Sustainable Living Ideas

You've decided that this year, you'll do your best to save money by cutting costs and minimizing spending on non-essentials.

In that case, we fully support your decision! But we're also here to tell you that such changes won't only help you save money. They're sustainable living ideas that can help you be one step closer to becoming more eco-conscious.

Sustainable living is even more vital nowadays as the impacts of climate change have become more noticeable. These include frequent and severe storms, floods, droughts, and heat waves. Glaciers are also melting, leading to rising sea levels and wildlife displacement.

So, there's no better time than now for everyone to adopt sustainable, zero-waste living practices. We've shared practical ideas you can use to help you get started, so read on.

Reduce Resource Consumption

One of the core practices of sustainable living is avoiding the overuse of resources.

After all, the more resources consumed, the greater the need to harvest new or raw materials. The problem is that extracting and processing such materials adversely affect the environment by:
  • Using exponentially high levels of energy and water
  • Degrading and eroding the soil
  • Generating high levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and pollutants (air, land, water, noise, and light)
  • Disrupting biodiversity and damaging ecosystems
So, reducing resource use can also help cut the need to extract and process raw materials. This can then minimize the impacts that such processes have on the environment.

Here are some strategies to help you minimize or avoid resource overuse.

Go Paperless

Of all globally traded industrial wood, the pulp and paper industry uses around 33% to 40% yearly. Unfortunately, many practices in this industry are unsustainable and have caused ecological devastation.

Manufacturing pulp and paper products also require significant amounts of energy and water.

Therefore, one of the easiest ways to be more sustainable is to limit paper use. For instance, you can go paperless whenever applicable by:
  • Signing up for electronic bills and statements
  • Opting for cloud and digital storage instead of creating paper copies of documents
  • Using apps to make to-do-lists rather than using paper to write them down
It may not be possible to eliminate paper from your life completely. However, you can still do the sustainable thing: shred used paper products. They can go into recycling, which turns them into fresh sheets that require fewer raw materials.

Alternatively, you can use shredded paper as a composting material. You can then use compost as a natural fertilizer for a vegetable garden.

Mind Your Water Usage (and Wastage)

Every year, U.S. household plumbing leaks waste nearly a trillion gallons of water.

That's a complete waste not only of precious water but energy, too! After all, water suppliers use energy to treat, pump, and supply water to consumers.

Low-efficiency fixtures can also indirectly waste water by letting you use more than needed. For example, older, inefficient toilets are more prone to leaks and use up to seven gallons of water for flushing. By contrast, newer models use only 1.6 gallons or less, saving you over five gallons per flush!

So, have a pro inspect and fix plumbing leaks and replace low-efficiency fixtures before they waste more water. Aside from conserving resources, these can also help you save money.

Make Greener Transportation-Related Choices

The most recent federal data shows that, in 2021, the transportation sector accounted for 28% of total U.S. GHG emissions. That's 3% higher than the electric power generation sector's!

Reducing reliance on fossil fuels to power your car can help you live more sustainably. You can do this by:
  • Maintaining your vehicle to keep it fuel-efficient
  • Addressing emissions-related problems with your ride ASAP
  • Walking or cycling instead of driving, whenever possible
  • Using public transportation
If your household has two or more vehicles, opt for the higher MPG one as much as possible. A study found that this can help cut fuel consumption by as much as 10%. So, not only will this let you do the environment some good, but it can also benefit your finances.

Switch to Solar Energy

Solar power is among the cleanest energy sources because it doesn't produce GHGs or pollutants. And since it's from the sun, it's completely renewable.

Compare that to fossil fuels that take millions of years to form. That makes them non-renewable, which is also behind their depletion. They also produce loads of GHGs and pollutants during extraction, processing, and use.

Those are all good enough reasons to make solar your primary home energy source. A professional solar company can set you up with a system that can generate clean energy for many years. And once you produce your own "electricity," you'll also benefit from reduced bills.

So, speak with a highly experienced, full-service solar panel installation company ASAP. The sooner you do, the sooner you can create a more eco-friendly, sustainable home.

Ditch Single-Use or Disposable Plastics

Single-use or disposable plastics are so convenient yet so destructive. They have devasted and continue to destroy land, air, and marine ecosystems. They do so not only by being pollutants but also by contributing to climate change.

That's why, as early as now, ditch or at least reduce your use of these single-use or disposable products:
  • Bottles
  • Wrappers
  • Containers and sachets
  • Shopping bags
  • Straws
  • Balloons
Instead of using those items, replace them with more sustainable, reusable options. For example, you should bring reusable food containers and shopping bags to the grocery or supermarket. This way, you won't need to rely on single-use plastic wrappers and disposable bags.

You should also be mindful of the products you buy and their manufacturing and packaging processes. As much as possible, stick to brands that implement sustainable practices.

Follow All These Sustainable Living Ideas

From going paperless to investing in solar power and ditching single-use plastics, these are all sustainable living ideas that can help you cut costs and do your part in saving the planet.

So, as early as today, consider following all our recommendations. This way, you can start the year right and do your wallet and the environment some good.

For more practical, eco-friendly lifestyle tips and tricks, browse and read our other recent blog posts!