Here’s a sad, even downright scary fact: at least 571 plant species have become extinct in the last 250 years. What’s more, plant extinction rates are occurring 500 times faster than what’s natural. Animals are also disappearing about 1,000 times faster than historical extinction rates.
Human activities, in turn, are some of the primary causes of those extinctions.
That’s why environmental experts are encouraging everyone to implement sustainable practices. This guide lists some of the top sustainable living habits you can start with, so be sure to read on.
1. Go Paperless
Every year, the world consumes 350 million tons of paper. To meet that high demand, paper manufacturers cut over 900 million trees.
So, by minimizing paper usage, fewer trees will meet their demise. One way to reduce your paper use, in turn, is to go paperless by switching to digital. From billing to reporting to data storage, all these are now available in paperless form.
2. Mind the Food You Buy and Cook
About 30% to 40% of the US food supply goes to waste. Some of that results from consumers buying more than what they can cook or eat. As a result, the excess food can rot, decay, and end up in the trash.
As such, food waste prevention should be on the top of your list of sustainable practices. Ensure that you only buy food quantities that you’re sure you can finish before they go bad.
3. Make the Switch to Renewable Energy Sources
Fossil fuels, the primary source of energy such as electricity, are on the verge of depletion. Experts estimate that oil will reach its depletion rate by 2052, gas by 2060, and coal by 2090. Unfortunately, it takes millions of years for these fossil fuels to form.
That’s enough reason to go with renewable, green energy sources, such as solar energy. In doing so, you can avoid fuel-based electricity that emits gases and pollutants. Plus, according to the folks at Blue Raven Solar, solar can save you at least 10% to 30% on your power bills every month.
4. Practice Energy Efficiency to Lower Your Carbon Footprint
A carbon footprint is the sum of all greenhouse gases that a person’s activities generate. A primary component of those emissions is a consumer’s energy use.
In the US alone, the average carbon footprint of a person is 16 tons, four times higher than the global average.
Going solar helps lower your carbon footprint, too. However, even something as simple as turning off unused lights can already help. Using energy-efficient LED bulbs can also help cut your carbon footprint.
5. Reuse and Recycle
Reusing and recycling are some of the most effective ways to reduce and even achieve zero waste. The more products you reuse and recycle, the fewer stuff you have to send to landfills and dumpsites. Moreover, these two allow you to contribute to the reduction of virgin raw material use.
Buying used goods, such as clothes and furnishings, is a perfect way to reuse existing items. It’s also smart to buy reusable products rather than single-use items.
You should also recycle household waste, such as metal, plastic, paper, and glass. When you recycle these items, they’ll go into making new products. As a result, new products would need to use fewer raw materials.
Reduce Your Environmental Impact with These Sustainable Practices
As you can see, many sustainable practices don’t take a lot of effort to achieve. Start by going paperless, reducing food waste, and turning off unused LED lights. You can then move on to reducing, reusing, recycling, and relying on renewable energy.
Looking for more nifty hacks on lifestyle, home, or even personal finance? Check out our recent blog posts for other informative guides then!