11 Daily Habits to Live More Sustainably
Unless we all start caring an awful lot more, our days on this planet are numbered.
And there is unambiguous, overwhelming and abundant evidence that this is caused by human-made climate change.
This article is about 11 things you can start doing today to make a difference.
And to help you form good habits, you can use the excellent Streaks App.
1. No Air Travel
Air travel uses a lot of fuel and produces plenty of CO2 per passenger, as well as other high-altitude impacts, including vapour trails and ozone production.
One transatlantic flight can add as much to your carbon footprint as a typical year’s worth of driving.
2. No Car Travel
Emissions from motor vehicles are a big source of global warming and pollute our air, causing a number of health conditions including respiratory infections, heart disease, COPD, stroke and lung cancer. In particular, this is a threat to children’s health.
The alternative? If you can, take public transport rather than a motor car. Even better:
3. Walk/Cycle Only
This is the most eco friendly way to travel. If you can avoid all other forms of transport, go for it and get some exercise.
4. No Red Meat
Red meat is particularly bad for the environment:
- Beef and lamb are the most emissions-intensive foods we consume due to the methane gas produced by the animals.
- The animals also require a huge amount of water and extensive land usage, which is a major cause of deforestation.
- The meat industry has been blamed for fueling what is expected to be the worst “dead zone” on record in the Gulf of Mexico.
Additionally, too much red meat in your diet may contribute to poor cardiovascular health and other health risks.
You can substitute red meat with other meats, or plant-based protein sources, such as lentils and nuts, that have a lower impact.
Going vegetarian can halve the CO2 emissions from your food and is great for your health.
- The carbon foodprint of 5 diets compared.
- Study: Going vegetarian can cut your food carbon footprint in half.
- Eat less meat to avoid dangerous global warming, scientists say.
Vegan diets exclude the consumption of meat, as well as all animal products, including eggs and diary.
- Dairy is scary. The public are waking up to the darkest part of farming.
- UN urges global move to meat and dairy-free diet.
7. No Food Waste
One third of all human food production goes to waste each year. And we are wasting plenty in our homes.
When an estimated billion humans on the planet are starving or undernourished, we really should be making food waste a global shame — Selina Juul.
8. No Plastics
Plastics is a very durable material. Unfortunately, it is slow to degrade. Lands, waterways, oceans and some marine species are deeply impacted by plastic pollution.
Depending on where you live, going completely plastic free can be a challenge. The least you can do is to recycle it, and try to avoid single-use plastic items.
Something that you use once shouldn’t pollute the environment for thousands of years.
- In Kenya, Selling or Importing Plastic Bags Will Cost You $19,000 — or Jail.
- These 5 Marine Animals Are Dying Because of Our Plastic Trash … Here’s How We Can Help.
- 16 ways to save the planet by reducing your plastic use.
Many materials such as plastic, glass, metal and paper can be reused to manufacture products at a fraction of the energy needed to produce new ones.
Recycling metal, paper and plastic eliminates the need to mine raw materials, as well as the energy used to process rock, wood and petroleum into finished products.
Lightweight reusable bags can fit in a purse or pocket, and they reduce waste, eliminating the energy and materials needed to make disposable packaging.
10. Short Shower
If you like long showers, try taking five-minute showers for two weeks.
Taking shorter showers and conserving water makes sense from an energy efficiency perspective, since it takes energy to pump and heat the water and later clean it at a water treatment facility.
Bonus: You can also invest in water saving shower heads.
11. Spread The Word
Individual actions count. But we are in this all together.
So do what you can to wake the world up.
What will it take for you to change your habits?
This is all happening, much sooner than you think.
We all share the same planet — let’s take better care of it.
And while greener lifestyles alone won’t solve climate change, it is critically important that as individuals we succeed in slashing our carbon footprint.
You can take control of your impact
Download the Streaks App:
STREAKS. The to-do list that helps you form good habits. For iPhone.
Working on something every day helps you form a new habit. Don't break the chain, or your streak will reset to zero…
Then, add all the items listed above and try to make them part of your daily routine.
Bonus: do you want to know more about green living? I have created Sustainable Earth, a curated list about all things sustainable.
You’re welcome. 😉
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