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How to live sustainably?

in Blog 22 Sep 2019

Spring has finally arrived here!

Warm sunshine, blue sky and fresh air.
Flowers are blooming and popping up in the garden, parks and on roadsides.
Spring is the time when my mood and motivation are going up!

So I decided to rethink my lifestyle to live a life more sustainably.

 
Living sustainably is not about giving up what you love or enjoy. It’s about making better choices in your everyday life.

It doesn’t matter big or small. The choices you make will affect and reduce the impact on our environment, climate change and other species.

 
I came up with many ideas but here are 5 simple choices that you can easily do without spending lots of time and effort.

 

1. GO PLASTIC FREE
On average, Australians use 130kg of plastic per person every year, only 12% is recycled, most of the plastic which is 130,000 tonnes will end up into the waterways and the ocean.

So by just simply avoiding single use plastic cups, containers, straws, cutlery and bags, you can make a big difference.

Usually these items are used only for 10 to 20 minutes, but the impact on our environment will last thousands of years causing harm to wildlife, wildlife habitat and possibly even to our health.

Saying no to single use plastic at the shops, cafes or restaurants and using your own reusable items is important for a greener future.

 

2. REDUCE YOUR FOOD WASTE
On average 35% of Australian household bin is food waste which means about $3,800 worth of food are wasted each year.

Over 5 million tonnes of food ends up in landfill, which is enough to fill 9,000 Olympic sized swimming pools.

Especially, when you think about 8 million people in the world do not have enough food to live a healthy life, that’s a huge amount of food waste, isn’t it?

Food that is thrown into landfill releases methane, a greenhouse gas heating up our planet gradually.
Eliminating global food waste would save 4.4 million tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent of taking one in four cars off the road.

 
To avoid food ending up as waste, it’s important to

  • Shop smart and pre-plan your grocery purchase to stop buying more food than you need.
  • Stop over-serving food.
  • Store food correctly to prevent from going off.
  • Keep your fridge clutter-free to see what you are storing and when you purchased.
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    3. REDUCE PAPER USE
    World consumption of paper has grown 400 percent in the last 40 years.

    Australia’s paper usage per person is 223kg.
    The World Count statistics shows that in the US, Japan, and Europe an average person uses between 250 and 300kg every year.

    About 90% of paper comes from trees.
    So to reduce the impact on forests and save trees, using less paper would seem to be a better idea, just like below:

  • Change your bills to paperless and pay them online or by phone.
  • Put up a no junk mail sign on your letterbox.
  • Think before printing on paper.
  • Take paperless notes using your mobile phone or computer.
  • Use online subscription rather than buying magazines or newspapers.
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    4. REDUCE HOUSEHOLD ENERGY USE
    The world heavily relies on energy resources.
    To meet the world’s energy demands, burning off fossil fuels like coal and gas is the cheapest form of creating energy.

    In fact, 80% of the world energy comes from fossil fuel, but it emits greenhouse gas and leads to increased global warming as well as contributing to air pollution.

    At the same time, fossil fuels are a limited resource and will run out one day in the future.

    So to save the energy use, you can do following:

  • Turn electronic items off at the power point or unplug when not in use. Turn off your mobile phone and WiFi box at night. By doing this, you can save up to 20% on your current household electricity consumption per year.
  • Use LED lighting instead of incandescent light bulbs for more efficient lighting because LED bulbs use 75% less electricity and last about 25% longer than incandescent light bulbs. LED also have no mercury.
  • Put on an extra layer of clothing when it’s cold, open the window when it’s hot instead of turning on the heater or the air conditioning.
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    5. GROW YOUR OWN FOOD ORGANICALLY
    Growing fruits, vegetables and herbs organically by your own is the one of the most rewarding and satisfying ways to achieve a sustainable lifestyle.

    Simply plant a few seeds in your garden, yard or in a container on your windowsill and you can get delicious, healthy, convenient and inexpensive food.

    It doesn’t harm the soil by using harmful chemicals which is good for you and the environment.

     
    Each of us has the power to make a difference. Our choices together will help to create a better future and more sustainable world.

    I hope you find my ideas helpful in your journey to more eco-friendly lifestyle.

     
    See you in the next post!

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