10 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable Lifestyle in 2023
More than just a buzzword, what does sustainability really mean? A popular term encouraged by the UN, global organizations, bloggers, artisans, and environmental activists alike. Sustainable living can mean different things to different people. Broadly, it comes down to choices and behaviours that focus on living within our means to encourage human and environmental health.
Scientists and researchers around the world have shown us the dramatic effects and future problems of climate change. Issues with flooding and the hidden costs of climate change are not to be downplayed. We know we must act now as drastic changes are needed to solve this crisis.
But while no one can be perfectly sustainable, the sky’s the limit for how far along the sustainable spectrum you can go. Here are some of the most impactful and practical things you can do to incorporate sustainability into your lifestyle.
1. Adopting minimalism
Adopting minimalism as a way to live a sustainable lifestyle can involve making changes to your consumption habits, such as buying fewer items and choosing more environmentally-friendly products. With a minimalist lifestyle, you will recycle more, use less, and be more mindful of the things you consume to ensure sustainability.
2. Choose quality over quantity
When making purchases, prioritize quality over quantity. Invest in durable, long-lasting items that will serve you well in the long run rather than buying cheap, disposable items that need to be replaced frequently.
3. More plant-based diet
Plant-based diets require fewer resources to produce and have a lower carbon footprint than diets that include animal products. Consider incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet.
4. Walking, biking, or carpooling
Contrary to popular opinion, walking, biking, or carpooling are not evidence of poverty or sapa, as we fondly say in Nigeria. Rather, these are all excellent ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle. These modes of transportation have several benefits:
Lesser emissions are generated than driving alone in a car. This can help reduce air pollution and combat climate change.
Walking and biking are excellent forms of physical activity that can improve your physical and mental health.
These modes of transportation can save you money on gas and vehicle maintenance costs.
If you're able to walk, bike, or carpool to work, it's a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.
5. Turn off and unplug devices
Unplugging devices when not in use can be an effective way for a sustainable lifestyle by reducing energy consumption and saving money on electricity bills. Many devices, such as televisions, computers, and chargers, continue to draw a small amount of power, even when turned off or in standby mode. This is known as "phantom power" or "vampire power." By unplugging these devices, you can prevent this unnecessary energy consumption and live more sustainably.
6. Opt for renewable energy options
Renewable energy is a great way to live sustainably and reduce environmental impact. These sources include solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass, all of which are alternatives to traditional fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas.
Start by installing solar panels in your home or business. Solar panels use the energy from the sun to generate electricity and can provide a significant portion of your energy needs.
7. Choose products with minimal packaging
Buying products with less packaging is one way to live sustainably and reduce your environmental impact. Excessive packaging becomes waste and a major problem that contributes to landfills and creates pollution.
Another way to do this is to buy products in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging for individual items. Additionally, instead of using disposable plastic bags each time, consider bringing your own reusable shopping bags and containers to the store. This way, stores don’t have to provide you with plastic/paper bags that are likely to contaminate the environment.
8. Avoid single-use items
We encounter single-use items in our day-to-day life. Single-use items like plastic straws, paper towels, plastic grocery bags, plastic cutlery, and so on. These items contribute significantly to waste and the bulk of landfills. Try to avoid these items and choose reusable alternatives by opting out of disposable utensils when ordering food online. While you may not be able to eliminate all these items, you can surely cut down the usage.
9. Leverage do-it-yourself (DIY) projects
These days DIY is highly popular on the internet and can be a fun, fulfilling way to make your own products and live sustainably. Start by using natural, sustainable materials that are environmentally friendly to make your own non-toxic homemade cleaning products, natural body products or personal care products.
Look for recipes and tutorials that use natural ingredients and techniques. Don't try to take on a big project right away. Choose something manageable, like making your own soap or candles, and work your way up from there.
10. Finally, ditch the plastic!
Plastic never goes away! It takes millions of years to decompose and can be found swirling on the surface of oceans and on land. The effects are disastrous; many sea animals die every year from ingesting plastic or getting tangled up in it.
We know this problem, but how can we solve it?
Studies show that if you ask 1000 people if sustainability matters to them, 90% will say: “Yes!” Of course, who wouldn’t? Few people will say, “Oh, I don’t care about the environment.”
Now, if you ask this 90% if they are choosing sustainable options or actively living a more sustainable lifestyle, this percentage will likely drop to less than 40%, depending on the age and location. So, the question is, why do we say we care but don’t act it? A sustainable lifestyle is generally considered more expensive. From eco-friendly products to installing renewable energy and several others.
But guess what? You can have it all with iRecycle.world without having to break the bank. You can recycle your plastics from the comfort of your home, earn cool incentives and practice sustainability effortlessly. All you need do is sign up to create your account and join our community to learn more.
Now, after all is said and done, is it really possible to live a sustainable lifestyle in 2023?
The answer remains YES! We can all do our little bit to contribute to a sustainable environment. Living sustainably does not mean your quality of life needs to suffer. It just requires little changes in our daily routine. When in doubt, practice the 5 R’s of zero waste:
Refuse what you do not need.
Reduce what you need.
Reuse what you consume by choosing reusable over disposable.
Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce or reuse.
Rot (compost) the rest.
What one person does has a ripple effect throughout society. If you set a good example, others will notice and follow suit. Remember, sustainability is more than just a trend, it's a lifestyle, and it's here to stay!