What is meant by ‘sustainable lifestyle’?

What is meant by ‘sustainable lifestyle’?

The terms ‘sustainable lifestyle’ and ‘sustainable living’ are well-known, but what do they mean exactly?

We are what we eat, we are what we do, we all have a lifestyle. However, in recent years we have been encouraged to live more ‘sustainably’.

A sustainable lifestyle requires us to make good use of the planet’s natural resources, to reduce our consumption and the demand we put on the Earth.
The primary aim of a sustainable lifestyle is to reduce our carbon footprint, so that human beings have less impact on the environment and climate change.
Reducing your carbon footprint and living a sustainable lifestyle, begins by altering the way you live - using different methods of transportation (public transport as opposed to personal motorised vehicles), lowering your energy consumption (switching the lights off when leaving a room, changing your bulbs to energy efficient ones) and paying attention to your diet (consuming less red meat).

This more sustainable way of living can turn out to be a big commitment but one that reaps huge rewards. Not only does it reduce your carbon footprint, it also reduces your bills and leaves you with more money to enjoy yourself!
By choosing to lead a sustainable lifestyle, you make a conscious effort to use as few resources as possible and to have as little impact on the environment.
Causing less damage to the planet can only be a good thing for us, for our children and for future generations.

Changing our lifestyle requires us to rethink the way that we consume. It means redefining ourselves, finding new ways to live, to work, to travel, to eat, to shop.

A sustainable lifestyle encompasses everything from the food we eat, the way we interact with others to the methods of transportation we use to get around and about. A sustainable lifestyle is also a lifestyle that demands responsibility for our waste - to limit it and dispose of it in the proper manner.

Reducing, Reusing & Recycling

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (also referred to as the 3 Rs) guide us to protect the environment by disposing of our home and work waste responsibly.
·         Reduce:
Households in the Western world generate millions, if not billions, of tonnes of waste each year. The majority of this waste could be avoided by either reducing, reusing or recycling.
By simply reducing our food waste, we not only reduce the amount we send to landfill, we also save money (every year food worth £500 for a British household, $1500 for an American household and €500 for a French and German household is simply thrown away).
Why reduce waste?
When waste is sent to landfill, it decays and releases toxic gases that pollute the atmosphere, the land, and contribute to climate change. Some waste, for example certain types of plastic, never bio-degrade.
How can you reduce your food waste?
·         First and foremost buy less food; A lot of the food we buy ends up in the bin. It is easy to be tempted by the 3 for 2 or the buy one get one free supermarket offers, but most of the time this encourages waste.
·         Second; if you over buy, then use your freezer. Most food can be frozen - vegetables, meat, even bread!
·         Third; cook everything that needs to be cooked and then freeze it. You will just need a few minutes to reheat in a microwave and it’s always nice to come home after a long day and not have to cook.
·         Fourth; and this may only apply to me, I do most of my grocery shopping online as I find that I buy less (perhaps I’m not tempted by all the promotions that I see when roaming the supermarket aisles). Needless to say, I NEVER shop when I am hungry. This always leads to buying more food than I require.

These are the best four ways to avoid waste all together - if you don’t overbuy, then you will not waste.
Every product we consume has a carbon footprint. Products require energy to be created, transported and stored. In addition, each ingredient also has a carbon footprint based on how it is cropped and harvested.

·         ‘Reuse’ is another way to reduce the amount of waste we produce.
Reuse means finding another purpose for an item you have already used. Reuse also includes repairing items that have been broken, or have fallen apart for one reason or another. We can prolong the life of many items by simply fixing them. Reusing is similar to upcycling.

Items that can be reused or upcycled:
·         Keep jam jars and use them to store new items: pencils, creams, oils, sugar, coffee and more.
·         Use the back of envelopes to take down notes and write messages

When an item finally does reach the end of its life and needs to be disposed of, Recycling is the way to make sure that all the materials used to produce it are used again.

·         Recycling is a great deal easier than it was few years ago.
In the UK, councils distribute recycling bags and small containers for composting food waste that are then collected. Special recycling containers (to collect plastic, glass, clothes and metal cans can be found on many streets).
Everything we recycle is given a second chance to be used for something else we need.


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