March 7, 2018

7 Ways to Begin Sustainable Living

Sustainable living isn’t just for hipsters and farmers; it’s a way of life that can be beneficial to you too.
According to Wikipedia, sustainable living is defined as, “A lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources and personal resources.”
You are probably asking yourself, “Why should sustainable living apply to me?” and the answer would be quite a few reasons.
Just like anything else, natural resources aren’t just going to last forever and ever - especially the way we are using them - unless we find a way to contribute back to them or sustain them. Hence, where the term “sustainable living” comes from.
And although it can seem like something daunting or something that requires a complete lifestyle change, it is, in fact, a lot simpler than that.
Here are seven relatively easy ways to begin sustainable living, and some of them may be things you are already doing. 
1. Grow your own garden 
No one can deny there is nothing better than the taste of fresh fruits and veggies, and how awesome would it be to have them literally right in your own backyard?
Creating your own garden has never been easier, with small plant beds and seeds being easily available and YouTube and the internet at your fingertips to guide you the whole way.
If it still seems intimidating, and that your thumb isn't very green, start with something simple like growing a couple herbs on your windowsill or even in just a mason jar. 

2. Food storage
Start to store non-perishable or long-lasting foods for a rainy day.
Some great foods to start out with are wheat, rice, peanut butter, and salt. Now, we are not saying your wheat storage has to resemble a large silo or anything like that, it can start off small with just filling some 5-gallon buckets and adding a couple cans of food in that cupboard that’s been empty for a while. 

3.Make your own sauces
A great and tasty way to start living sustainably is making and canning your own sauces and jellies.
This is especially true if you happen to start that garden that was mentioned, creating sauces out of tomatoes, fruits, and other yummy veggies.
You can even take some of that wheat storage and create some soups to bring to work instead of buying a lunch every day. 

4. Support local farmers markets
If growing your own garden seems like way too much of a daunting task for you, there is still a way to live sustainably by supporting those who do grow their own food at local farmers markets.
Farmers markets are a great way to buy locally grown food and food which is in the season, both of which are ways to lessen your carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Most cities’ websites list the location of their local Farmers Markets, or you can use websites such as to lead you to the nearest one. 

5. Learn to sew
It may seem super old school, but learning how to sew is not only a step toward more sustainable living, it’s a great way to save some money and help your clothes look even better on you.
From mending to actually sewing your own clothes, there are a lot of benefits to learning sewing. Plus, if you get good enough, you could actually sell some clothing or other items you sew on sites such as Etsy and earn a little extra cash. 

6. Learn about composting
Compost is organic material, such as banana peels or egg shells, that can be added to plants to help them grow, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA also said that food scraps and yard waste currently make up 20 to 30 percent of what we throw away, and should be composted instead. Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
The EPA, as well as other websites, can teach you how to compost at home, or your city could have places to drop off materials for composting as well. 

7. Shop at thrift or second-hand stores
Shopping at thrift stores is not just a trendy thing to do, it is actually a way to be more sustainable.
Buying gently used clothing or having clothing swaps with friends is a great way to save some money as well as help the environment.
According to National Geographic to make just one pair of jeans requires 2900 gallons of water. So by just buying one pair of second-hand jeans instead of new ones you are taking a very big step to living more sustainably.
Wheat storage, old banana peels, and used jeans might seem like strange ways to help the environment, but these as well as the other things listed, are easy modifications we can make in our everyday lives to contribute to more sustainable living.