Guest Post By: Kay Elizabeth Carter
Sustainability is something that has caught the attention of numerous people in today’s society. Whether you’ve seen photos of turtles wrapped in plastic waste, heard the news of air quality diminishing due to large factories, or noticed the decline of available fossil fuels, something has probably caught your attention regarding sustainability. You may have not known what you could do to fix it, or how exactly your actions would be helping, but there are a lot of ways you can get involved.
The one thing that’s not helping the environment is doing nothing. In fact, the best way to help is to start acting now. Things like climate change, water pollution, air pollution, and animal extinction are all linked to bad habits that we as a society are practicing. Using excess fossil fuels and energy is linked to air pollution and the lack of recycling materials builds up waste and enforces companies to create more and use their factories to pollute the environment. However, there’s still hope to get Earth on the right track when it comes to sustainable acts.
Many people believe it is our civic duty to practice environmentally friendly practices so future generations don’t have to try to undo the damage that was done before, just in order to survive. Some people would say that this generation is already doing that. Here are five ways you can start being more sustainable in your life.
This one may seem obvious, but this is more than just sorting your trash into green bins. Any time you’re going to throw something out, think about recycling it. This can be as big a mattress or as small as your clothing. Look into where you can recycle any object: you’d be shocked at places that may want old things. Next time you’re spring cleaning, think about other sustainable businesses that will use your products for something else. By doing this, you’re already eliminating your own waste.
- Gradually Go Plasticless and Paperless
Reducing your plastic and paper waste is not a simple task to complete, but you can at least try to start with the little things. Consider giving up plastic water bottles and straws, then move to reusable bags for packing and shopping purposes. One way you can go paperless is by taking your bills online. The world is modern—we all know it. So, start getting your monthly bills through the internet; you don’t need those papers laying around. After these steps, try to be more conscious about the product you buy and refrain from buying items wrapped in plastic.
- Monitor Your Energy Use
According to House Method, you should assess your utility bill each month and take note of where you’re spending a lot of money. Not only will this help with your finances, but energy use is a large factor in contributing to air pollution. Turn off your lights and air conditioning when you aren’t in the room, never leave a fan on, and hang-dry your clothes from the laundry to avoid using a drying machine. These are three simple ways to start monitoring your energy use. Twenty-one days in, you’ll have created a habit. From there, you can find deeper ways to monitor and lower your energy use.
- Change Where You Shop
If you’ve never tried a Farmer’s Market, you’re missing out. Beyond a Farmer’s Market being a way to support local businesses and to get unique food, you’re supporting the environment. By not buying processed goods in their plastic wrapping, you’re helping to reduce the amount that needs to be produced by large factories that use a lot of fossil fuels and produce pollution. Other than groceries, you can shop at a variety of high-quality, second-hand clothing and furniture stores that help the same cause.
- Conserve Your Water
Fix that leaky sink, stop pre-washing your dishes AND putting them in the dishwasher, and take the appropriately timed showers (around five minutes). Using excess water only takes the clean water away from people who need it.