3 Sustainable Lifestyle Changes To Shrink Your Carbon Footprint

Reducing your environmental impact does not mean living a life of “lack.” It means making smart choices that work for both you and the planet. 

Sustainable living: What is it? 

Simply put, a sustainable lifestyle reduces your overall environmental footprint by making positive changes. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce your individual greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to live in a way that cares for the planet and its inhabitants.

A few ways to do this are reducing your plastic consumption, limiting your flying, switching to clean energy sources, cutting your meat consumption, shopping sustainably, recycling and reusing properly and so on.

To achieve a more gentle, greener way of living that is also sustainable for you personally. It all comes down to educating yourself on the issues that matter most to you.

Tip #1: Change Your Mindset by Consuming Less and Thinking Reusable

A lot of sustainable living and building sustainable habits comes down to your mindset. It's a domino effect when you begin to realize there might be a better way to do something you've never considered before.

We've all been raised on convenience. We don't even think twice about grabbing some (pre-sliced, plastic-wrapped) dinner items on the way home. Until you consider where that packaging ends up, you don't realize there is a problem.

Many people who embark on a sustainable journey are surprised at the amount of plastic in their homes when they look around. Each time you pick up plastic bottles or containers in a grocery store, really think about whether you need that product. In many cases, you don’t. 

To live a more sustainable lifestyle, start by changing your mindset from 'consume first' to a more mindful approach. You don't have to make a million changes all at once (that's too overwhelming!) but you can start by focusing on changing your mindset from 'consume first' to a more mindful one. Practice makes perfect, and the more you do it, the easier (and more fun!) it becomes to choose greener choices.

Tip #2: Use, Repurpose, or Recycle Everything 

Observe your current daily habits, from the way you purchase and dispose of food, to how you dispose of clothes or furniture, and consider ways to improve them. 

In contrast to what you might see on perfectly curated social media feeds or chic sustainability blogs, you don't need to spend lots of money on brand new sustainable items.

guitar-gd5fb4aa00_640To shift to a more sustainable/zero waste mindset, we must address the entire culture of overconsumption, not just cleaner product options. The goal is to consume less overall.

Waste and consumption issues can actually get more serious if you buy eco-friendly products and discard your not-so-friendly ones. The best sustainable products are the ones you already own.

Use what you already have at home, upcycle old furniture, and donate your used clothing, books, and knickknacks. You can buy or sell second-hand furniture and art on Facebook Marketplace (for much cheaper prices than brand-new).Thrift stores are a treasure trove of low–cost home items, which go a long way to reducing your household’s carbon footprint. 

Don't throw anything out without properly disposing of or recycling it.

Tip #3: Eliminate Plastic From Your Life

On this planet, almost every piece of plastic ever made still exists. It may end up in a landfill. The majority of the time, it's found in our waterways, on our beaches, or littering our natural landscapes. Mt Everest's summit and the deepest ocean trenches are littered with plastic, from plastic straws to sandwich bags.

ocean plastics

In addition, it consumes 10% of our global crude oil supply—a finite (and dirty) fossil fuel resource, which is better used to power things as fuel until we can move away from it altogether by using renewable energy.

Stopping plastic use cold turkey is one of the healthiest, most sustainable habits you can adopt right now.

Publisher’s Note: This content is made possible by our Today’s Homeowner Campaign Sponsors: Whirlpool, Vivint, myQ, Sonos and Jinko Solar . These companies take sustainability seriously, in both their products and their operations. Learn more about building and buying homes that are more affordable and less resource intensive.