July 10th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan
Editor’s Note: This post has been sponsored by Ausenco.
Sustainable living should be a gradual process, as completely changing one’s lifestyle overnight is a little far-fetched. However, by gradually making your life more sustainable, you can save money and contribute to a healthier style of living… and, ultimately, a better world. Staying committed and focused on your goal of living a more sustainable life is probably the most difficult part. Ensure that you approach one area of your lifestyle at a time. Here are some tips on how to live a more sustainable life in 2013.
Whether you are washing the dishes or brushing your teeth, it is important to turn the tap off when you aren’t rinsing. Also, changing your toilets to have dual-flush tanks will contribute to reducing your overall water use and therefore your water bill as well. Make sure to also check your house for small leaks from appliances and get them fixed ASAP. Properly running home appliances can help in terms of improving the efficiency and functionality, but it will also help the appliances live a longer life for you and your family.
Simple rather than drastic changes can save you money whilst ensuring that you are doing your bit towards helping the environment. Change your light bulbs to energy-efficient lights. If you have halogen lights, switch to LEDs or at least CFL’s (compact fluorescent light bulbs), which use less energy and don’t get as hot. Make sure you turn off your computers and other electrical and entertainment items, as many are left on or on standby while the house is vacant during the day, sucking energy that is not really needed. Consider using motion-detector lights and timers to automatically help you save energy around the house.
Large corporations and service providers are becoming greener and have introduced initiatives such as going paperless with your bank account and communications. By managing them online and via your email, your paper waste is reduced and, looking at the bigger picture, your impact on the environment is lessened. Try and live by the three ‘Rs’ — Reduce, Reuse and Recycle — by participating in local recycling programs offered by your municipality.
Support Green and Environmentally Friendly Organizations
With a number of green organizations already out there working tirelessly to make a difference, giving your time or making a donation no matter how small can make a big difference. Nissan is not only working on an electric car that can go 100 miles on a charge from its lithium-ion batteries, but the company also partners with nonprofits, utility companies, and government departments to bring such innovations to developing countries and other markets looking for accessible and affordable alternatives. Sometimes environmentally conscious companies can come from unexpected places. Ausenco, for example, is a global engineering and project management company that specializes in offshore engineering. However, environment, sustainability, and positive social solutions are always a factor in its projects; it works alongside its clients (and locals) to create sustainable strategies.
Look To the Future
Although your children might not yet understand the importance of it all, incorporating recycling into their lives or other sustainable living lessons will help shape a better future for us all. By making your children aware of why they are doing something or making it into a family activity (e.g., planting vegetables in a family garden), your children will have both the values and ability to make green-friendly efforts. The earlier children learn about helping the environment and living a sustainable life, the more likely it is that they will continue with the activities later in life.
The consumerist way of living is not one that can be sustained forever and, therefore, by making gradual changes to your lifestyle, you will begin to understand the difference between ‘want’ and ‘need.’ Make the changes to your life on your own terms and at your own pace and before you know it, laws could be introduced in the future dictating the actions you have already been carrying out. By making yourself more adaptable to the future, you will reap the benefits of sustainable living. You will save money and embark on a life that has a much more positive effect on the environment and the world around you.
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