Sustainable living is not just a way to help the planet; it’s also a way to help yourself live better and enjoy life. Here, we’ll take a look at the 5 biggest ways it accomplishes that, as well as how you can start on the path towards sustainable living.
5 Ways Sustainable Living Improves Life
Most sustainable living choices involve a bit more physical effort than non-sustainable alternatives. Although added effort can be seen as a negative by some people, it can also be seen as an opportunity to work on physical fitness in a productive way.
For example, planting a garden is a prime example of sustainable living. It is also extraordinarily good for physical health, both in terms of traditional exercise and other physically therapeutic purposes.
Another example is repairing things rather than replacing them. Hammering together your old furniture or sewing together your old clothes requires you to flex some muscles you wouldn’t normally.
Other sustainable living choices that promote good health include:
- Eating less meat
- Biking rather than driving
- Eating locally-sourced organic foods
Mental Health Benefits
One of the hallmarks of sustainable living is greenery. And it turns out that green spaces like gardens or even rooms with lots of plants in them are great for mental health.
Science does not yet fully grasp the correlation between green spaces and mental health, but it is undeniable. People who spend at least some of their time in green spaces have lower rates of anxiety and depression, as well as mental health issues like ADD and psychosis.
That is not to mention the stress relief that comes from knowing you don’t have to worry about constantly buying everything you need — with authentic, sustainable living, things like food, energy, and home repairs are all free.
Feeling of Accomplishment
People who develop a sustainable lifestyle also earn the right to be immensely proud of themselves. After all, they have worked hard to create a lifestyle that is both healthy and eco-friendly.
As regular readers of One Percent Better will know, we are firm in our belief that respecting yourself and your lifestyle is one of the most important parts of leading a fulfilling life. Sustainable living is possibly the healthiest, most productive type of lifestyle one can lead, so having one is a gift that keeps on giving — both literally and figuratively.
By definition, sustainable living is all about getting your environment to support (sustain) itself. Things like renewable energy sources, renewable food sources, buying recycled and secondhand when possible, minimizing water use, and wasting less food are all part of this idea. It just so happens that those things will save you massive amounts of money as well.
It’s a common myth that sustainable living actually costs you money rather than saving it, but that’s simply not true. It may have a slightly higher up-front cost since any lifestyle change is expensive. But pretty soon, the changes will pay for themselves and start saving cash. In fact, authoritative research by New Climate Economy says humanity could save $26 trillion by 2030 if everyone adopted sustainable lifestyles.
Another tenet of sustainable living is working with your community. Getting involved in community projects and choosing locally-produced goods and services are good ways to make your surroundings more sustainable. They are also ways to connect with your community.
Sustainable living is easier if people work on it together. You may find that, when you start focusing on sustainable living, your neighbors will join you to create more green spaces and other areas focused on local sustainability.
10 Ways to Practice Sustainable Living
Buy a secondhand electric car
Electric cars are costly upfront but will save you a fortune in the long run. Don’t forget car production takes a lot of resources, so secondhand is best.
Switch to solar
Solar technology has advanced so much that there is no excuse not to do this, especially since it will save you money.
Get an energy audit
Many energy providers offer free energy audits, services where they look at your house to see how you could reduce wasteful energy consumption.
Manufacturing new goods take resources, so buy older but perfectly serviceable products instead.
Start a garden
Grow your own food. If you don’t have a yard to plant a garden on the ground, use a window box where you can grow herbs and small vegetables.
Xeriscape your yard
Xeriscaping is a professional service that landscapes your yard to include plants that don’t require much water, as well as providing more habitats for birds and bees.
Think about transportation
Bike or walk when you can. If you must drive, carpool. Also, make sure your car stays tuned-up correctly (you can do it yourself) and your tires inflated because those things massively decrease fuel efficiency if not attended to.
Stop buying bottled water
Bottled water is a huge scam. It’s no healthier or better-tasting than tap water. In fact, tap water is enriched with vitamins that make it better for people. Buying bottled water is also horrible for the environment. Buy a reusable water bottle, fill it with tap water, and bring it around with you instead.
Don’t waste food
Americans waste around 40% of their food supply every year. Don’t be part of that problem.
Sustainable living is good for you, good for the environment around you, and good for humanity in general. It’s relatively easy and will save you lots of money, too. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!
Do you have any sustainable living tips you don’t see mentioned here? Let us know in the comments section below, and we’ll try to add them into the article in a future update!