7 WAYS TO LIVE A MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFE
BY Emma | Your Best Life
JUNE 2, 2020
Are you looking at ways you can live a more sustainable lifestyle? With the awful reality that up to one half of all plants and animals species (on dry land) could face extinction by the year 2050 due to global warming we really do need to do better! We only have one Earth and are utterly dependent on it for our survival and well-being.
Sustainability is defined as meeting our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. There is no (factual) argument against sustainability. The question is whether humans are going to make the transition toward sustainability on their own terms or if they will be forced to make a rapid transition when all of the other options run out. Here are some ideas to help you reduce your impact on the environment and live your best sustainable life.
One way that we can be sustainable at home is by switching to a renewable energy provider. I switched to Bulb last year and I can’t recommend them enough! Bulb is 100% renewable when it comes to electricity! 74% of its renewable energy is supplied by hydropower plants (generating electricity using water). The other 26% of Bulb’s renewable energy comes from anaerobic digestion (gas generated by organic farm waste).
So why not switch? They are cheaper that the big six (British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power, and SSE). Bulb will also cancel your previous contract, pay any exit fees you may have, and will credit your account with £50 if you switch through an existing customers referral link! Here’s my bulb referral link.
The exhaust from a car releases hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, which together react with sunlight to increase ground-level ozone. Car exhaust also releases carbon monoxide, which threatens human health, and carbon dioxide, which contributes significantly to global warming. Fuel production creates a significant amount of emissions, which drivers support by filling their tanks.
Instead, choose to walk or cycle where possible. There are also various car sharing initiatives available where drivers can offer spare seats to people heading in the same direction.
ETHICAL BANKING & INVESTING
The mainstream banking sector invests heavily in fossil fuels (and nuclear weapons) in order to make profits from our money. If, like me, you want to be part of a environmentally and socially conscious bank there are some really great alternatives! And better yet, you won’t lose anything from switching to a more ethical provider… in fact you might even make money. Check the ethical banking leaderboard and make informed choices!
Ethical investments are also worth looking into. Not investing in fossil fuels and weapons have obvious benefits for humankind and the environment. Ethical options are popping up everywhere from high street banks to specifically designed apps. I choose to invest in clean water and energy.
SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES
Choosing to shop locally and support small businesses has tons of benefits. From supporting your local community to reducing your impact on the environment. Local companies are usually within walking distance meaning you don’t NEED to take a car to visit your local shops. Reducing the distance you travel when shopping helps to alleviate our dependence on fossil fuels, reduce air pollution and cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.
Eating locally sourced food also protects farmland, land which might otherwise be developed for industrial or commercial use. Local food doesn’t have to travel as far to arrive on your plate either, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving our carbon footprint.
EAT LESS MEAT
Eating meat has a hefty impact on the environment from fueling climate change to polluting landscapes and waterways. Deforestation to make way for livestock, as well as methane emissions from cows and fertiliser use, creates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all the world’s cars, trucks and airplanes.
Last January I took part in Veganaury! ‘Veganuary’ is a registered charity that encourages people to try vegan for January. Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, reducing the suffering of animals and helping to preserve the planet.
People who menstruate will have, on average, 450 periods over their lifetime! The Ocean Conservancy collect around 27,000 used tampons and applicators on beaches around the world in a single day. Tampons are not recyclable, and despite being told not to, many still flush them. When flushed they can clog up sewer systems and waterways.
Menstrual cups are much more environmentally friendly option. They’re made of reusable plastic and have a long lifespan. This one might not be for everyone, but if you haven’t heard about moon cups before it’s worth considering! Other sustainable options include period underpants, reusable/washable pads, and biodegradable miniature bags.
BECOME CARBON NEUTRAL
Carbon balancing is where the carbon impacts of a product, service or individual have been estimated and action is taken to prevent an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.
The Almond App estimates your carbon footprint via a lifestyle quiz and lets you work towards planting the trees needed to offset your carbon production. You plant a new tree every time you shop at one of their recognised ethical retailers. The ethical brands include The Body Shop, Lush and Bulb.