Many people may not realize how a few simple changes could allow them to lead a more biofriendly, sustainable life. According to the EPA, “Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.” This means, so long as we can figure out a way to co-exist with nature and not deplete the earth’s natural resources, we can preserve the future for generations to come.
So, what can you do to live more sustainably? In actual fact, sustainability is all about the small, simple actions people take on a daily basis, which add up to make a big difference. We realize not everyone can afford to install solar panels on their roof, put up a wind turbine in their backyard, buy a hybrid or electric vehicle, or set up their own micro hydroelectric power system. Fortunately, the following biofriendly actions can help you live a more sustainable life, starting today!
Biofriendly Tips for Sustainability in the Home
- Walk don’t drive: Ditch your vehicle at least once a week and opt for a more environmentally-friendly transportation option such as walking or biking. Not only can walking and biking be a fun form of exercise, doing these actions can lower the amount of harmful emissions being exuded into the air and environment.
- Unplug: While we on the subject about ditching, it is essential you figure out some time to unplug and ditch your cell phone, TV, computer and electronic devices every single day. Our society has become so technologically advanced, it is sometimes difficult for people to remember to unplug daily and spend some time enjoying face-to-face communication, the great outdoors, and all that the people and places in our life have to offer.
- Grow your own: Whether you live in a house or an apartment, you can supplement your food supplies by planting your own herb and/or vegetable garden. Growing your own food gives you more immediate access to healthy food options, saves you money and allows you to know from where your food came. While you are at it, don’t forget to minimize food waste and compost all you can so it can help give life to more herbs and veggies.
- Eat local and organic: In addition to growing your own, go out of your way to eat local and organic whenever possible. You and your family do not need to be consuming harmful chemicals or GMO foods. Eating local encourages and supports local farmers, as well as saves energy, gives you access to fresher food, preserves local green spaces and creates less of an impact on the environment.
- Eliminate chemicals: Eliminate chemicals from cleaning and beauty supplies by opting for organic, natural or DIY products. Greatist has 27 chemical-free recipes for DIY cleaning, and NoToxLife offers a slew of vegan, non-toxic personal body care products ranging from soaps and hair conditioning products, to aluminum-free deodorants and shaving kits, to shampoo bars and face creams.
- Conserve water: Take an active role in water conservation efforts. Even if you are not in area suffering from severe drought, like we are here in California, you can protect and preserve local water sources by conserving every chance you get. Turn off water while brushing your teeth, only run your dishwasher or washing machine when full, take short showers, collect grey water for use with plants and in gardens, and opt for low-flow plumbing fixtures.
- Reduce, reuse and recycle: While you should be sure to include each of the aforementioned actions in your routine, you should not forget to reduce, reuse and recycle at every opportunity. Reducing your consumption can help save money and minimize waste. Reusing products, or finding a new use for a material, can also save money and reduce the amount of waste going into landfills. Recycling will mean less waste into landfills as well, plus it is a way to earn back some of the money you have spent. Of course, opting for reusable materials and products is a great way to go too!
As long as you keep future generations in mind, these and other biofriendly actions can help get you on your way to living a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly life.
Tree-lined, path image by Matías via Flickr Creative Commons license.