The Best Tips and Tricks for Sustainable Living - Seeker's Thoughts

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Seeker's Thoughts

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The Best Tips and Tricks for Sustainable Living


The Best Tips and Tricks for Sustainable Living


If you want to become green, there are numerous small changes you can make that will have an impact. Use energy-efficient light bulbs, purchase reusable bags and water bottles, avoid Styrofoam products, and choose products marked ENERGY STAR as ways of making an impactful statement about sustainability.


Photo by Karolina Grabowska:

Walk or bike to your errands instead of driving and use eco-friendly shipping options like using your mail carrier's slowest shipping option; also don't forget your reusable cup!


1. Recycle Everything


Living sustainably means recycling everything possible instead of sending it straight to landfills or incinerators, helping conserve natural resources and combat climate change. There are plenty of easy ways to recycle everything from paper and plastic containers, batteries and light bulbs; as well as shopping smart, packing a lunch without waste and using reusable mugs for takeout beverages.


Paper recycling is among the easiest things to do; it can be recycled multiple times before being turned into products such as masking tape, napkins, envelopes and yarn spools. Glass bottles and jars, metal cans as well as many plastic items can all be recycled with ease - an old jam jar could make an excellent container for cotton balls or other household necessities!


Make sure to compost food scraps: this will save both energy and money by recycling their nutrients to grow plants and create soil. Furthermore, consider purchasing secondhand items rather than new items to minimize waste created during production processes.


Know what materials cannot be recycled before throwing anything away; contact your local recycling program if unsure. Items not to throw away include styrofoam, plastic bags and certain metals labeled dangerous or corrosive; also avoid throwing hazardous waste away with regular trash; bring any toxic material directly to a safe disposal event or find another eco-friendly cleaning alternative instead of leaving it lying around the environment or polluting our water sources.


2. Go Green


"Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" may seem outdated now but is still important today. Each product we purchase leaves an environmental footprint ranging from the materials used in its creation, pollution emitted during manufacturing and waste that ends up in landfills. When possible, consider secondhand products and sustainable brands as possible solutions.


Conserving energy at home is another essential step towards sustainability. Look for appliances and light bulbs with the blue ENERGY STAR label; these have been independently verified to use less energy than comparable alternatives. Furthermore, water conservation can also be achieved by only washing full loads of laundry or loading your dishwasher when its capacity has been fully utilized.


If you want to reduce food waste, switching to a plant-based diet could help. Food waste in landfills accounts for 8 percent of global carbon emissions and releases methane gas that's 87 times more potent than CO2. Doctor Antonelli suggests creating meals around whole foods like fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.


Choose organic and local food whenever possible to reduce pesticide pollution, thus protecting both wildlife and farm workers. Also consider purchasing fair trade or Rainforest Alliance Certified products which support businesses employing sustainable practices while paying their laborers a fair wage.


Make sure to utilize public transit whenever possible and carpool with coworkers; this will reduce emissions and carbon emissions from transportation. If driving, choose an energy-efficient car and limit trips only to essentials (grocery store, work, etc). Plus, turn old food scraps into compost to help grow new batches of veggies!


3. Eat Local


Food choices have the ability to have an effectful on our planet, which is why it's crucial that we select sustainably produced products whenever possible. One effective strategy for doing this is eating local. Locally produced and grown foods typically require less energy for transportation and therefore have a smaller carbon footprint compared with long distance shipping of produce from faraway places. In addition, local foods often have less risk of contamination.


Local food tends to be fresher and tastier than its longer-distance counterparts, making them an enjoyable part of any meal. Furthermore, eating locally produced foods helps the economy in your community: when spending money locally at farms, purveyors, and restaurants that spend it back into local circles instead of being sent elsewhere in another state or even another city or state.


As one way of supporting local food sources, visiting your local farmers market is an ideal way to start eating sustainably. These markets feature an assortment of fruits and vegetables, in addition to other grocery items like bread and cheese from organic farms; plus you'll feel good supporting an eco-friendly food source!


Joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription service is another effective way of supporting local food. By purchasing produce directly from local farms on a regular basis, CSA membership reduces both carbon emissions and biodiversity - studies have proven that diverse ecosystems are more resistant to changes than those with less species diversity.


By shopping at local food stores instead of big-box grocery chains, you can help stimulate the local economy. Such establishments tend to recycle their waste responsibly and purchase locally produced products that strengthen and sustain communities.


4. Go Zero Waste


Going zero waste may seem daunting, but it is feasible on any budget. Start by taking an inventory of what you currently purchase and use, then finding more sustainable options such as buying cloth napkins instead of paper napkins; asking restaurants for reusable straws; purchasing a reusable water bottle; secondhand clothing/accessories etc; as well as secondhand items from second-hand shops (think clothing/accessory shops or online retailers with environmental ratings). 


Plus save money with bulk purchases of beauty products; online retailers who sell reusable food storage containers sold directly from online retailers who sell bulk beauty product collections; bulk beauty product purchases as well as shopping at socially responsible chain stores (look up their environmental ratings to see).


Focusing on "Reduce" of the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle mantra and working to avoid creating any waste in the first place should be your top priority. This could involve ditching plastic utensils, shopping bags, ice cream cones etc. when available; only eating food that has not been packaged; using reusable utensils at home and carrying your mug when ordering coffee/drink etc.


Growing your own produce and herbs is another effective way to reduce waste, not only benefiting the environment but also offering an economical and tasty source of sustenance. Local stores or online shops may carry gardening supplies with eco-friendly seeds available for purchase.


If you can accomplish all this, the key to zero waste living is buying less. That doesn't mean giving up clothes or items altogether - rather wait until your existing items wear out before replacing them, considering repairs as options rather than replacement. Consider also checking online resale sites such as ThredUp, Poshmark and Depop for stylish options that still contain eco-friendly components.


5. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint


Every time we drive our car, use our washing machine, or switch on lights we generate greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change and accelerate it. These emissions contribute significantly to rising global temperatures, worsening extreme weather events and ocean acidification - but all of us can take steps to lower our individual carbon footprints and make an impactful statement about caring about the planet!


At the core of it all lies eating low on the food chain: choosing vegetables, fruits, grains and beans instead of meat and dairy as your staple foods can have an enormous impact. Meat accounts for 14.5 percent of manmade global greenhouse gas emissions due to feed requirements as well as methane emissions emitted into our atmosphere; going meatless even a few times each week can help significantly lower these emissions.


Other steps you can take to reduce your impact include washing clothes in cold water, using cloth or bamboo pads instead of paper napkins and tissues for nose wiping, and hanging your laundry outside whenever possible. Each year we produce over 100 billion pounds of non-recyclable paper products which end up in landfills; by switching to reusable cloth napkins, handkerchiefs, or face wipes you can significantly lower this number and thus lessening our environmental impact.


Last, but certainly not least, you can reduce your carbon footprint by taking fewer trips in a car, riding your bike, walking or using public transit. Public transportation's emissions have overtaken those from electricity generation as the top source of manmade global greenhouse gases; by decreasing how often you travel you can both reduce your footprint and save money!

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