In the previous decade, the big environmental buzzword was “recycle”. You’ve heard the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle”, right? Well, there’s a new buzzword in town, and it’s “sustainability”. Everyone wants to be sustainable, but some people have no idea what that even means.
Sustainability is about reducing your footprint, being a consumer that gives back, making responsible choices now without robbing future generations of the great life you have now. It’s not buying more simply because you can. It’s using recyclable materials like paperboard packaging. It’s more than just throwing a few kinds of plastics, glass, and cardboard in the green bin every other week.
If venturing into sustainability sounds good to you, here are three ways you can get started!
Find your green thumb
Especially with food prices (and everything else) increasing so much, it’s becoming much more appealing to start growing your own food. It doesn’t start there, though. Instead of throwing food scraps and yard waste into plastic bags which end up in landfills, start making a compost pile.
You just use the organic materials you have, throw it into a pile, turn it occasionally, and after a while you get really nutrient-dense dirt to grow some fantastic veggies. Then you can save money on groceries and still have new scraps to throw into your compost pile for later!
Don’t buy empty plastic food containers
You can find sets of plastic food storage containers, but they have one problem: there’s no food in them. It sounds obvious – why would there be food in them? You’re buying them in order to put food into them. That’s true, but it’s unnecessary.
If you ever buy Chinese takeout, you’re getting some really great food containers. Most lunch meats outside of the deli come in reusable plastic containers that are the perfect size for your lunch for work. On top of that, some of them are even plastics that can be recycled.
In addition to plastic containers, you can also get recycled paperboard packaging to store and transport your food in. A lot of “boutique” restaurants who are trying to be more environmentally-minded are starting to use the paperboard boxes as well.
Get rid of stuff and quit buying more
This one’s a little controversial, but sometimes that’s a good thing. Ask yourself if you really need everything you have. The answer is probably “no”. Why not start downsizing? Especially if you for some reason have a storage facility, you have too much stuff. Make some extra money! Sell some of the junk you don’t use anymore. Minimalism is all the rage these days.
Then, once you downsize your stuff, don’t just buy more simply because you can. There’s nothing wrong with consumerism as a concept, but it’s taking too much control of our minds and wallets because it’s able to. Get a smaller house that uses less energy. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Maybe it is, but maybe crazy is what we need sometimes.
The key to a vibrant and prosperous future for our world is to live as responsibly as we can now and think in the long term. If you’re even a little interested in sustainability, you now have a few great ideas on how to get started. There’s a lot more info to be found on the internet, so get searching! Start making a smaller footprint immediately.