Shifting to a more sustainable lifestyle

Yvonne O'Halloran

A year ago, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report declaring that human activity is causing irreversible and unprecedented damage to the climate. The scientific body warns that a deluge of droughts, heatwaves, and floods will come if the world fails to act fast.

The report emphasises that sustainability should be more than just a buzzword—it should be a way of life. The climate emergency we’re facing today is caused by human influence, and the best method to help the environment is to adopt sustainable habits. Below are four simple ways you can shift to a more sustainable lifestyle:

1. Buy Your Food Locally

Buying your food locally is one of the easiest ways to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. Our blog post “Carbon Footprint Over Calories?” emphasises the importance of raising awareness about the carbon impact of meat, dairy, fish, and egg products. For instance, one beef burger can even be more damaging than driving a petrol car for ten miles in terms of methane emissions from production and transportation.

To start, you can look into local farmers’ markets. They enable you to buy directly from farmers working hard to grow food responsibly and sustainably. Patronising local producers versus big brand names will help you support a smaller and more diverse economy while ensuring that you are getting fresher and more nutritious foods.

2. Switch to Solar Energy

Fossil fuels are one of the biggest culprits of global warming, which is why switching to clean energy is one of the best ways to live sustainably. Solar power is a renewable energy source that does not emit waste or harmful toxins. The solar panels on Hoymiles demonstrate how going solar helps homeowners achieve energy independence while reducing their carbon footprint. Solar panels are now an accessible technology that can be installed, monitored, and maintained conveniently to help you harness the limitless capacity of the sun.

If you have a roof on your house, consider switching to solar energy. This kind of change doesn’t merely make sense on an environmental level—it also makes financial sense for your home. After all, using renewable clean energy can reduce your utility bills and improve property value.

3. Go Plastic-Free

The UK Parliament estimates that the country uses five million tonnes of plastic yearly. Much of this number comes from packaging—contributing to waste in landfills or the ocean. Going plastic-free is one of the easiest, low-commitment ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

You can start transitioning by using reusable cloth bags when shopping. These bags are often made from scrap fabrics or other recycled materials. If you’re particularly crafty, you can even make your bag yourself. Once you’ve got your bag, make sure to keep them on you so you won’t need single-use bags. After these bags get dirty, they can be easily washed and dried for another round of use. Another good practice is bringing reusable food containers or bottles made from stainless steel or glass whenever you eat out. This eliminates the need for plastic or styrofoam containers.

4. Buy Vintage Furniture

Buying vintage furniture is much better for the environment than buying new pieces from a big brand. Contemporary furniture is often made from synthetic materials like PVC, which can be challenging to recycle. This is not the case with vintage furniture—they are made from wood, leather, cotton, and wool. From a sustainability standpoint, these materials are much better than plastics and newfangled synthetics.

Additionally, when you buy vintage furniture from a thrift store or antique dealer, you give new life to an old object passed down from generation to generation. Each vintage piece often has a unique story behind it, making for a great conversation piece too.

Shifting to a more sustainable lifestyle means making a huge difference in the world. While we can’t change everything overnight, every small step taken is a considerable contribution toward achieving a greener planet. For more about eco-friendly living, please visit the blog at Living Vegan.

Written by Alice Penelope Cross- Asia

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