Updated: Oct 16
Why would I be talking about living a more sustainable lifestyle? Why does it matter? I’ll tell you why it matters to me that we take care of what has to be the most precious gift given to all of us. Earth, Mother Earth, Gaia, Mother Nature, whatever you want to call it, is that precious gift. And, if we want to continue benefiting from all her bounties, we need to make more effort in caring for her!
While I'm a passionate life coach, I am also a passionate lover of all things natural. This is why I'm talking about Mother Earth and living a life that not only protects HER but sustains all of us. Plus, our future generations will be grateful too if they’re fortunate enough to grow up in the beautiful world we have at the moment.
There are so many ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle. You could become vegan and let the cows graze peacefully in their pastures. Or, you could start recycling all your plastics (if you’re not doing this already, there’s little hope after all!). How about riding that bike to work instead of driving the car five minutes down the road?
The other day I read about a doctor who cycled 150 km daily to get to his office and back home again. If he can do it, so can we – maybe! But, it’s these small (and not so small) actions that can make all the difference to our wonderful world, Mother Earth.
What is a Sustainable Lifestyle?
When you live a sustainable lifestyle, you’re making every effort to decrease your footprint on the natural environment and its resources. You’re striving to have an as little negative impact on Earth as possible. You can do this in so many ways by simply being conscious of the way you live.
Each and every one of us has the power to contribute, in our own small ways, to support our natural world. The very act of turning off the tap while brushing your teeth saves water while switching off lights when you leave a room saves energy. Every little action, if undertaken by everyone, counts for a lot when it comes to saving our precious natural resources.
Why Does It Matter to Live Sustainably?
Every unsustainable action leads to an increase in pollution, shortage of natural resources such as water and wood, and ever-increasing climate change. Our unsustainable choices lead to overburdened landfills, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, less food security, and ongoing eradication of rain forests.
And all of this leads to a very unhealthy lifestyle. Not only for us in the present but also for our future generations. Whenever I think of an unnatural world I see bleakness, grayness, and sorrow.
Is that what I want for my future generations? No. As cliché as it may sound, I still want people to see leopards in their natural surroundings, to be able to watch butterflies flitter from one beautiful flower to another, and to watch a sunset not marred by a polluted sky.
That’s why it matters to me to live a sustainable lifestyle.
7 Ways to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle
When you look at creating a sustainable lifestyle, you need to factor in everything you do every day. You need to consider what you eat and how it’s packaged. You need to look at how you travel to work and back home and how you manage your waste disposal. You also need to figure out how to save water and energy while at home or at the office.
These are all simple but effective ways you can personally take to live more sustainably.
Here are five ways you can live more sustainably while minimizing your carbon footprint at the same time. And, to really make it easy for you, I’ve done the research and found some nifty eco-friendly products for you to try out!
1. Navigate Power Outages With Solar Power
If you live in South Africa, you’ll be very familiar with load shedding, also known as power outages in other parts of the world. You may think you’re alone in this struggle with your local power supplier but rest assured, even first-world countries have their fair share of blackouts.
At the beginning of this year, the UK was facing blackouts as energy firms started to take the strain. But, as an individual, what sustainable action can you take to save energy even during blackouts?
By using solar power, you can run basic appliances and keep the lights on whenever your power supply cuts out. While switching off-grid to solar power is an expensive option right now, you can still take advantage of its energy-saving features during power outages.
Investing in a solar power kit could be your solution when facing blackouts. A home off-grid power system will have your LED lights shining, your mobile charged, and your fan operating, saving you on energy costs while living sustainably too.
2. Cycle to Work With E-Bikes
While I would love to have the strength to cycle 150 km to work and back, using my own pedal power, a bit of help would go a long way. This is why electric bikes are becoming so popular. Instead of breaking out in a sweat with your conventional pedal bike, you can cruise on into your office with your nifty e-bike.
Electric bikes are designed to be powered by lithium-ion batteries. This particular bike is capable of reaching up to 16 miles per hour for up to 35 miles before you need to charge it up again. The comfortable seating design also means you can ride in a relaxed and safe posture.
Electric bikes can also switch over to a normal ride when you want to tone up your leg muscles on those short trips to the shops around the corner. E-bikes are a great way to minimize your carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle.
3. Save Water With Dual Flush Toilets
A great way to save water in your home is by installing dual flush toilets. These toilets have been designed to save anything between 67% and 54% of the water used in regular toilets. That’s a heap of water-saving if you add it up over the whole household!
While a regular toilet uses up to 6 gallons of water for every flush, you’ll be flushing anything between 0.8 gallons to 1.60 gallons of water with a dual flush toilet. These low-flush toilets can be expensive to install into your bathroom and people do complain about finding parts when something goes wrong with the mechanisms. But, you can still benefit from all the water savings.
4. Save Trees and Go Bamboo
All-purpose cleaning wipes made from sustainably grown bamboo go a long way to saving our trees. Too many areas are being deforested for paper, unsustainable farming practices, fuel, and for making all-purpose cleaning wipes!
Did you know that every second, one and a half acres of forest is being chopped down to make way for arable land, urban use, and firewood? Crazy but true and frightening. Deforestation leads to habitat and biodiversity loss both of which we can ill-afford if we want to survive.
Thank goodness for innovative manufacturers who decide to make all-purpose cleaning wipes with bamboo instead of wood. While it takes a tree 30 years to grow back, bamboo takes only 3 – 4 months before it can be used again.
5. Dress Your Kid Organically
This one is for parents who are eco-conscious and always looking for ways to dress their kiddies in funky, organic clothing. Picking clothes that are 100% cotton and ethically produced using sustainable practices, means you’re doing your bit for the environment. You also don't need to worry about tainting delicate skin with harsh chemicals!
Eco-friendly clothing can be made from natural cotton, bamboo, soy, and even recycled fabrics. How they’re produced is also essential for their minimal carbon footprint impact on the environment. Eco-clothing should use natural products that have been sustainably farmed and use little water and energy during production.
One of my personal core values talks about Existence – Being One with all that is around me. It would not feel right for me to abuse the natural environment if I was to live truly by this value. Instead, I honor all that is around me including Mother Earth.
To do my work as a transformational life coach, I truly believe that connecting with Mother Nature is one of the surest ways to heal and change ourselves. So, why would I want to live in a world that lacks trees, beautiful clear skies, and glorious soil? I simply can’t imagine a world without all of these wonderful things.
Living a sustainable lifestyle is one of the smallest ways I can give back the precious gift of being on Earth and receiving all of her magical powers so that I may heal and transform. This is why it matters so much to me to live sustainably and I hope you’re encouraged to do the same.
This post was updated on August 2nd, 2023.