The Junzi Blog: How to Live Sustainably
In light of Earth Day, I thought we could all take the time to try to live a little greener. We’ve all seen the recent surge in the zero-waste movement where people strive to use almost no single-use products. By no fault of our own, this lifestyle is extremely difficult to attain in a world where almost everything is disposable. It’s a huge disadvantage to time and money to attempt to do this especially as a student like myself. But we still feel guilty that we can’t do everything to reduce the massive amount of pollution on earth. So what can we do?
Here’s a list of some small ways we can slowly introduce more sustainability to our everyday lives without completely going out of our way.
1. Reduce some single use products
Lately more and more products have been popping up that we can use in place of disposable plastics. Plastic straws, water bottles and coffee cups are incredibly easy to swap out for reusable forms. Shopping bags can also be exchanged for canvas or cloth bags which are so much more convenient as they hold more (better for doing those single trips carrying everything).
2. Reuse and Recycle
You’re bound to have to throw away some things, even when reusing items. Try to limit this to things you can’t reuse sometimes or even recycle. Wash out empty glass jars to be used for plants or even as containers. This is going to save you space and money and still give a trendy mason jar look. Collect paper and bottles to drop off at your local recycling bin at the end of every month.
3. Do it yourself
Why not have the satisfaction of growing your own food? Better yet, why not have the satisfaction of eating free food? Growing your own food is a great way to reduce all the plastic acquired at groceries. Also you’re ensuring your food is free from processing and pesticides allowing your diet to be as clean as possible. And come on, planting things is always good.
4. Everything in moderation
The word sustainable means that it can be held up over a long period of time. To live sustainably simply means that we engage in practices that use resources that can be replenished. Use only what you need and only when you need it. Limit your energy consumption to necessity. Try not to waste food and other products. Everything is limited but we can have enough if we’re conscious about or usage
5. It’s all a mindset
Maybe all we need is a little motivation to keep the earth a little cleaner? Try to spend more time doing outdoor activities like hiking and bike-riding. Go to the beach more often if you can and have picnics in the park. Take the time to appreciate the natural world and the pure beauty it has to offer us. Once you’re accustomed to this, the thought of landfills and polluted oceans are going to hit much closer to home. These issues aren’t going to seem as isolated and far off as they do right now. Our mindsets would hopefully change to wanting to go out of our way to do whatever good we can to preserve what we have.
We can all stand to make some changes in our lives where the environment is concerned. Its not going to be easy, but slowly and surely we can change the polluted road we’re heading down. Our personal growth comes out in all aspects of our lives including the way we care for things. We should learn to empathize more with our one and only planet and preserve it for generations to come.