Sustainability is becoming more and more important, as we are facing environmental threats such as climate change or plastic pollution. If we hope to succeed in making the world a greener place, we all need to do our part… but where do you start and how do you cultivate more sustainable habits?
Why is it important to adopt more sustainable habits?
Firstly, you need to know your WHY. While it is crucial that we all act more sustainably, it is much easier to do so if we have personal reasons for doing so, that motivate us to stick to it. Like any habit, sustainable practices take some time to cultivate but will become second nature after a while. Having your WHY clear will help you stick with sustainable choices for those first few weeks.
Are you motivated to preserve the world so that your children have a brighter future? Are you concerned about the beautiful places which will be lost to climate change as ocean levels rise? Is the mass extinction of animals due to habitat destruction what you’d like to prevent?
One step at a time
Some people like to purge their homes of wasteful items and get out their bike for every journey they make as soon as they decide to live more sustainably. While for some, this radical change may be best, most of us don’t work that way. The majority of people need time to get used to new sustainable habits and build upon them once they become solid.
The habits you’re going to want to adopt first will be largely dependent on your why. If climate change is a bigger concern to you, you’re going to want to start making use of public transport instead of driving a car – and if you can’t avoid driving, carpooling with friends. This can help substantially cut down on your CO2 emissions. However, transport is not the only contributor to climate change. You might also want to cut down on animal products (especially red meat), as they usually produce 10-50 times more greenhouse gas emissions than plant-based options. Shopping local is also important – not just when it comes to food.
But maybe you’re more concerned about plastic pollution or the waste we are flooding our planet with. In that case, you’re first going to be looking to cut down single-use plastic by introducing some simple changes – getting yourself a reusable water bottle, buying your produce package-free or bringing your own travel mug to the coffee shop. Then, any other plastic items in your home could be tackled by replacing them with more natural, compostable alternatives. Examples of those include bamboo toothbrushes, glass food boxes or plastic-free cosmetics.
Preach what you practice
As you start building more sustainable habits, you can lead as an example to others. However, aside from this, leading conversations about sustainability and the impact our actions have on the environment has a massive difference.
A focused discussion about what we can do to prevent environmental damage is one of the best sustainable habits to cultivate!