Every day we make decisions in our lives that have an effect on everything. They affect our families, our lifestyle, the people around us, the environment, our financial situation. So the list goes on and on, by everything I mean everything. I am always talking about making on change a month. This one change a month has to be a conscious move toward a more sustainable life and a decision you know you will be able to live with and stick to for…. Well forever really.
Today I am going to share with you a 12 simple ideas about how you can live a more environmentally conscious life, how can you make sure your decisions count. Some of these ideas you might not agree with and some you might, some you might choose to focus on and others you might skip over. The most important thing with living more sustainably is to remember that doing something is better than doing nothing. Basically I’m telling you don’t live with your head in the sand anymore the time is now, humanity needs you and the earth will thank you.
12 Step Program
- Think twice before heading to the shops: take a list with you and really focus on exactly what you need and what you can live without. What can you reuse that you already have at home, what can you buy second hand. Looking at groceries what can you buy in paper packaging or at a bulk food store, what produce can you stock up on at local farmers markets instead of major supermarkets?
- Make sure your big purchase items have a big environmental impact: Look for cars with great fuel economy. Look for appliances with excellent energy ratings. Upgrade what you can to solar rather than gas or running off the mains. Look toward better insulation in your home rather than more heating. If you are starting the process of building a home look for eco-friendly building materials. Do you really need a giant house with a media room and 3 spare bedrooms a formal dining and a casual dining? Smaller is more efficient.
- Plastic be gone forever: I am going to harp on and on about this and encourage you every day to say goodbye to plastic for good. We all know the damage plastic bags, straws and packaging can do to our marine life so let’s just say no. The options are endless for buying reusable. In fact jump onto The Fregie Sack and Throw Some Seeds for some amazing ideas right now.
- Don’t buy products that have a harmful effect on wildlife: Refuse to support companies that still test on animals, include Palm Oil in their products or that have non-sustainable farming or fishing practices. Check out our directory for a great selection of eco businesses
- Eat Less Meat: This has been the biggest challenge for my family and I this year. Eating a more plant based diet has a proven positive effect on your lifestyle and the environment in general. Meat production is one of the most environmentally destructive industries on the planet, responsible for massive amounts of water use, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and habitat destruction. If you are a family of meat lovers this one will be a challenge and I’m not suggesting become vegan however if you want to please do all I am suggesting is reduce your meat consumption which might start by cutting down to 2 meals a week.
- Use water wisely: A few years ago the Victorian Government introduced water restrictions and then once the drought broke they were lifted. So think back to this time when we treated water as it should be treated, a precious commodity. Before you water your garden or your lawn think more does it really need it, why not have a garden filled with drought tolerant plants. We all survived on far less than we consume now, think for yourself about how you use water rather than waiting for the government to tell you what to do.
- Drive less and Drive green: This really comes down to proper planning. If you have the option to car pool with someone to get to work then do this. If you need to go to the shops plan so that you don’t have to make 3 trips a week, just one is fine. Do you have the option to work from home, or walk to school, better still. The other important element here is to keep your car in good mechanical condition. A car that is running well is a car that lets off less emissions.
- Green up your home: Making simple changes around your home can dramatically decrease your carbon footprint. Changes such as good insulation, energy efficient lighting, turning off power points and lights when not in use, only using heating and cooling when really necessary. If you are building then start at the very beginning and think green all the way through the building process.
- Change your energy: If you can afford to and have the ability to live off the grid this is absolutely ideal. A house totally powered by solar, wind and other methods sounds like my idea of heaven. If like me this is a not yet dream for you then look further into your energy provider, what green solutions do they offer.
- Pay attention to labels: And understand them. Before you make a decision to buy get to know the company you are buying from is the Fair Trade label on their stock legitimate and what does it mean to them. Where you can buy organic and avoid all the nasties that produce can be sprayed with. Yes sometimes this might mean imperfect looking but if it does the job it really doesn’t matter. Check out our amazing range of Ethical businesses right here.
- Choose to have a small family: This is one area that always causes controversy. But it is true the less people on the earth the less pollution there will be. This is not a message to have no children, just one less.
- Vote with your voice and actions: The best way we can take a true stand toward reducing our carbon foot print and living a more sustainable life is through doing it and speaking about it. Share with people the actions you are taking, educate others. Vote for political parties with similar philosophies to your own. Don’t support multinational waste creating conglomerates, turn to local producers and makers first. Education is the number one source for change in our environment. Jump onto this YouTube video is you would like to read and learn more about how we can reduce carbon emissions into the future.