Our home, the Earth is being severely wounded and destroyed by humanity.
There are number of threats to our planet, including climate change, tourism, human activities like hunting and fishing, plastic pollution and development. Looking to the future, climate change and severe weather are expected to become even more significant causes of harm, as will road construction and oil and gas development.
Due to these critical activities, everybody is minded to build a sustainable future. Everyone wants it, but no one really knows what it looks like.
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Living within our environmental limits is one of the central principles of sustainable development. One implication of not doing so is climate change.
But the focus of sustainable development is far broader than just the environment. It’s also about ensuring a strong, healthy and just society. This means meeting the diverse needs of all people in existing and future communities, promoting personal wellbeing, social cohesion and inclusion, and creating equal opportunity.
Sustainable development is about finding better ways of doing things, both for the future and the present. We might need to change the way we work and live now, but this doesn’t mean our quality of life will be reduced. Environmental sustainability doesn’t mean living without luxuries but rather being aware of your resource consumption and reducing unnecessary waste. The impacts of our decisions as a society have very real consequences for our future.
Sustainable development provides an approach to making better decisions on the issues that affect all of our lives.
We all have a part to play. Small actions, taken collectively, can add up to real change. Here are some simple swaps to make to live more sustainably:
1. Try to reduce your household energy use
Turn off appliances and lights that you’re not using, hang clothes to dry instead of using the dryer or install energy-efficient appliances.
2. Eat locally
A powerful way to live more sustainably is to eat locally as the products in the supermarkets consume huge amounts of fossil fuel energy to get from those global locations to your corner supermarket.
3. Dispose with disposables
These days, you can find a plastic version of almost any object and then throw that object away after you use it. When you make a purchase, consider the item’s life expectancy: How long can the item be used? Will it have more than one use? When you’re done with it, will it end up in the trash? Start investing in reusable products for the items you most often throw away.
4. Plant seeds
Try growing your own food.
Recycle as much as possible!
6. Resell and donate items
Items that you no longer need can get an extended life through resale and donation. By extending the life of any product, you help reduce dependence on disposable or cheaply made single-use products that end up in landfills.
7. Use reusable water bottles and refill them
Dependence on bottled water has added more than a million tons of plastic to the waste stream every year. This could all be avoided by simply using a reusable water bottle to reduce waste.
8. Save water
An easy way to live more sustainably is to conserve household water use. Smaller changes, such as switching to water-saving shower heads and adding aerators to your sink faucets, are also effective ways to significantly reduce household water use.
9. Rely less on your car
Using fossil fuels to support one person in each car on the road is clearly no longer sustainable. Investigate mass transit options in your town or city, such as a bus system, a light rail train system, or carpool and vanpool services for commuters. When traveling close to home, walk or ride your bike.
10. Purchase eco-friendly products
Before making a decision on an item you’re about to purchase, let’s consider doing a little research to see what’s on the market in terms of alternatives. Try to find products which are built to last and at the same time, are environmentally friendly.
You may already be doing a few of these things, or perhaps all of it, which is fantastic! But hopefully, you pick up some opportunities to do your part to help mother nature.