• The Green Spoon

6 Ways To Live More Sustainably

Some of us can say, hey I’m already living pretty sustainably. That might be true. But we can always improve, right?

As more and more people are aware of the effects of climate change, we should be regularly making changes in our lifestyle to live more sustainably.

There are many ways to be sustainable and here are 6 to get you started.

1. Being conscious of your choices

Well, the fact that you are reading this, you are already being conscious of your choices. You are aware that you need to be conscious about your lifestyle to be more sustainable. Realizing that we are wasting a lot of resources is probably one of the toughest things to do for some of us. We are living in a very comfortable system where a lot is provided to many of us. Buying unnecessarily plastic wrapped food, ripping off the plastic, consuming the food, throwing the waste is easy and comfortable. Anything that makes our daily small tasks easier makes us very comfortable but as we are seeing it, the damage caused by our comfort is massive!

2. Spend less money!

Ultimately when you try to reduce your spending you are also being more responsible by not being wasteful and being more sustainable. When you try to be conscious about not using electrical appliance when not needed, your electric bill reduces. When you plan and buy your groceries instead of buying takeout food a lot, you are not throwing lots of food packaging at the same time reducing your expenses on food. When you carpool or commute instead of driving out alone a lot, not only do you contribute to reducing the carbon emission but also save your travel expenses or money spent for petrol. So, by being conscious about reducing the money you spend you also are being more sustainable.

3. Practice going Zero Waste

If you are buying take-out food, bring your own (BYO) food container. If you go to the grocery store, don’t just pick the pre-packed fruits or vegetables just because it's convenient. Pick from the loose fruits and vegetables into your reusable carry bag. Stop buying bananas wrapped in plastic. Stop buying half or quarter cut watermelons that is wrapped in plastic. Instead, buy the full watermelon, cut it into small pieces, and store it inside an airtight food container. Stop buying coffee in small sachets. Instead, buy coffee in a coffee jar and make your coffee to your own unique likeness. Just think about where all the plastic is going after leaving your house as garbage. 300 million tons of plastic is produced worldwide each year. If it doesn’t break down where will all go to? Planet B?

4. Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

  • Refuse disposable materials, even if it's given to you for free e.g. plastic bags, straws, or cutleries.

  • Reduce your electricity bills by turning off devices when not using, reduce traveling unnecessarily in your motor vehicle or reduce the amount of food that you buy if you are wasting food.

  • Reuse the plastic bottles or food containers as most of the plastic bottles and food containers are easily washable and reusable at least a few times.

  • Repurpose the unclean plastic bottles, food containers for some other use such as organizers, flowerpots or indoor diy decorations.

  • Recycle every single form of material like paper, aluminum and plastic that you regularly buy is segregated in your home and sent to recycling centers instead of the rubbish bin.

5. Have weekly Plant-based diet days

Being a vegan/vegetarian does not mean you need to be born completely a meat eater or completely a vegetarian for life. That's the perception of many. You can’t reach 100 without starting at 1. Even if you are a heavy meat and egg consumer, start with 1 vegetarian diet day in a week. I started with going vegetarian once a week and now I’m going plant-based 4-5 days in a week. Not only are you helping your body to detoxify, improve its metabolism, get more nutrients and potentially lose weight in the process. Your compassionate diet also plays a part in reducing the market demand for meat while helping heal the earth.

6. Never stop learning to more Sustainable

Once you realize the importance and the need to live more sustainably, don’t stop at one or two small changes. Search it in your favorite web browser or search it with your mobile phone. The knowledge of the world is in our hands. There are many useful things you can learn online including how to compost indoors in a small apartment or how to turn my plastic bottles into DIY flower pots. Don’t be shy, no one will judge you! You will be surprised just by learning about the type of light bulbs that you are currently using and changing it or by setting your AC on a timer, your electricity bill can drop with the same amount of consumption. The answer is always in your hands. You just have to take a step to ask and learn.

Being sustainable does not mean each and every one of us must grow our own food or start living in a home that does not consume electricity. Well, if we can then that is ultimately the better way to live. Don't forget even making the smallest lifestyle changes to live more sustainably goes a long way, in reducing or slowing down the damage that we humans are doing to the earth.


About the writer:

Selvan Segaran works as a Project Officer in the Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya. He is an active volunteer for Greenpeace Malaysia, an advocate for nature, an advocate for waste reduction, an aquarium hobbyist, animal lover and newly adapting to the flexitarian lifestyle. He was always in the perception that he could never live without daily chicken and 30 eggs per week but now loving the journey into adapting slowly into following vegan diet 5-6 days in a week! He aspires to be able to farm his own vegetables for his family and be a complete vegan.

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