Top Growthables for Sustainable Living

Sustainable living, also called green living, is all about reducing your demand for natural resources such as water, energy, trees and fossil fuels. This in turn helps reduce pollution, greenhouse gases and waste.

For instance, taking public transport, biking and walking instead of driving personal cars reduces air pollution which contributes to global warming. Other environmental friendly habits include using furniture products crafted from bamboo and other self-sufficient materials.

1. Recycle

Using materials again and again rather than consuming more resources keeps finite natural resources safe from depletion. Recycling paper, metals and plastics avoids the need to extract new raw materials. In addition, manufacturing products from recycled material often uses much less energy than from raw materials – for example, producing aluminium from old cans and foil uses 95% less energy than the initial extraction of the metal.

It also protects communities around the world who can be displaced and exploited by the mining and production of new raw materials. For example, when forests are cleared for timber and rivers dammed or polluted in search of raw materials, local populations can be impacted significantly.

Moreover, recycling is a key aspect of Sustainable Material Management (SMM), which encompasses all aspects of the life cycle of materials and the associated environmental, economic and social impacts. SMM has been a critical component of the EPA’s 2020 REI Study which developed an analytical framework and Waste Input-Output model that captures broader economic impacts.

2. Reuse

Reusing prevents waste by avoiding disposal in landfills and incinerators. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with producing new items, packaging them and shipping them to stores. Closed-loop reuse programs are becoming popular where shoppers bring their own reusable grocery bags, containers and even plastic baskets to replace cardboard boxes.

Furniture, appliances, clothing and household items can be purchased used at thrift stores, auctions or garage and yard sales. Surplus food items and equipment such as catered events, grocery store over-runs and surplus equipment are often donated to homeless shelters and soup kitchens.

Building materials such as lumber, paint and fabric can be donated to schools and cultural organizations for use in creative projects. The first step in sustainable living is to reduce your demand for natural resources. This can be done by switching to more energy efficient light bulbs, reducing water consumption and utilizing alternative methods of transportation such as riding bikes or taking public transit.

3. Grow Your Own

You can grow your own fruit, herbs and vegetables with a backyard garden, a raised bed on your patio or even in containers. You don’t need a large plot of land to grow your own food, and a greenhouse can allow you to harvest all year round.

Growing your own foodstuffs can help you save money, too. A pack of seeds costs a fraction of what a head of lettuce does at the supermarket, and you can get a lot of produce for just a few dollars.

Plus, when you have your own garden, your fruits and vegetables are guaranteed to be fresh. A lot of fresh produce at the grocery store is rotting by the time it makes it to you because they have been shipped long distances in trucks and ships, not to mention artificially ripened with ethylene gas. Your homegrown tomatoes, berries and spinach won’t have any pesticide residue on them, either, thanks to your careful tending.

4. Plant a Tree

A sustainable lifestyle is better for the health of the planet and all living things that inhabit it. It reduces pollution, natural resource depletion and waste accumulation. It is also a healthy way of life that helps people live longer and better. Planting a tree is one of the most effective ways to support sustainable living because it can remove pollution, greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide from the air. When planting a tree, it is important to break up the soil clods before placing them back in the hole to promote root growth. This is more important than adding compost, manure or other soil amendments.

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