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It is impossible to disregard the damage done to the environment, and many of us want to do our bit to make a difference. But knowing where to start can be challenging. For example, do we focus on reducing plastic use? Should we ditch the car and try to cut back on our carbon footprint? Would it make a more significant impact if we research the best renewable energy stocks and invest?
Knowing how to go about living a more sustainable life is hard. Our planet and the environment is complicated. Every day we are bombarded with new articles and research urging us to make a change. Yet, for some, it can feel so overwhelming that we end up doing nothing at all. So here are a few suggestions to help you embrace a greener sustainable lifestyle.
The First Steps To A Green Lifestyle
One of the first things to keep in mind is to be realistic about your green objectives. There is no point in creating a touch regime where you can never use plastic, travel in cars, or eat a takeaway. It is unlikely you will stick to it, and it will most likely make you miserable.
Sustainability is a core process. To begin with, take some time out to think about your life. What you enjoy, what you need, what you could perhaps do without, and what would make you happier. The fundamental part of this exercise is to figure out what is truly important to you.
The time you take to reflect may take you by surprise as you could learn new green insights about yourself you did not realise were there. Living a more sustainable life is not about simply switching off your lights. It is fundamentally learning where and how you can support the environment and be happier due to the lifelong benefit.
What Can You Easily Achieve?
To make some simple steps towards sustainability, look at what you can easily achieve in your everyday life. Do you live close to work or your children’s school? If so, consider walking or cycling instead of driving there. It may take a bit more time, but this simple shift will not only cut emissions and save you money on fuel, but it will also make you and your children healthier.
Something as easy as using refillable coffee cups and water bottles to help reduce waste are positive steps towards an environmentally friendly future. If you are someone who enjoys a shop, there are some treasures found in second-hand shops. By buying pre-loved high-quality goods, you will be saving them from landfill and slowing down the consumer appetite for cheap fast fashion.
What you do doesn’t need to be elaborate and life-changing. Sustainable habits can be simple and still be effective in making a positive impact. Each person’s changes should be individual, selected for longevity and practicality. There is no point in making substantial changes that you can only stick to for a day or two.
Changing Habits and Saving Money
It may not seem obviously environmental, but you are buying something every time you spend money on a product. Consider the packaging around the product (which is most likely plastic) and the energy it took to manufacture it. Every time you choose to save money and not buy something, you are potentially minimising the product’s environmental impact. It is surprising how much we buy that we do not really need or even end up using.
There are, of course, some products we do want as part of our everyday lives, such as self-care products and food. Putting a bit of thought behind the brands we choose to buy from can help cut down on unnecessary packaging. For example, there are now packaging-free shampoo and conditioners. You can also find plenty of stores offering refills of your favourite brands in reusable containers you bring in from home.
You will find that these new sustainable shopping habits will become an ingrained part of your consumer behaviour. Not only will you be putting the concerns of the environment first, but you may also find you are saving money.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
There is always a little more we could be doing to improve our sustainability habits but don’t let this get you down. Treating yourself and others kindly can help make the world a happier place. It has been discovered that kindness may be the secret to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In 2015, 193 countries joined forces and agreed on the ambitious 2030 global agenda. Together they defined 17 SDGs that would help us collectively work towards creating a better world. Over time, the SDGs have helped us understand the interdependency of living beings on the planet and how one’s actions in a remote corner of the world can directly impact another’s well-being in another part of the globe.
By nature, human beings are empathetic. Unfortunately, the external influences have redirected our attention towards material wealth, which sometimes represses this natural trait. However, recent neuroscientific research indicates that we can be trained in the cognitive aspects to be empathetic, compassionate, and kind as individuals.
Small actions like switching over to more efficient light bulbs and shortening your shower times can positively impact the environment. In addition, finding a more thoughtful and more profound way to discover sustainability can contribute to your health, happiness, wallet and prosperity in the long term.