In today’s world, our individual and collective practices of sustainability are beyond imperative in the effort to curb our planet’s current trajectory toward catastrophe. Many of us know that any climate-conscious lifestyle begins, and arguably has, the most impact in the home.
Homesteaders, gardeners, farmers, from-scratchers, DIY-ers, and green warriors alike understand how every little step and effort counts toward conserving energy, lowering our carbon footprint, and therefore saving our earth. If your homestead is in any way self-sufficient; say, you grow your own food or produce your own wind energy, then you are certainly practicing sustainability. But, how can we allow our green habits to transcend beyond the homestead and into our daily lives? How can we stick to our guns when we have less control out there in the great wide world? How can we ensure that we are truly living a holistic sustainable lifestyle?
3 Keys to Sustainability
The key to sustainability is that the basics remain true, no matter where you are or where you’re going. Remember: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is a priority list, not simply a smattering of suggestions. Sustainability beyond your homestead relies on these ideas.
Consume Less: Recycle
So, first and foremost: consume less. There are plenty of things to do out and about that do not require the purchase of products or consumption of resources.
Limit the amount of shopping you do in general, especially items purchased new, like clothing; avoid fast fashion at all costs, and if you do add to your wardrobe, try thrifting instead. Reducing also applies to your daily commute. Ask yourself: from the very moment I leave my home, how am I impacting the world around me? Always walk, bike, or at least carpool whenever possible!
Reuse and Repurpose
Secondly, if you do need to seek an item beyond your possession, try to reuse or repurpose. Many homesteaders are experts at this step, being the resourceful, crafty creatures we are.
However, when it comes to beyond the home, here is a tip to keep in mind: keep your reusable bags, straws, and water bottles in your car. This way, you will never again be kicking yourself in the check-out line at the grocery store.
Follow the Rules
Third, remember that recycling rules and regulations are incredibly inconsistent from town to town, state to state, and country to country. Always be in the know about best practices when it comes to recycling while you are traveling, even in your own general locale.
This will help to avoid careless recycling practices, often leading to entire bins rendered useless because one non-recyclable item has contaminated the lot.
Other Important Factors to Consider
Aside from our trusty three, keep these other important “R’s” in mind wherever you go:
- Refuse– before you even arrive at step one, “reduce,” consider altogether refusal. Zero consumption equals zero waste, and zero waste means leaving no trace.
- Repair– if your iPhone is bugging out or your car is acting funny, always seek the answer to the question: why? Take the necessary steps, including consulting a professional, in order to fix the problem, rather than saying it is time for an upgrade. This goes for ripped seams and broken bag handles, too!
- Restore– leave anywhere you go better than how you found it. Our planet earth seems endlessly generous with her resources, however, she can only give so much. Make an effort to restore and replace what you use. This can help to offset your carbon emissions. Treat your carbon emissions like a budget; know where you are spending and how much, where you need to cut back and why, and always earn back what you’ve spent. For example, if you link up with a reforestation organization, you’re sequestering carbon which may make up for the burger you had for lunch!
- Respect– need I say more?
Knowledge is Power
A true holistically sustainable lifestyle may seem overwhelming, but the more you learn about the countless ways to make a difference, however micro or macro, the more you can piece together what works best for you in a manageable and realistic way.
Knowledge truly is power when it comes to being a green warrior. There are so many angles to understand climate consciousness beyond our individual at-home practices, such as the science and theories behind the causes, the ethics of climate justice and humanitarian perspectives, government policies, and of course, stewardship.
If we can educate ourselves and gain perspective on how these global issues impact us, and how we make an impact worldwide, then our intentions become crystal clear and our efforts become easier.
The Demand for “Green”
Plus, the sustainability sector is arguably the most up and coming field as the human race forges into our future. The demand for more green initiatives, voices, policies, practices, and products is higher than ever.
So, if you are one who feels compelled to make a difference through your livelihood, say at your existing job, or in a brand new career path, then the pursuit of an education is imperative to you on another level. In this modern world, it’s also entirely possible. You could be an agent for change and a leader toward a healthier, happier, greener future.
Final Thoughts on Sustainability
If you are here, it is because you care about our planet already. For that, I am immeasurably grateful. Your next challenge is that of unyielding progress and growth through education, preparation, and intention. From the home to our communities, and far beyond, we can never stop evolving and adapting to be better for our planet.