The topic of sustainability can feel overwhelming at first. After all, it’s a global issue that is facing billions of individuals all at the same time.
However, the reality of living a sustainable lifestyle doesn’t happen on a macro scale. It starts with micro-adjustments, many of which can take place right in your own home.
Here are a few suggestions for ways to jumpstart your sustainable journey right in the comfort of your own living space.
Start With the “Three R’s”
Before you begin implementing specific activities, it’s important to familiarize yourself with one of the key building blocks of a sustainable life: the “Three R’s.” These are:
- Reducing the number of things that you use.
- Reusing items whenever possible.
- Recycling things when they cannot be reclaimed.
By adopting this mindset toward your belongings, you can impact every area of your life where you consume material goods.
Embrace Remote Work if You Can
By shifting to a remote work environment, you can dramatically cut down on carbon emissions. This is much easier to do post-pandemic, as employers are much more open to the idea of letting employees work remotely at least part of the time.
If space is an issue, it may be worth investing in converting a spare room into a home office. This can give you a place to focus and accomplish deep work without the need to commute to an office every day.
We live in a consumer-driven world. And the truth is, you need to shop sometimes. However, the way that you purchase goods can have a huge impact on your sustainability.
This starts with things like clothing. If you give in to the temptation to buy fast-fashion clothing, you’re going to feel pressure to replace your wardrobe on a regular basis. Instead, look for fashion trends that are going to stick around. By purchasing things like baggy jeans, oversized t-shirts, and hats, you safeguard your wardrobe against the need to make upgrades too often.
From there, make sure to take care of the clothes that you already own. By purchasing styles that will last and then caring for your clothes, you can avoid adding to the pollution crisis via your wardrobe.
Get Smart About Your Resource Usage
Along with things like clothing, it’s also worth taking a look at how you use basic resources, such as water, electricity, and fuel, in your house. There are many ways to reduce your consumption within your home, such as:
- Installing low-flow water fixtures in your kitchen and bathroom.
- Replacing your furnace with a high-efficiency alternative.
- Using an Energy Hub and other green gadgets to gauge how much electricity you’re using.
Things like excessively burning gas and running too much water are easy to lose track of. They take place quietly in the background of your life. If you want to live more sustainably, it’s important that you proactively find ways to reduce these areas of waste in your home.
Don’t Forget Your Yard
Sustainability doesn’t just impact things within the four walls of your home. It can also change how you do your landscaping.
Sustainable design is a hot topic that tends to be connected to things like skyscrapers and other large-scale construction projects. The truth is, though, you can incorporate sustainable design right into your own yard, too.
For instance, you can create an eco-friendly yard by:
- Composting and maintaining healthy soil;
- Planting trees and plants that can naturally thrive in your area;
- Using earth-friendly materials in your landscape designs.
Your yard is where your life intersects with nature. Make sure it’s helping rather than hurting the environment.
Starting the Sustainable Journey at Home
Sustainability tends to be a topic that is discussed in reference to sprawling issues, like urban and rural climate impact, melting polar ice caps, and rising sea levels. And these are all factors that should be on our radar. However, when it comes to individual activity, it’s important to do more than pay attention to the big headlines.
By making little efforts like those outlined above, you set the tone for a larger sustainable lifestyle. Small habits slowly seep into the way that you see the entire world around you. By making changes on the homefront, you can also impact the attitude and behaviors of your significant other, children, and any others who share your living space.
So, before you get too caught up in the headlines and bigger movements, take a hard look at your home life. Where are you living sustainably? Where are you lacking in that area? Auditing the eco-friendly nature of your personal life is a great way to set the tone for the rest of your sustainable efforts.