11 Easy Tips to Live More Sustainably Every Day
Looking for ways to live more sustainably? Make doing your part easier with these sustainability tips that you can start implementing in your routine today.
WHY LEARN TO LIVE SUSTAINABLY?
The global environmental crisis has reached a tipping point, and it’s on all of us to make changes for the health of the planet and its inhabitants. While large-scale impact depends on big companies making thoughtful changes — something that adidas is taking steps to accomplish — you have a hand in this too. Check out these simple tips to learn how to become more sustainable in your daily life.
TIPS TO LIVE MORE SUSTAINABLY
1. Reduce, reuse, recycle: a three-in-one tip that you can start today
We’ve all heard it before, but that’s because it works. This number one tip is actually three steps in one, but it’s easy to start implementing it into your everyday when you break it down.
Reduce: The best way to live sustainably is to reduce your usage of new materials — especially plastic. By avoiding purchasing more unsustainable materials, you’re helping to stop the problem at the source by reducing the demand.
Reuse: In today’s world, it can be challenging to reduce your usage of virgin materials to zero. That’s where reusing comes in handy. Repurposing containers, clothes, and other items helps them stay in use, keeping them out of the waste system longer.
Recycle: And lastly, when an item is no longer useful to you, recycle it. This process turns it into something else that keeps the material usable and out of landfills. Just be sure to double-check that the product is recyclable to avoid “wishcyling” — more on that in tip number two.
2. Stop “wishcyling”
Although we have the best intentions when it comes to recycling, a major problem is trash contaminating the recycling collection. What might seem like a recyclable item can turn into a compromised batch for the recycling plant, causing it all to be thrown out. Educate yourself on what your city’s local recycling programs accept as recyclable materials to feel confident that you are adding to the solution, not the problem.
3. Swap, donate or sell your gently used clothes
Time to go shopping — in your friend’s closet. Doing a clothing swap is a fun and easy way to get rid of some of your clothes and pick up some new-to-you styles. With the clothes that are leftover, you can sell them to a second-hand store or donate them to a local charity. Any way you do it, you’re avoiding contributing to the millions of tons of textile waste across the U.S.
4. Recycle your clothes
With millions of tons being produced, textile waste is one of the biggest issues to tackle. Learn how to recycle your clothes to help the fabric be repurposed into new items. Find your local textile recycling collection center, or look up local stores that offer a clothing recycling program.
5. Change appliances and lightbulbs to energy-efficient versions
While this is a bigger investment, it pays off in the long run. You’ll be using less energy and water, which not only creates less waste, but can also cut your utility bill down. It’s a win-win. You can also check your local government or utilities websites about possible cash incentives for energy-efficient upgrades.
6. Grow your own food
Enjoy the fruits of your labor — literally. Planting your own vegetable garden reduces your ecological footprint on resources like water, fuel and pesticides needed for commercial farms. If you live in an apartment or space is limited, seek out a community garden to plant in. Or try growing herbs indoors to avoid buying the small plastic containers that herbs are usually packaged in at the grocery store.
7. Eat local produceIf your own garden didn’t flourish this season, shopping locally is the next best sustainable choice. Buying local produce lowers the impact of shipping food from other parts of the world. Check the USDA’s Seasonal Produce Guide to see what’s in season before your next grocery trip. Farmer’s markets are great for supporting local, but if you’re shopping at the grocery store, pay attention to labels that tell you where the produce was grown. When dining out, support the restaurants that source food from local farms for their menu.
8. Try more plant-based foods and meat alternatives
You don’t have to go vegan to partake in the sustainable practice of eating less meat. Try making a plant-based dish for one meal, and then work your way up to an entire plant-based day per week. Meat-lovers, fear not. You might be surprised at how satisfying the many plant-based meat alternatives are. But if that doesn’t cut it, at least work on reducing your consumption of red meat, which is one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions.
9. Eliminate single-use plastic
Straws, bottled water, plastic bags — you name it. If it’s a one-and-done kind of product, try your best to avoid it, because there’s almost always a more sustainable alternative. Using a stainless steel water bottle and straw, reusable grocery bags, buying in bulk to avoid small packaging, declining plastic utensils with your take-out order — these are all ways you can do your part to lessen the impact of single-use plastic.
10. Walk or bike rather than driving
If your trip to the grocery store or work is in range, then leave your car keys at home and enjoy the fresh air. Plus, it counts toward your workout for the day: another example of how living sustainably is better for the environment and your own wellness.
11. Shop from companies using sustainable practices
Choosing sustainable clothing avoids the excessive waste produced by fast fashion, which is designed to be worn and tossed quickly, and often is unrecyclable. Read our blog post about what sustainable clothing is, but also know that you’re already in the right place. adidas has big sustainability goals, like reducing our carbon footprint by 30% in 2030 and becoming climate neutral by 2050. We’re doing this by making products with recycled polyester, turning plastic waste into performance wear, and moving to circular systems of recycling and regeneration.
LEARNING HOW TO LIVE SUSTAINABLY IN YOUR EVERY DAY
These tips are just a starting point. There are so many ways to learn how to live more sustainably, and it’s a process that doesn’t just happen overnight — although some of these tips are that quick. Changing your lifestyle to be more sustainable isn’t always easy, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Making just a few thoughtful choices throughout your day adds up to a larger impact, and the more you change your habits, the more sustainably-minded you’ll become. Share ideas with your friends and family, because the more people who start practicing these tips, the better it is for us all.
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