A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
What is a more sustainable life?
The United Nations have, already in 1987, defined sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”, i.e. live under similar living conditions that you want and enable your children and grandchildren to live in – but also all future generations in the rest of the world. And while co-existing with Earth’s biosphere.
This becomes more concrete when we look at the 17 Sustainable Development Goals the UN has set until 2030. Each goal is again defined by targets and indicators. Without going into too much detail, you can see that a sustainable life means much more than selling your car or becoming vegan. While the goals cover a broad range of topics, they also mean that you can more easily determine one area as your starting point.
Why live a more sustainable life?
We are all responsible for each other and for protecting Earth. If we continue to use up resources at the speed we currently do, we create even more issues for ourselves, our neighbors, people in other countries and future generations.
Right now we consume far too many resources to be even close to a sustainable life. Earth Overshoot Day in the U.S. is already on 14 March, i.e. for the U.S. 5 Earths would be necessary to actually live sustainably. Granted, there are a few countries that are even worse, but it is high time for us to reconsider how many resources we use.
Sustainability usually names three important pillars: environment, society and economy. All of these must be connected and balanced. An integrated approach appears the most successful because it means that we can improve the quality of our lives while protecting Earth at the same time. To make it more concrete: higher educated people earn more money so that they can make better, healthier and more sustainable choices. Also, they know more about how to protect their environment and have better jobs in which they might develop new, more sustainable technology.
Human Rights and Equity
Sustainability means equality among all. All humans deserve basic levels of food and goods, certain standards of education and healthcare, equal gender rights, equal opportunities, and so on. A sustainable life is about more than just yourself – and will you not feel better, too, when other people reach the same living conditions you have?
The need to both, combat climate change and create a more sustainable lifestyle, demands new ideas and technology. Just look at how fast electric cars are now developed and improved.
How do you live more sustainably?
Let’s look back at the 17 UN Goals. For most of us, it is not feasible to completely change our ways from one day to the other. The secret is to take our main goal, to live more sustainably, one step at a time. Figure out what goal is the most important to you, how easy can you reach its targets? Then start.
Start with yourself in your home. This blog will provide many concrete steps that you can take. Choose the ones that you can easily integrate into your life. Don’t hesitate because you feel you cannot do enough – every little decision has an impact.
The three most simple key words are: reduce – reuse – recycle. This blog helps you to implement these as actions.
10 Easy Steps to start your more sustainable life today
Again, just choose one action as your first step. Just start. Today.
- Switch off the light when you leave a room.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Refuse straws when having a drink in a restaurant.
- Pack a tote and use it every time you purchase anything.
- Turn off all your devices over night.
- Become a member of your local library and borrow your books from there.
- Plan a fully vegetarian (or vegan) day per week.
- Replace your empty batteries with rechargeable ones.
- Stop rinsing your dishes before putting them in your dishwasher.
- Drink tap water (as long as it is of good quality where you live).