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What is sustainable living?


In short, sustainable living is the practice of using natural and renewable resources without depleting environmental resources that future generations need. Also it’s a way to live responsibly to reduce carbon emissions.

In order to find out what your carbon footprint is you can use this tool from the WWF.

But it’s much more than that, it has become a large community that keeps on growing and also a mindset, a way of thinking about how you live and being aware of the impact you as a person have on the planet and the society as a whole.

So read on to learn more about why sustainable living is important, what some examples are of sustainable living and what the pros and cons are of sustainable living.

Why is sustainable living important?

Living sustainably contributes to lower carbon emissions which helps in the battle against global warming! The most pressing issue of our time. Not only that but when you set an example and do the things required to live a sustainable life you will become an inspiration for other people to join as well, creating a ripple effect. 

But that is not all, in the pursuit of living more sustainably you will become really aware of how you do things and thinking about how to improve them for the better. Improving the quality of life as you go.

What are some examples of sustainable living?

To give you an idea of what sustainable living is, here are some examples for you:

Reusing materials in a creative way:

  1. Eating local grown food
  2. Reusing materials such as water bottles or 
  3. Growing your own herbs, plants and vegetables.
  4. Living in a home that is not bigger than it needs to be.
  5. Conversing water by installing water saving showerheads, toilets and faucets.
  6. Bringing clothes that you no longer want to the thrift store.
  7. Making your own energy by using renewable energy sources.
  8. Use electric cooking instead of using gas (only if you use renewable energy sources)
  9. Reducing energy usage all together.
  10. Travel by bike or go car pooling, using your car the least amount as possible.
  11. Trash separation,

Here are some more interesting life hacks to live more sustainably:

And to have more of a look to what a sustainable lifestyle looks, take a look at these people. 

This is a video about a couple that live on their self build island for 27 years! They grow their own food and create everything that you see on that island all by themselves.

Another couple that have been traveling all over the world to experience all kinds of awesome moments and they are able to do this by having an online blogging and vlogging business.

How many people are practicing the sustainable living lifestyle?

Judging by the amount of people searching for the topic and there are subscribers around the topic on Youtube, We Recon there are around 10 million people really committed to the lifestyle and are walking the talk.

That said, in an article of Forbes it is stated that 77% of people want to learn to live more sustainably.

Where can I find good information about the sustainable living lifestyle?

Youtube channels:

What are the benefits of sustainable living?

Living sustainably will give you a healthier, connected, cheaper and more relaxed life when doing it the right way. 

Healthier because you will steer towards organic and locally grown foods. Eating these will detoxify your system and make you have more energy and vitality.

Cheaper because you will for example take the bike more often and grow your food yourself.

Better connected because in order to live sustainably you are going to need the help of others.

More relaxed because people living sustainably will live only with what they really need. Excess requires more money and you will have to earn more for that and work harder.

What are the drawbacks of sustainable living?

There are of course some drawbacks, for sustainable living the drawbacks are that it can be time consuming to learn how to be sustainable and changing your lifestyle drastically. It is also not only a decision that impacts you but also all the people around you.

For example if you are at a party or at a friend and they cook for you it can be hard to simply say no to everything non-organic or locally grown foods.  You will have to change the behavior of your friends and family. So in order to tackle this, good communication is very important. You should explain why you want to do this and what exactly it will mean for them.

So do your research upfront in tackling this issue if you are really serious about sustainable living.

Starting small is also a really smart thing to do. Doing it all at once and diving in head first will make you lose a lot of money and will cause a lot of stress.

So for example start with traveling less via car, this will also save you money directly.

What is the difference between sustainable living and zero-waste living?

Even though the terms are often used like they are the same thing, the big difference between the two is that the zero waste community focuses on the trash problem. Sustainable living is a broader topic.

Where zero waste is more focused on for example reducing food packaging where sustainable living is more focused on the whole cycle on the food chain.

Sources used: