How to live a Sustainable life or how to achieve sustainability?
We have discussed about sustainable energy so vastly and widely. Have seen different aspects of it too. Here in this article, we will discuss as to how we can contribute to the environment sustainability and lead a sustainable life. We will brush up what sustainable energy is and what is sustainable living in this article while how to attain sustainable life will be given on focus. Sustainable life is not a dream, it is very much practical if we care for the coming generations and also for the environment.
The word sustainability has gained so much of importance in our life these days. The word sustainability means that is able to be maintained at a certain level (From oxford dictionary). While interpreting our understanding also becomes very broad. When it says able to be maintained at a certain level, meaning it is always to be maintained at that certain level even if we use it. This pushes us to the definition of sustainable energy. Let’s see what it is.
It is really awkward to repeat the same thing over and over. So please refer to sustainable energy for detailed study. As this article requires the to define sustainable energy, we shall just quickly rush through it.
Sustainable energy is that energy that meets the need to the present generation without compromising the capacity of meeting the needs of the future generations as well. For eg: solar energy, wind energy, hydro power energy etc. sustainable energy calls in for three tests to know whether the energy is sustainable or not. This also have been repeatedly explained in other articles relating to sustainable energy. Still, we are just mentioning them here with:
- Does this energy replenish over time naturally?
- Does the usage of this energy create any kind of pollution?
- Does this energy be available abundantly?
When an energy satisfies all three questions with a yes, then it is said to be sustainable. We were talking about sustainable living. Since the meaning of sustainability and sustainable energy are clear it is very easy to portrait sustainable living.
What is sustainable living?
Sustainable living is living with minimum earth resources without causing any damage to the environment or to any human kind. There is no life without using the energy resources of Earth but we can lessen the hurt that is being caused. We can also return the energy we consume. Don’t you think that is possible? Even though not easy or completely returnable but to a certain extent it is always possible. The dedication we give is what matters. Also avoid exploitation of the resources. Minimalism is the ultimate slogan.
It is almost impossible to live on Earth without creating any negative impact for the environment. Here comes the broad form of sustainability. Sustainability not only living on minimum resources and reducing negativism on earth but also its broad aspect is what we can achieve. Thus, sustainable living means living with as much less resources without creating much aftereffects to the environment and also replacing the resources that we have consumed in such a way what we can.
Wikipedia describes sustainable living as: “Sustainable living is fundamentally the application of sustainability to lifestyle choices and decisions. One conception of sustainable living expresses what it means in triple-bottom-line terms as meeting present ecological, societal, and economical needs without compromising these factors for future generations.”
The prominent environmentalist describes “sustainable living in the twenty-first century as “shifting to a renewable energy-based, reuse/recycle economy with a diversified transport system.”
Now that’s a clear understanding of sustainable life. Now the next thing to look into is how to attain a sustainable life or what are the steps to attain sustainable life. Even using public transport to and from office can even help you attain a sustainable life. We will look into the detailed ones then:
- Minimalistic enjoyment of resources: minimalism is the slogan running down sustainability but this doesn’t mean that you deprive yourself from doing something or enjoying something. This just means that you skip off all extravagances and use all resources to the maximum. More of recycling and less of wastage is helps in minimalistic enjoyment of resources
- Natural cleansing agents at home: we use enormous cleansers at home: for laundry, for vessels, for bathrooms, for floors, for kitchen. Have we thought about the pollution all these together cause? Switching on to natural cleansers can reduce such pollution and water contamination to a great extent. There are lot of do-it-yourself cleansers which help in cutting down the chemical use very extensively.
- Recycling of households:
Reusing of the old households at home can save a lot of landfills. It is a very good idea to have a recycle station at home. There are lot of people using the old tea pots and even lamp shades as pots and using the used ceramic cups and vessels for planting or storage of something or other. Recycling aluminium, steel, glass can make life more sustainable than just throwing away all these.
- Climbing stairs is an exercise: we do find time for exercise from our busy schedule and use lifts that consume lot of electricity and energy. We have come across people who use lift to the gym, where they go to shed off their calories. Why don’t we use the stairs as a habit so that we save a lot of power and energy along with shedding off the calories.
- Walking and cycling enhance physical ability: we use our motor vehicle for even going to the supermarkets nearby. The fuel used and the pollution caused is really killing off the sustainability. Walking and cycling saves environment from the above said issues and moreover help you to reduce your workout session as you are exercising while you walk or cycle to office or shops or anywhere.
- Solar panel installation: electricity is so unavoidable for us. How sustainable it will be when we use the solar energy for the electricity. That’s a very good idea as solar energy is so abundant and easily available. It is so economical too to depend on the solar energy by installing the solar panels at home. Even though you feel that installing solar panel is highly priced, in the long run you will understand that it is highly economical and above all sustainable.
- Car pool reduces fuel consumption: carpooling is a very good idea to save fuel and reduce pollution. Car pooling means few people to the same destination use a vehicle instead of each person using each vehicle. This contributes to the increased social mingling and there by achieving increased quality of life. Quality of life helps in achieving sustainability of life too. Since carpooling reduces the number of vehicles on the road at a time, it helps in reducing traffic and thereby saving time of many.
- Powering off the electronic equipment when not in use: it is found that the electronic devices consume energy if plugged in and switch off. So, it is always good to save electricity and to save on electricity bill to unplug all devices when not in use. This can even save the electronic devices from lightning.
- Use renewable energy: skip all possible chances to use the nonrenewable energy to save the environment. It is always good to use renewable energy for home than depending on fossil fuels. Switching to solar energy for power is the very best example of switching to renewable energy.
- A sustainable diet: when the diet is said to be sustainable, it means being a pure vegetarian and discourage livestock. Depending on plant-based diet is said to be a sustainable diet as plants do not cause any harm to the environment. Livestock is the biggest source of greenhouse gases contributor. Thus, when we adhere strictly to a plant-based food then livestock can be decreased. There are pros and cons for this but since we are favouring sustainability here, we will favour it.
- Refrain from single use plastic and disposable items: we are the consumers of disposable glasses, spoons, plates, tissue papers etc. Replacing all these with what we have at home; for eg: use glass/steel plates, spoons and glasses, using of a used cloth instead of tissue paper etc can help us achieve sustainability. Avoid all kind of one-time use plastic kits, bottles etc because plastic is said to be forever and never degrade. They are the number one marine life killer also. Carrying a reusable shopping bag to the shops is another way to skip all kind of plastic carry bags. Reducing consumption of packed items can also add to reducing plastic and save environment. Practicing all these shows your love for the environment and achieve sustainable life. Read more about plastic pollution.
- Too much washing is too much using of resources: bathing twice or thrice is considered to be part of cleanliness. Too much washing is considered to be hygiene by the people in our society. Be it laundry, dish washing or bathing, or mopping. Too much washing is actually contaminating the water and also using of too much resource. Here comes the role of minimalism as all the above said activities are unavoidable in our day-to-day life. But practicing minimalism in all these help us achieve sustainability.
The sustainable life is not just restricted to the above. We were just picking few day-to-day life activities in order to show you that these simple things pave way for a new beginning to sustainable life. Even exercising a zero hour once in a week or twice in a week can bring in much difference.
Zero hour means an hour in which we do nothing other than breathing. During this time period you don’t use any electronic device, no electricity, no water, no food and nothing. You will be remaining idle for an hour without even moving around. A normal peaceful breathing time for you. This brings in a lot of effect not only to the environment but it is justice to yourself and also to the future generation.
A zero hour from an individual if contributes to the environment sustainability, then what will be the net effect when it is exercised by a family together and when by a community and by a country. The effect on environment will be very huge than what we can expect. Leading a sustainable life is more than what we can do to the nature.