Live Sustainably With These Tips
When exploring ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle, we often find ourselves asking: Which products are the least wasteful? Is this brand truly committed to protecting the planet? It’s always worth remembering that incremental positive changes are much better than not making any at all.
Diving into the sustainability pond head-first can seem like a challenge, but these tips can help you dip your toes into the very water you’re helping to preserve for future generations. As time goes on, you can continue to add more sustainable practices into your daily life.
Now that we’ve established that living sustainably isn’t all-or-nothing, let’s zoom out and talk about why sustainability is so important in the first place.
Why Should I Care About Sustainability?
The idea behind living sustainably is to preserve the earth’s natural resources. This can be done primarily by lessening the amount of waste we produce and using fewer resources in the first place.
If we continue to blow through our natural resources and create waste that emits greenhouse gases at the current rate, we’ll do irreversible damage to the environment by 2030. The terrifying consequences of climate change can already be seen worldwide, with the significant increase in inclement and hazardous weather in recent years.
If this all sounds really scary, that’s because it should. But there are integral steps that we can take in helping to right the environment. That is where living a more sustainable life comes in.
How Can I Live More Sustainably?
We can all take manageable steps to live sustainably and responsibly, allowing us to conserve our environment for years to come. In fact, nearly every facet of our lives likely has a more sustainable alternative, especially when it comes to consumption. By the way, when we say “consumption,” we don’t just mean food.
Well, we kind of mean food.
Embrace Meatless Mondays or Go Vegan
Though delicious and convincing meat alternatives are becoming more plentiful and convincing by the day, we can still help even if we aren’t ready to say goodbye to burgers altogether. Meatless Mondays are the perfect example of how making a small step toward more sustainable living can make a big difference.
The tremendous consumption of meat is one of humanity’s most significant contributors to our carbon footprint, and climate change is a direct result. Cutting animal products out of our diets could diminish a person’s food-related carbon footprint up to 73%. Producing so much meat and dairy takes up a massive quantity of resources while constantly emitting greenhouse gases. We can greatly reduce the waste we create through food consumption by using plant-based products.
In addition, this form of agriculture accounts for almost all of our farmland. By not eating animal products, the amount of farmland necessary in the world could shrink by 75%. This would allow the land to heal and native wildlife to flock back and replenish their numbers, potentially staving off extinction or endangerment.
Not only would the loss of these animals be tragic on its own, but the extinction of various animals puts our natural ecosystem in jeopardy. By freeing up this amount of land (and we would still have plenty of food to eat), we would be helping animal populations and ourselves in the long run.
Not everyone is ready to go 100% vegan or make a significant dietary change, and that’s okay. Any decrease in our consumption of animal products is a step toward sustainability.
That said, if going vegan is something that you have been considering, know that it is one of the biggest ways we can reduce our carbon emissions and help preserve our environment for generations to come.
Save Energy at Home
To make strides to a more sustainable life, it’s important to focus on one of the places where we spend the most time: our home. By forming habits and using products that foster a low waste or no waste environment, we make it much easier to stick to these new routines.
Sustainability in and around the home can take on many different forms, which is good news. That means we can look into various options and find the ones that work best for us because even small steps toward living more sustainably are a good thing.
Some tips for a more eco-friendly household involve the products (and especially the electronics) we buy, while others are more about day-to-day choices we all make.
Let’s start with the products that can make a world of difference:
- Switch to LED Lightbulbs: The benefits of switching to LED bulbs rather than CFL (compact fluorescent) ones are two-fold. Not only do they help the environment by using a light source that is much more energy-efficient, but that also makes them a much more budget-friendly alternative, as they last for longer.
Install Solar Panels: Similar to the use of LED bulbs, installing solar panels to power your home is both good for the environment and money-saving. With the fact that solar power is clean energy and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy, it is a worthwhile investment.
Add in the substantial money saved on monthly utility bills as well as incentives put in place to encourage households to go solar, and it’s a no-brainer.
Next, there are simple steps we can take daily to reduce our energy consumption:
Spend More Time Outside: Our houses aren’t the only ones who benefit from a little solar power.
As long as we’re wearing proper skin protection, time in the sun increases our vitamin D levels and makes us healthier in general. When we’re outside, we don’t need the lights on or to be running different energy-consuming appliances.
- Unplug Your Appliances: Our appliances consume a great deal of energy without us noticing. Often, they continue to use and waste power regardless of whether or not they are in use, as long as they are still plugged into an energy source. This phenomenon is commonly known as phantom power. Simply unplugging our appliances when they aren’t in use (toasters, game consoles, chargers that aren’t charging anything) prevents Phantom Power use and can save money on electric bills.
- Hand Wash and Air Dry Your Clothes: Washers and dryers take up a lot of energy, so washing your clothes by hand and hanging them up to dry is a great option to cut down your energy usage.
Take Shorter Showers
This one wasn’t technically a way to save energy at home because you can shower elsewhere, but it definitely applies at home too. No matter where you’re showering, go about your business efficiently (but thoroughly) to limit water consumption.
For every five minutes in the shower, 10 to 25 gallons of water are used. This is a significant figure, so cutting down your time in the shower even by a few minutes can make a big difference for water conservation. Use a low-flow showerhead. This requires minimal effort and can easily save several gallons of water without sacrificing the quality of your shower.
Another way to conserve water and cut down on water use, in general, is to adjust the settings on your dishwasher for a shorter cycle and colder water. Also, turn off the drying cycle to conserve energy.
Composting is the perfect way to help your local community and the earth while also getting rid of food scraps that would have wound up in the garbage. If you don’t have a garden or yard, look into community gardens or compost piles.
Ditch Single-Use Plastics
Single-use plastic is destroying our oceans and maxing out space in our landfills. By using up our natural reserves, we have to use more energy to fulfill our needs, adding even more harmful emissions to the atmosphere and advancing climate change. Instead, use items that are recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reducing, or only buying and using what you need, drastically cuts down on the waste we produce. Consider ways products can be re-used to lessen the amount of waste produced. Once that item has reached the end of its life cycle, recycle it and allow it to break down naturally. Disposable items and other trash go straight to the landfill after one use.
One of the best ways to reduce our carbon footprint is to partake in a sustainable fashion by buying clothing from second-hand stores and thrift stores.
Commuting isn’t many people’s favorite part of the day, but there are ways to make it better for the planet.
Take the Stairs: This extra bit of exercise not only helps us keep our bodies active but also reduces energy used by elevators, escalators, and other electronic people-movers.
Bike to Work: We’re recommending this one for many reasons. For one, biking to and from work is an enjoyable bit of exercise to start and wrap up your workday. Also, anything we can do to reduce the substantial emissions created by commuters is an immense help.
Embrace Public Transit: Again, this one goes back to not contributing to a large number of cars on the road that emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Public transportation is an eco-friendly and economical way to get around and reduce fossil fuels consumption.
- Invest in Electric Cars: Electric cars don’t use gas and are better for the environment. Commuting with an electric vehicle greatly reduces our carbon footprint, no matter how many hours we spend in rush hour traffic.
Use Renewable Energy: Our energy use is a significant contributor to pollution. By cutting down on how much energy we use day to day, we can help change this.
Adjusting the washing machine, dishwasher, air conditioning, and other appliances are some of the easiest ways to cut down on energy. The next step up is to replace current appliances with efficient appliances that are Energy Star certified.
Reduce Air Travel, or Look Towards Zero-Waste Airlines: Expectedly, flying consumes a tremendous amount of fuel and emits gases into the atmosphere at an alarming rate. Air travel is the only option, but reducing unnecessary plane rides can lower how much energy we use.
Another worthwhile option is to look into exactly which airlines we fly with. Zero-waste airlines are the best option because they do not use any materials that harm the environment. Finding and patronizing zero-waste airlines means that we simultaneously limit how many resources we use while also sending a message to other airlines that zero-waste is the way of the future.
Grow a Vegetable Garden
Growing your produce is a productive and rewarding hobby and a way to guarantee organic vegetables and give your ever-growing compost pile something to fertilize.
With the prominence of technology, the need for paper products has been largely eliminated. By using electronic correspondence, we can save a lot of trees.
Speaking of trees...
Plant More Trees!
Going increasingly paperless is a big help to the environment, but it doesn’t change the number of trees that have already been cut down to create paper. We can combat this by planting new trees, which will enliven ecosystems and purify our air.
Advocate for Eco-Friendly Legislations
Nowadays, there are so many ways for us to be involved in causes we believe in. We can reach out to politicians through email, social media, or on the phone and attend protests to advocate for legislation that will preserve our environment.
Purchasing goods is a necessary part of our lives, but there are many practices we can put in place to do so more mindfully and minimize our harm to the planet.
Invest in Reusable Bags: Plastic bags are awful for the environment and often end up polluting our natural water sources like oceans, lakes, and rivers. Rather than contributing to plastic waste, consider reusable bags.
Reusable bags are often made of cloth or other materials. In addition to often featuring fun and pretty designs, going reusable eliminates the need for environment-harming plastic bags.
- Buy Local Produce: Buying local produce allows us to support local farms and not add to the fuel consumed and wasted in transporting food long distances to our grocery stores.
- Support Ethical Brands: Buy from brands that stand for eco-friendly values. This helps those companies thrive while also conveying to other companies that this is what customers want.
Shop Second-Hand: Perusing through a thrift store, yard sale, or anywhere we can shop for second-hand items accomplishes several things. For one, it’s a wonderful way to both prevent perfectly good items from ending up in a landfill but we’re also likely to get great deals on quality pieces.
Upcycle Old Clothing: Finding pieces of clothing that have been lost to time can be immensely rewarding, especially if we give an old item new life through upcycling.
A seasoned DIY-er could perhaps turn a pair of pants into trendy new shorts, but even just forming a new outfit with some old clothes can give a wardrobe an exciting update.
- Read the Labels: Labels explain what a product is made of and where. We can use this information to determine if a product will break down naturally or end up as waste.
How Is Bite Toothpaste Sustainable?
Now that we’ve established just how crucial it is to exist sustainably, we want to walk the walk. Sustainability is the name of the game here at Bite. Well, sustainability and keeping your teeth beautiful and healthy.
First, Bite helps to leave the environment better than we found it by only ever using sustainable packaging that is biodegradable, reusable, and recyclable. This applies to each of our packaging materials.
We use glass bottles for our signature Bite Toothpaste Bits as part of our vow to be entirely plastic-free and zero waste (more on that in a bit). These bottles are reusable, add a delightfully minimalist touch to any bathroom, and will eventually break down into sand.
Since every aspect of the packaging process is important to us, we are also conscious of what they’re shipped in. In delivering products straight to your door, our envelopes and boxes use paper tape, contain no plastic, and are fully recyclable. Our envelopes are even compostable!
We’re committed to being completely vegan and cruelty-free. Not using animal products or testing on animals is not only the more ethical option, but it’s also much better for preserving the earth’s natural resources.
Zero Waste Store
By being a Zero Waste Store, we contribute no waste at all to the environment. All of our materials can be broken down naturally and never wind up in a landfill or pollute our oceans.
Our direct-to-consumer platform lets us skip retail, meaning we can offer customers a much more competitive price. No extra resources or energy are expended on sending products to an unnecessary go-between. Shipping straight to the customer is a much more streamlined process and saves materials along the way.
Be a Force of Nature
The main takeaway is that there are so many ways to live a more sustainable life, and there are easy steps we can all take to help our environment thrive. Whether it’s by gradually implementing these tips into daily life one by one or changing your routines to include many of them, it all helps to keep our planet healthy for generations to come.