Living more sustainably is something many people strive for. Sustainable living is better for the environment and for peoples’ consciences, but it’s often portrayed as a huge life commitment that derails life as people know it. However, working more sustainability into your lifestyle doesn’t have to mean living off the land and off the grid—it can mean making simple, small changes every day. Check out these simple ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle without completely uprooting your life.
One small lifestyle change you can make to start living a more sustainable life is to eat locally. This is a great change for sustainability as well as a great way to support local farmers and chefs. Check out your local farmer’s markets, and try to buy sustainably and locally grown produce and foods. This cuts down on mass production of goods and transportation of food, and it directly supports local businesses. Eating locally and sustainably grown foods is also healthier, as less pesticides and chemicals are used in the production because the food is grown on a much smaller and more intimate scale.
Cut back on your energy usage
Cutting back on your energy usage is a great way to not only live more sustainably, but also to save money on your energy bills. Living more sustainably doesn’t have to mean living a more expensive lifestyle. Cutting back on your energy usage can be as simple as unplugging appliances when you’re not using them and turning off the lights when you’re not in the room. You should also aim to cut back on your air conditioning usage in the summer months. This doesn’t mean you have to sweat it out all summer, just that you should look for the best A/C temperature setting for efficiency and comfort in your home.
Leave the car at home
Whenever possible, try to walk, bike, or find another means of transportation to your obligations. Taking public transportation is a great alternative to commuting to work if there’s a public transportation line near you. Biking for shorter distances, such as to the grocery store, to friends’ homes, and on other short trips out of the house, is another great way to cut back on your carbon footprint. Walking is also a great alternative to driving for short distances. Just driving the few blocks to the convenience store to pick up that stick of butter you forgot can be tempting, but walking is more sustainable, and it’s great exercise.
There’s a ton of ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle without making huge leaps overnight. Small changes can add up to big ones over time. Start by implementing one sustainable practice at a time, and as you adjust to it, try adding on another and another until you’re living the sustainable and positive life you want to lead. You can also encourage friends and family members to try it with you so that there’s some friendly competition and accountability to keep you committed to a more sustainable lifestyle.