Not all of us live in an area that is conducive to planting our own gardens or visiting the local farmer’s market several times a week. But all of us can practice living a more sustainable life – no matter where we live.
What is sustainable living?
Two years ago I had not even heard of the word sustainable. I had no idea what sustainable living meant. I thought it meant I had to drive an electric car, gather and harvest my own foods and hunt for my dinner. And while those are all wonderful ideas, they were not very realistic for my family. I had to find other alternatives.
Wikipedia defines sustainable living as –
a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources and his/her own resources.
I could do that. But how? I don’t live in the country and I don’t drive an electric car.
Organizing shopping trips for sustainable living
The first thing I did to try a more sustainable living is I prioritized my shopping trips. I live in a metropolitan area and traffic can be a problem; no matter what time of the day you venture out. I decided to make shopping lists and shopping routes, only shopping at certain stores on certain days, in accordance with my schedule. For example, if I had to drive 15 miles west for an appointment, I would schedule my stops en route to and from my appointment, rather than making one trip for one thing. By doing this, I have not only contributed to saving the environment in my own little corner of the world, but I have also saved money on gas, and wear and tear on my car.
Reducing plastic usage for sustainable living
My family recycles and has been doing it for several years. But what I didn’t realize is that all that plastic that I was recycling is not healthy for the environment. So we stopped purchasing plastic bottles. I purchased a water bottle for each family member and they use that whenever possible. In addition, the paper plates I love so much because of their ease, are now only used for special occasions when I don’t have enough dishes for the entire group we may be entertaining.
These were such simple changes that really did not adversely affect our lifestyle but will certainly benefit our lives in the long run. I also hope that by consistently making decisions that support sustainable living, my children will develop healthy habits that they will carry on into adulthood and pass on to future generations. We may not live on a farm but we do live on a wonderful planet that needs all of us to help maintain it.