What is sustainability?
Many natural resources are nonrenewable, meaning that once they’re used up, there’s no way to get them back. Environmental sustainability seeks to avoid using up all or too much of our natural resources, both nonrenewable and renewable. Not only does sustainability improve the environment, but it also improves our quality of life. Because of these reasons, living a more sustainable lifestyle is becoming increasingly attractive to people, especially the younger generations. Here are a few ways that you can live a more sustainable life.
Photo by Singkham
#1: Save Energy
For years, people have known that saving energy is good for the environment. Things like turning off lamps and lights when they’re not being used have been done for decades, but there are many other sufficient ways to save energy. Simple things such as switching to LED lightbulbs and hanging clothes out to dry instead of using the dryer helps to save energy.
One of the best energy savers in today’s highly digital world is smart power strips. Some of the biggest “energy vampires” in a home include phone chargers, smart TVs, laptops and computers, and microwave ovens. They use a significant amount of energy, even when they’re not being used. Smart power strips eliminate this waste of energy by shutting off the power source when these devices aren’t being used.
Switching to a renewable energy source is another great way to save energy. Having solar panels installed on your home allows light from the sun to be converted into electricity. Your entire house can be powered by a renewable energy source, therefore not wasting any energy at all. Of course, this means that at night there will be no source of energy for electricity. However, new solar panel systems allow extra energy to be stored in generators to be used later.
#2: Save Water
Like energy, water is another natural resource that people have been trying to preserve. Not leaving the faucet running has been the most popular way to reduce the amount of water used. But just like energy, the use of smart devices has helped us save even more water than before. For example, smart toilets can detect how much water to use when flushing based on the waste inside them. Several other household appliances that use water also come with high-efficiency features to ensure that less water and energy are used.
If you’re a gardener, you can also save water by collecting rainwater for your plants instead of using your water hose. You also have the option to grow plants that don’t need as much water. Adding mulch to your soil is another effective way to save water, as mulch can help reduce the rate of evaporation, preventing you from having to water too often.
When it comes to environmental sustainability, transportation is a complex topic because there are so many ways that this can be done. For one, some people choose to drive their cars less or completely stop altogether, using a more sustainable form of transportation, such as walking or biking. Others opt for carpooling or car sharing, which cuts down on the number of vehicles on the road. These techniques also cut down on the amount of money spent on cars, repairs, and gas.
Another way to become more sustainable with your transportation is to switch from a gas-powered car to an electric vehicle, or EV. EVs produce no carbon emissions, therefore keeping the environment free of carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution. Keep in mind that while this definitely saves the environment, it may cost you more money— at first. EVs are more expensive up front, but you’ll never have to spend money on gas again. Car insurance for electric vehicles may also be more costly than for gas-powered vehicles. You just have to compare the rates.
These three tips, along with other forms of sustainable living, including recycling, going paperless, and using eco-friendly products, will help you live more sustainably. Remember, you don’t have to make all of these changes at once. Every little bit helps, so even the smallest start has a positive impact on the environment.