If you're trying to live a more conscious and sustainable life, it can feel a little overwhelming. From supporting fair labor to eliminating waste, there are so many aspects to sustainable living and it can be difficult to figure out where to start.
The important thing to remember is that you don't have to tackle it all at once. In fact, taking incremental steps has proven to be a more sustainable way to live sustainably. :-)
Here are four simple things you can do to start living a more sustainable life:
1. Say no to plastic
From Los Angeles, where 10 tons of plastic are washed into the ocean everyday, to the Cayman Islands, where the beaches are being overrun with trash, plastic pollution is a major problem around the world. Plastic products are getting onto the beaches and into the oceans and killing wildlife through entanglement or ingestion. So how can you help? Reduce your plastic use as much as possible. Take reusable cloth bags with you when you shop, drink out of glass bottles and cups rather than plastic ones, cut down on online shopping from brands that aren't sustainable (as they often ship products in some form of plastic) and don't accept plastic bags or containers when they're offered to you.
2. Drive less
Automobiles produce seventy-five percent of the world's carbon monoxide emissions. Consider using other forms of transportation to get around when you can: walking, biking, carpooling and public transportation are all great alternatives. If that's simply not an option for you and you have to rely on your own vehicle at all times, make sure you're getting it maintenanced as instructed. Delayed maintenance can reduce your car's fuel efficiency by up to 9%.
3. Turn off the tap
Did you know that you waste about five gallons of water if you leave the tap running while you're brushing your teeth? Only 1 percent of the Earth's water is available for human consumption and as our population continues to grow, so will demand. A super simple way to help us save our most important natural resource is to switch off the faucet while you're doing tasks such as brushing your teeth, washing your face and scrubbing dishes.
4. Shop small!
Small brands are far more likely to adhere to ethical and sustainable practices than large corporations. Instead of eating out at a big chain restaurant, try small mom and pop restaurants in your neighborhood — or even better, head to your local farmer's market and cook for yourself! Opt for smaller retail shops and online boutiques (like Jewel Posse) that pride themselves on their commitment to sustainability!
What steps are you taking to live a more sustainable life? Share your suggestions in the comments below so we can all continue to improve!