Sustainability has become a familiar word to the general public in the last decade, but it still does not seem like a friendly concept, does it? Though the definition of sustainability is pretty simple – it is the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level – what we need to do with the concept can be not only overwhelming but confusing.
To act, we need to break down the concept and make it relevant to our everyday life. What can we do to promote sustainable way of life? What needs to be done in our immediate environment such as our home? First of all, I want to share the living sustainably does not mean that you somehow eliminate your desires or stop shopping! To sustain changes that we create, the changes need to be something we can do now rather than disregarding our way of live entirely. This is a journey, and it starts with thinking before acting.
What are the daily actions that have to with protecting environment and living sustainably and healthy? The answer is almost, everything.
It has to do with the way we shop, consume, eat, wear, use, share, dispose, recycle, sell and more. It is about decision making. Let’s start with your morning routine. You wake up, go to the bathroom and wash yourself. In this very simple act of cleansing oneself, you use water, electricity, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, hair conditioner, shower gel, body lotion, towel, and more. If you count every single product and resource you use during these 20 minutes of your life, it may surprise you. Maybe once you finish the current shower gel, you will purchase a refill package instead of a whole new bottle. Perhaps you decide to use solid soap instead of plastic bottled hand wash. You may reuse the towels. You can also pat your hair with towel bit longer and lessen the time you have with hairdryer. These are easy, simple conscious choices you can make based on some principles. The principles are;
Reduce Re-use Repair Re-cycle
You just reduced the time with a hair dryer and that is a great decision- hair drying can also make hair too dry! You chose to reuse the towel. You decided to reuse the shower gel bottle. See how easy those were? With the increased confidence, you can apply these to any areas of your life. Can I re-use this? Can this be recycled? Can I give this to someone instead of throwing it away? Can I sell this?
And the most important question before making a purchase is this - Do I need this?
If you answer the question honestly, you’ll find that you can reduce your shopping. It works especially well for fashion as clothing and accessories are usually not necessity - do you really have nothing to wear? Really? Nothing? You just want new stuff. And that is okay, but let’s make sure that you will be able to use it many times, hopefully several years to come. Take time in your shopping. Check out what it is made of, how it is made of and imagine yourself with it.
Practicing sustainability doesn’t have to be daunting or complicated. It just requires exercising your mind. And you can start today. So what are the few simple changes you can make today?
Use the towel one more time, repair the sweater that has a little hole, repurpose the empty bottle that is too pretty to throw away. Recycle properly. And, as you make these small changes, your mind will open up to endless things that you can do differently. Enjoy!