How Sustainable Living Can Transform Your Life
by Sally Wong
Sustainable living has become a catch phrase for everything from eating a whole foods diet to living off the grid using only renewable energy sources. But living sustainably is more than any one component of conscious living. It encompasses each aspect of life and aims towards creating a life that gives more than it takes – to the planet and each of its inhabitants, human and animal.
This article will tell you more about how choosing a path for life that is sustainable and transformative.
The Major Components of Sustainable Living
If you are new to living sustainably but feel like you really want to learn more, it can be helpful to pick a place to start. Rather than tackling a total life makeover all at once, you might want to start with what you eat, or how you get to work or what companies you shop with.
Here is an overview of different facets of sustainable living to get you brainstorming about where you might like to start:
Home and personal care products
Today, many products sold commercially for cleaning your home and for personal hygiene are actually loaded with toxins, chemicals and irritants. By switching from chemical-laden products to pure, natural products, you ease the planet’s burden and safeguard your own health.
Here are some ideas for how to change your purchasing patterns:
- Instead of buying commercial sprays, scrubs and gels to clean your home with, try making all-natural recipes with white vinegar, lemon juice, water, baking soda, washing soda and essential oils.
- Instead of choosing commercial soaps, lotions and hair care products, consider using a natural oil carrier like coconut oil and adding essential oils that provide different health properties.
While it is true that the world as a whole is still largely dependent on fossil fuels for generating power, increasingly we have more alternatives to choose from that are less damaging to the planet and more readily renewable and sustainable.
Here are some options for finding more eco-friendly energy sources:
- Opt for wind-powered electricity for your home or apartment.
- When you are ready to buy a car, choose one of the new hybrid vehicles that runs on both gas and electricity or a fully electric car that produces zero emissions.
- Make use of the IRS’s energy efficiency tax credits to install solar panels for energy and night security lighting.
- Install windows with Low-e energy efficient coatings and secure the seals with extra weatherstripping.
Every day, tons of food goes to waste. As well, much of today’s food options are highly processed and loaded with salt, sugar, fat and preservatives which are not healthy for your body or the planet.
Here is some food for thought for shifting to a more sustainable diet:
- Start your own organic vegetable garden and herb garden.
- Plant some fruit trees or bushes around your home.
- Join a food co-op to make eating organic more affordable for everyone.
- Shop responsibly with grocers and farmer’s markets that care about the environment and will only buy from companies that treat their workers fairly.
- Stop using pesticides, herbicides and insecticides on your own lawn and garden.
More and more, the news is highlighting different ways that our water supply is being toxified and even poisoned by both civilian and military entities.
Generally speaking, water is not a renewable resource – when it is all gone, we won’t have any safe way to make more. So being more conscious about water use and water purity is a central tenet of sustainable life.
Here are ways to begin to use water more consciously:
- Set out a rain barrel to collect grey water to use to irrigate your lawn and garden.
- Install low-flow fixtures on your faucets and shower to reduce water use.
- Purchase a low-flow toilet when you are ready to replace the one you have.
- Water your lawn only in the early morning or late evening to avoid losing water to dehydration.
- Install a water purification system for your home to ensure your drinking water is safe and free from contaminants.
- Invest in a reusable water bottle to reduce the demand for plastic bottles.
There are many more ways to incorporate sustainability practices into your everyday life. But these will get you headed in a direction that feels good and inspires you to learn even more!
About the Author
Sally Wong came to the United States as a young teen. She brought with her a rich repository of knowledge in massage and the healing arts which was passed down to her from her mother and grandmother. Today she works as a manual and massage therapist in Vancouver, Canada. She write about her passion on her personal blog. She loves to make DIY Gifts for friends and family.