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Sustainable Living Is Only A Few Steps Away!

  • Environment
  • lifestyle
  • sustainability

With the overwhelming size of the planet, it can be difficult to understand how our individual actions can help the world. But we must remember a few things: 

  • Every little contribution helps 
  • The impact of all individual actions in the world can be gigantic
  • Over time, the impact of actions will accumulate

With that in mind, there are a few actions we can take to do our part to improve the planet. With repetition, these actions will slowly build into habits! Try to keep a record of each time you take action – not only will this help you build the habit, but you can also look back and reflect on the different ways you have made your lifestyle more sustainable!

Some actions are definitely easier to turn into habits than others:

Switch off electrical appliances when they are not in use

If you don’t want to unplug an appliance (like a TV), make sure you switch off the plug socket. This ensures the appliance is not on standby mode. While standby mode doesn’t consume as much energy as an appliance it uses, it still does consume energy (especially with older appliances). Given that items are often left on standby 24/7, the ‘small’ amount of energy use adds up very quickly, particularly if there are lots of appliances left on standby. 

Donate unwanted goods

The vast majority of items we throw away are still useable and many organisations – such as charities, shelters – are in need of any available donations. Not only will this minimise disposal costs, but it will also contribute to improving the wellbeing of others. A good alternative would be to donate to recycling centres, which will take most large items!

Some actions can be harder to turn into habits. They can be simple one-off decisions, but building consistency over time can still be difficult. With these, it is important to always remember that any improvement is still incredibly useful! With strong perseverance, the following lifestyle changes can have a huge impact over time:

Change your diet

Try to reduce your consumption of meat and, more specifically, red meat. We often consume too few fruits and vegetables in our everyday diets, so try to fill up on fruits and vegetables if you are still hungry or peckish! If you do eat meat, try to substitute red meats such as beef for white meats such as fish and chicken. Red meat production has a far larger carbon footprint!

Walk and take public transport where possible

Walking has no carbon footprint and public transport greatly reduces the carbon emissions for a large group of people. Understandably, this might be less feasible for longer journeys, but try to walk for shorter journeys. It’s also a great way to get your daily exercise requirements in!

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Shop carefully

Try to choose products that are reusable and recyclable, as well as those with minimal plastic packaging. Luckily, an increasing number of products are more environmentally conscious, so all you need to do is look around (or ask a shop assistant). Try to also buy strong, durable products. This will reduce your long run costs and waste!

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With all of the different ways to make your lifestyle more sustainable, it is important to keep reminding yourself of the benefit that you are creating for the planet! Each action is infinitely better than no action, so always remind yourself to take action where you can. Try to share your progress with your friends. Not only will you inspire them, but you could also get feedback and gain new ways to live sustainably. 

Living sustainably can require a lot of change, but it is definitely worth it! The great thing about sustainable living is that there are often many benefits for many different groups of people. As more and more people try to live sustainably, the total benefit to the planet continues to exponentially grow, ultimately making our world a more beautiful and happy place! 

By Zhi Ping Lim

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