More and more people are beginning to come around to the concept of sustainability and the need to protect the planet. Everything we do on a daily basis, from what we eat to how we get to and from work and consumption levels can impact the planet, so it’s important to make the right choices.
Even small changes can have a big impact over time, helping you to reduce your environmental impact and offering many more benefits besides. Here are some suggestions of how you can live and eat more sustainably for the future.
Food waste is a huge issue – 30% of the food we produce around the world is wasted, causing a negative impact on the environment. But the good news is that there are simple ways to reduce how much food we waste each week, which over time can have a positive effect on our carbon footprint.
Where possible, choose brands that offer loose produce, so that you can choose the amount you need. If you think that it’s unlikely you’ll get through the quantity of food you’ve purchased, you can also make use of your freezer to preserve any leftovers so that they don’t go to waste.
Opt for a reusable alternative
Single-use items, especially if they’re made from plastic, are not just a waste of money for businesses but they’re also going to end up in landfill or the ocean, which impacts the wildlife and surrounding environment. Instead, choose reusable options that you can continue to use time and time again. These alternatives are better for the planet and your wallet, for a win-win result that benefits everyone.
Eating seasonally, such as buying from your local farm shop or paying attention to where the food in your supermarket is grown, can help to lower your carbon footprint. A lot of the food we eat, particularly fresh produce, travels thousands of miles before it reaches our plate. Not only does this impact the planet but it also makes the food we buy more expensive. Take the time to check what’s in season each month and improve the quality and variety of the foods you buy.
Say no to plastic
Plastic has found its way into our landfills, oceans and even our diets in large quantities, so one of the best things you can do to lead a more sustainable lifestyle is to switch to recyclable or eco-friendly alternatives. There’s an increasing trend for consumers to contact brands seeking a more environmentally friendly option when it comes to packaging, and many businesses are taking note and switching out the packaging they use for a solution that doesn’t harm the planet.
If a product is Fairtrade certified, you can be sure that it’s been produced by a company that has committed to sustainable production practices. So, when you make a purchase, check for the Fairtrade mark and if possible, choose Fairtrade items over competitors to promote sustainability and ensure that labourers are paid a fair wage for the work they do.
Be conscious of water usage
Skip bottled water and pay attention to how much water you’re wasting each day, as the extraction of water and the production of water bottles is incredibly harmful to the planet, communities and wildlife. Water conservation is something that everyone should be conscious of, as growing populations have put an increasing pressure on our water sources which increases the risk of droughts around the world. There are various ways to do this, from choosing low-water appliance options to taking shorter showers and not running taps for long periods unnecessarily.
Choosing a sustainable way of life can mean different things to everyone, depending on how much of a change you’re willing to make to your lifestyle. But even small changes can have a positive impact if enough people make the switch, and those changes don’t have to require a major overhaul of your day-to-day routine in order to make a difference. From choosing paper over plastic, paying attention to what you’re consuming and choosing businesses that are carrying out sustainable practices, you can make a positive contribution.
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