enterprises dominating the fashion, tech, cosmetic, and even automobile industries manipulate consumers into thinking that they need the latest releases on the market. As a result, society shames people who drive old cars or use old phones.
Those who wish to lead a more sustainable lifestyle should make mindful, purpose-driven purchases. Only buy what you need. Excessive shopping not only wastes your resources but also encourages capitalist manufacturers to mass-produce goods, thus compromising the planet’s health.
For example, while smartphones allow users to go paperless, assembling these devices exhausts non-renewable resources like lithium, cobalt, and gold. Yes, buying the latest iPhone every year depletes environmental resources. With the proper care, phones should last no less than half a decade.
Start Living More Sustainably Today!
Sustainability goes beyond trends like reusable Starbucks cups or metal straws. Strive to make mindful decisions to reduce your carbon footprint, rely less on non-renewable energy, and minimize waste production. Your daily activities shouldn’t compromise the planet’s health.
Overall, adopting eco-friendly routines takes time. No one achieves a self-sustaining, zero-waste lifestyle in just a couple of months. Ease into the process with small, feasible changes instead of altering the way you live altogether. Develop lifelong habits.