4 Simple Steps to Making a Difference
The main principle of sustainability is to create a balance between our current requirements and those of future generations. Put simply, never take so much from the environment that it can't replenish those resources in a timely and healthy way.
Nature has a time-honored ability to reproduce, whether it's the seeds leftover from plants to the long and gradual process of transforming biodegrading materials such as trees into coal.
One simple rule we can all consider is to use less and to work with nature, rather than against it. Whatever it is, most of us can cut down on simple things like using less paper, swapping disposable items for reusable products, supporting brands that sell organic products and finding more efficient ways to use energy. These need only be tiny steps, but adopted universally, like tiny drops of rain they combine to a powerful and effective flood of change.
Let's get practical with some tips for a more sustainable lifestyle.
Use less plastic
With plastic microparticles now found in every ecosystem, including recently within human placentas, we are clearly and undeniably poisoning the planet with plasticizers. Plastic packaging is ubiquitous, but there are alternatives. It all begins with consumer choice, at the supermarket, the online store, and the office supplier. Your choice to reject excess plastic packaging, or even leave it at the store so that they can recycle it is a small step to reducing waste.
Organic farming favours biodiversity and natural pest control instead of relying on synthetic or petroleum-based insecticides and fertilisers. The positive knock on effects of organic farming include less soil erosion, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and minimal land, air and water contamination. You can do your bit by buying organic products such as food, toiletries and clothes. There is even some research to suggest that eating organic food and using organic personal care products are better for your health, so it’s a win-win.
Turn it off
One simple way to use less energy is to turn your electrical appliances off when you don't need them. The classic energy hog is the multitude of power supplies, like phone chargers, power blocks and lighting that gets left on even when we don't need them. It's so easy to just pull the charge cord, but leave the plug turned on. Multiply those millions of times, as you'll see how these tiny devices add up to a huge waste of energy and resources.
Make long term choices
Do you buy your mobile phone with the expectation you'll change it in a year or two? Same for your car, your kitchen decor. Think about it ... the scourge of built-in obsolescence and the fast fashion industry constantly encourage us to buy new, buy often and discard what we have. Do you consider repair over replacement? Or are you driven by new shiny things? All this contributes to huge increases in manufacturing, wasted resources and mounting toxic waste.
The next time you make a choice, about anything, think of the consequences. It's your world, but not yours to trash or ruin for the next generations to come.