By now we all know that sustainable living is important. You might have some ideas of why it is important, but there are more benefits to sustainable living than you might have thought of. In this article, I will discuss 10 of these benefits of sustainable living.
1. It helps stabilize the planet
This is arguably the most well-known benefit of sustainable living, so let’s get it out of the way. We need this planet to survive. As of right now, there are no other planets we could move to within a year if necessary. So we are dependent on the well-being of the earth. And not just us, our (future) children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and the generations after them will be as well. By doing our part in helping to stabilize the earth we ensure safe and sustainable living conditions for our offspring.
2. It saves money
Think about this: most modern-day pollution is caused by hyper-consumerism. The demand for any kind of product is at an all-time high, meaning that the production and transportation of all these products have reached an all-time high as well. This is mainly because of the high number of single-use items that are being normalized in our society nowadays. By simply swapping as many single-use items as possible for reusable alternatives, you only have to buy said products every now and then instead of every week. It might not sound very significant to save $0.90 on cotton rounds when you swap them for reusable ones but when you add up all these small savings and multiply them with the lifetime of your reusable alternative, you will see it making much more impact than you initially thought.
3. It’s better for your fitness
Many unsustainable habits in our daily life are designed to make our life easier. They are implemented to help us preserve our energy and allow us easy access to basic needs like food and shelter. Our ancestors had to work the land or they would simply starve to death. We modern-day humans only have to click on a few things online and our food will be brought to our home. Many people struggle with a lack of exercise on a daily basis. Luckily, sustainable living can help you exercise more. By riding your bike to the grocery store, for example, you don’t contribute to pollution while getting groceries and you also get some exercise in the meantime.
4. You maximize water and energy efficiency
By living more sustainably, you focus on making the most out of your water and energy. By using them to their maximum efficiency, you significantly reduce the amount of energy you need. Think about sustainable options like insulating your home to reduce the energy needed for heating. Or harvesting rain to water your plants. Not only is maximizing water en energy efficiency better for the planet, but it also saves you money on your water and electricity bills.
5. You reduce waste
There are many big piles of garbage called landfills around the earth. These landfills take up precious space where nature could have grown. By reducing your waste you might not eliminate the problems surrounding landfills, but you don’t add to the problem either. If more and more people reduce their waste and landfills stop growing as quickly, the world can begin to fix this problem.
6. You get the maximum use out of your items
Living sustainably is all about using and reusing products until they are broken beyond repair. When done right, this means you get a lot of value for the money you spent on said product. Take a simple towel for example. You use it over and over again, but it will eventually its drying abilities will decline. This doesn’t mean your towel can’t serve you anymore. You can still use it as a cleaning rag. Even when it’s too filthy to wash after cleaning with it times and times again, it can still serve a purpose. You can use it to protect a surface while painting for example. In its lifetime, this single towel has serves 3 different purposes multiple times. If that’s not getting maximum use out of an item, I don’t know what is.
7. You feel better about yourself
If you’ve clicked on this article I can assume that you care (at least a little) about the environment. Since the environment is important to you, you will get a sense of accomplishment from doing things to preserve our environment. One of those things that will give you this sense of accomplishment is living sustainably. You can (and should!) feel proud of yourself for contributing to the solution to climate change, instead of the cause. So give yourself a pat on the back for living sustainably.
8. You connect with others who (want to) live sustainably
Because living sustainably is based on getting as many things locally as possible, you are more dependent on your community. Maybe you’ll meet someone that grows their own tomatoes and has some to spare for you. Or you might have some clothing that no longer works for you that you can give to someone in your community. And there are of course internet groups and forums you could join to exchange idea’s on how to live more sustainably. Even some of your friends might get inspired by your lifestyle and want to learn more about it. This can be a great way to connect with them even more.
9. You become less dependant on non-renewable sources
Imagine that natural gas will run out in the next month. Not just your gas, but all gas. The world will fall into chaos because we are so dependant on natural gas. It’s what we use to heat our homes for example. The only people that do not have to worry about warming their homes this coming winter are the people that are already living sustainably and heat their homes using alternative sources to natural gas.
10. You help prevent loss of biodiversity
Due to the high demand for products, more and more rainforests get destroyed. This means there is less space for all the plants and animals that used to live there. You might think ‘Why don’t they just move to the next forest over?’. Sadly, it’s not that simple. Wild animals have their own territory that they will defend from all other animals. It’s not in their nature to ‘just share’. That would be just as ridiculous as your neighbours claiming your house as their own because theirs got destroyed by fire. By living more sustainably you help decrease the demand for new products, which in turn decreases the need for the production of new products, which again leads to a decrease in space and materials needed for these products. By decreasing the demand, you also decrease the need to cut down valuable nature area’s.