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  • Prachi Doshi

Taking the First Steps Into Sustainable Living: The Beginners' Guide

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

Sustainable Living Blog by Digi Magz
Taking the First Steps Into Sustainable Living: The Beginners Guide

A huge threat looms over us, intensifying with each passing day — one that we ourselves are accountable for. It's the threat of deadly diseases, extreme weather, loss of wildlife, etc that stems from our negligent actions. These actions are careless practices like excessive pollution, improper waste management, and irresponsible resource use, among many others.

Fortunately, there is a way to ensure we don't inflict more harm on the ecosystem: switching to a sustainable lifestyle. However, despite being familiar with the term, many of you might be making minimal to no effort.

Perhaps you have many doubts, such as: Can sustainable living be a realistic goal? What does sustainable living look like? What are sustainable living practices? Is sustainable living expensive? Does adopting a sustainable lifestyle mean making a radical shift in our current way of life? and so on.

To find answers to all your doubts and concerns you should refer to this comprehensive sustainable living for beginners guide. It explains everything there is to live sustainably in harmony with nature.

What Is Sustainable Living?

In simple terms, sustainable living involves reducing one's carbon footprint to protect our planet. It encompasses:

  • Conscious use of the Earth's natural resources such as water, energy, and fossil fuels.

  • Generating less waste and adopting appropriate waste management practices.

  • Giving priority to the use of renewable resources.

  • Creating a strong economy without harming the environment and people.

  • Ensuring fair opportunities and good health for everyone. It means ensuring equal access to natural resources, healthcare, and education for all, leaving no one disadvantaged, and creating an inclusive and equitable Earth.

Sustainable living encompasses healthy practices for the Earth and its inhabitants, preserving the economy for the future. To many, it seems to be the tried and true mantra of reduce, reuse, and recycle. But in reality, it covers a broader set of actions that are disclosed further in the article.

Why Sustainable Living Is Important?

Global Warming & Sustainable Living
Beginners Guide to Sustainable Living to Fight Global Warming

Sustainable living is important for making the earth a better place for all living.

Because, let's face it, there is no way out if we continue to live our current way of life. There's no escape from the rising temperatures, receding land, depleting biodiversity, and frequent natural disasters.

With the rising population, technology at our disposal, and inefficient use of natural resources, we are becoming more prone to environmental and societal risks.

Let's look at some of the outcomes of living an unsustainable life and how sustainable habits might help.

1. Environmental Degradation

Outcome: Excessive consumption and pollution lead to habitat destruction, deforestation, and climate change.

Sustainable Habit: Adopting a plant-based diet and reducing waste by recycling and composting can lower the environmental footprint.

2. Resource Depletion

Outcome: Irresponsible use of finite resources like fossil fuels and minerals can deplete them for future generations.

Sustainable Habit: Transitioning to renewable energy sources like solar or wind power reduces reliance on fossil fuels and minimizes resource depletion.

3. Loss of Biodiversity

Outcome: Unsustainable land use and pollution can lead to the decline or extinction of various plant and animal species, disrupting ecosystems and natural balance.

Sustainable Habit: Implementing regenerative agriculture practices and managing chemical wastage to restore and enhance biodiversity within ecosystems.

4. Health Issues

Outcome: Pollution and exposure to harmful substances can lead to respiratory problems and other health issues.

Sustainable Habit: Carpool or rideshare to reduce individual car emissions. This practice helps minimize pollution and contributes to cleaner air. And ultimately promotes better respiratory health and prevents several health problems from developing.

5. Waste Generation

Outcome: Excessive production and improper waste disposal contribute to pollution and landfill overflow.

Sustainable Habit: Reducing waste through practices like composting and utilizing reusable products help minimize the amount of waste sent to landfills.

There are numerous points that support the importance of living sustainably. As a result, we must all work together to offset the negative impacts of unsustainable habits on the environment and our health.

What Are the Three Pillars of Sustainable Living?

Sustainable Living for a Greener Planet
Beginners Guide to Sustainable Living: Three Pillars for a Greener Planet

Environment, Economy, and Society are the three pillars of sustainable living for a greener future.

1. Environmental Responsibility - This means taking care of our planet. It involves using energy wisely, reducing waste, protecting wildlife, and using natural resources wisely. We should recycle, plant trees, and be mindful of our carbon footprint.

2. Economic Viability - This pillar focuses on creating a strong economy that benefits everyone without harming the environment. It involves supporting businesses that are ethical and sustainable, investing in renewable energy, and promoting responsible consumption and production.

3. Social Equity - This is about treating everyone fairly. It's important to care for people and communities, provide equal opportunities, abolish unfair treatment, and make sure everyone has access to basic necessities like food, water, and education.

Just like you follow financial advice to secure your future, follow these pillars to create a sustainable and thriving world, all without harming nature.

Is Sustainable Living Possible?

Plantations for Sustainable Living
Beginners Guide to Sustainable Living: Making It Possible Through Eco-Friendly Practices

Yes, sustainable living is possible. A sustainable lifestyle can be achieved by following the below:

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Minimize waste by using items efficiently, reusing what you can, and recycling materials.

  • Conserve Energy and Water: Use energy-saving appliances, turn off lights, and reduce water usage to save resources.

  • Choose Sustainable Transportation: Opt for walking, cycling, electric vehicles, carpooling, or public transport to reduce carbon emissions.

  • Support Ethical and Eco-Friendly Products: Purchase items that are responsibly made and support environmentally conscious companies.

  • Plant Trees and Maintain Green Spaces: Contribute to the environment by planting trees and preserving natural areas.

  • Advocate for Change: Raise awareness and support policies that promote sustainability for a better future.

So, these are sustainable living practices that lay the foundation for a greener future. Keep an eye on upcoming posts in which we will go deeper into each approach, providing you with practical advice and tips for living a more sustainable lifestyle.

Is Sustainable Living Expensive?

Eco-friendly Products for Sustainable Living
Beginners Guide to Sustainable Living: Long-Term Benefits

No. Sustainable living is not expensive, instead, it saves a lot of money in the long run. You may be asking how is sustainable living cheaper or more beneficial given the higher cost of solar appliances, electric cars, and other things. Let me explain.

Adopting a sustainable lifestyle is expensive, but just in the beginning. This is because eco-friendly products have higher upfront costs due to the quality and sustainability of the manufacturing process. For instance:

  • Installing solar panels is expensive, but it significantly lowers energy use. This results in significant long-term savings on electric bills.

  • Electric cars bear a higher price tag. But they significantly reduce fuel and maintenance expenses. This benefits you in the form of overall cost savings during the vehicle's lifetime.

  • Reusable and sustainable products like beeswax wraps can initially be more expensive than disposable options such as plastic or foil wraps. However, their value becomes evident as they can be used multiple times—beeswax wraps, for instance, can be used up to 100 times. This significantly reduces the need to purchase disposable alternatives like plastic wraps repeatedly, resulting in substantial cost savings in the long run.

  • Similarly, water-saving fixtures are expensive to install, but they minimize water consumption. Thus, resulting in lower water bills and long-term cost savings.

Don't overwhelm yourself with trying to make all the changes at once. Just like Rome wasn't built in a day, adopting sustainable practices doesn't need to happen overnight. Start with small steps, and over time, you'll make a meaningful difference. You'll bring a huge positive impact on nature, wildlife, and the overall health of our planet.

For example, people in America buy roughly 50 billion plastic water bottles in a year. This comes down to about 13 bottles per month per person in the United States. If even one citizen chooses to carry water from home in steel bottles instead of plastic ones, he/she alone can save 156 plastic bottles annually from ending up in landfills and polluting the Earth.

Final Words

Begin today with a small change, like using a steel water bottle. As it becomes a habit, add more sustainable choices, such as using cloth bags or recycling.

Remember, sustainability is a journey, not a sprint. Embrace progress over perfection, and together, let's build a better future by making these gradual, impactful changes.


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