Nature is in trouble. The climate is changing, landscapes are shifting and species are disappearing. Deforestation, loss of biodiversity and climate change are just a few of the serious environmental concerns facing the world today. Despite the lack of major progress on these global issues, public awareness is growing, corporations are beginning to support environmentally responsible business practices, and many countries have made significant progress in some areas, such as in reducing air pollution.
Change is possible, but we must all contribute in our own way. Welcome to Sustainable Living!
So what is Sustainable Living?
Sustainability has all the trappings of a “buzz” word. You’ve heard it encouraged by global organizations, bloggers, artisans, and environmental activists alike. Some even associate living sustainably with being a 'hippie. More than a buzz word, though, it can be a personal philosophy that greatly benefits the larger public and of course Mother Nature herself.
Sustainable living means we prioritize the use of natural and renewable resources instead of creating excess waste and depleting environmental resources for future generations. Practitioners of sustainable living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet. Sustainable Living requires us to recognise and embrace qualities that give our life meaning and encourages us to shed old habits that are unsustainable.
“Take care of the Earth and in turn she will take care of you.”
– Chelle Fisher -
Sustainable living isn't just adopting two or three green habits and then calling it a day. It's about regularly practicing and adopting new habits to reduce one’s environmental impact in a way that is sustainable for both you and the planet.
I will be adding to each category below over the coming weeks to provide you with tips and tricks on how you can reduce your impact!
What is the Importance of Living Sustainably?
There are many reasons why we should be focused on living a sustainable life. We are living in an age where people are more concerned about the future of the planet than ever before. With constant talk about climate change, our carbon footprint and how the quality of life for future generations will be compromised by our damaged environment, the concept of sustainable living is becoming more and more paramount.
Climate change is a change in the pattern of weather, and related changes in oceans, land surfaces and ice sheets, occurring over time scales of decades or longer. Observed changes over the 20th century include increases in global average air and ocean temperature, rising global sea levels, long-term sustained widespread reduction of snow and ice cover, and changes in atmospheric and ocean circulation and regional weather patterns, which influence seasonal rainfall conditions.
These changes are caused by extra heat in the climate system due to the addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The additional greenhouse gases are primarily input by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas), agriculture, and land clearing. These activities and more increase the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The science behind climate change is supported by extensive scientific research performed and reported across the world. Past and present climate information is collected from observations and measurements of our environment, including trapped air in ice from thousands of years ago. Climate models are used to understand the causes of climate change and to project changes into the future.
Many of the impacts of climate change pose risks to human and natural systems, in the form of more frequent and severe heat waves, coastal inundation due to sea level rise, disruptions to rainfall patterns and other effects. Analyses of a range of climate scenarios indicate the most severe risks of climate change can largely be mitigated if carbon dioxide emissions are reduced to the point where carbon dioxide is no longer accumulating in the atmosphere.
WE MUST ACT NOW!!
Why Should You Care About Sustainability?
Now that you have a better understanding as to what sustainability is, there shouldn’t be any question around why it’s so important.
But in case there is, here you go:
1. It affects your life on Earth!
By taking care of the planet, you’ll benefit by inhaling less pollution, experiencing less extreme weather conditions and enjoying the natural beauties the earth provides. If you don’t, you’ll experience the exact opposite.
2. It affects future generations!
It is not just about us and our own experiences on earth. It affects future generations as well. If we don’t take the health of the planet seriously, we’ll be compromising the ability of earth to maintain its health for those yet to be born.
3. It affects the planet and its other inhabitants!
Deciding to not adopt a sustainable lifestyle is not only detrimental to us as humans, but to the earth and its other residents such as animals, insects and sea-life. We are not the centre of the universe, earth does not belongs to us. We share it with many other species, so we need to preserve it for them, too!