In this alphabet, you will find simple ideas about what sustainability is as well as how to start a more sustainable lifestyle. Most of the ideas in this blog post are NOT MINE. They are however, a compilation of my favorite online sources. Do you know who Rinkesh Kukreja is? He is the founder of Conserve Energy Future, a webpage that is trying to educate people about how to save energy as well as sharing entrepreneurship and management tips. I have been reading some of his ideas for the past 6 months and… He states in his webpage that “Instead of just worrying about the problem, I decided to do whatever I could do to help others.” That is exactly what Earthmamas wants too!! This blog is a combination of different ideas in an easy to read Sustainability Alphabet.
|A||ABILITY AND AVOIDANCE|
Ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
“the sustainability of economic growth”
Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.
|IDEA #1 BECOME A MEMBER OF A COMMUNITY GARDEN|
“It isn’t just about growing your own food, being a member of a community garden helps to promote sustainable living in your area. Gardens create green spaces and the garden waste can be mulched and returned to support healthy soil. Green spaces aren’t just important for your state of mind; in urban areas they can play an important role in offsetting carbon emissions.”(3)
Sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
|D||DECADES VS MONTHS|
Sustainability encourages businesses to frame decisions in terms of years and Decades rather than on the next quarter’s earnings report and to consider more factors than simply the profit or loss involved.
|E||SUSTAINABILITY IS NOT JUST ENVIRONMENTALISM|
In addition to natural resources, we also need social and economic resources. Embedded in most definitions of sustainability we also find concerns for social equity and economic development. (1)
|F||IDEA #2 USE THE FREE LIGHT|
“Sunlight is free and doesn’t cost anything. Using sunlight during the day helps to reduce dependence on fossil fuels to produce electricity and your bulbs and tube lights are going to last longer.” (3)
|G||IDEA #3 BE AWARE GREENWASHING|
Greenwashing is the practice of making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology or company practice. Greenwashing can make a company appear to be more environmentally friendly than it really is.
Want to learn more? Read here.
Sustainability is a Holistic approach that considers ecological, social and economic dimensions, recognizing that all must be considered together to find lasting prosperity.
Adopting sustainable practices, whether large or small, can have significant Impacts in the long run. If every office worker in the United Kingdom used one less staple a day by using a reusable paper clip, 120 tonnes of steel would be saved in one year. (2)
|J||IDEA #4 FIND JOY IN THE JOURNEY|
Starting a less waste lifestyle is not easy and requires lots of planning. It requires thinking ahead and being organized every time you leave home. Still, I invite you to find JOY in every small action you take in this new journey.
|K||IDEA #5 KICK PACKAGING OUT OF YOUR LIFE|
“Whenever you go out for shopping, always buy products with less packaging. The excess packaging on the products goes in your dustbin and from there it goes to landfills in most cases. It not only further contaminates the environment but also poses serious health effects to humans and animals.” (3)
|L||IDEA #6 CHANGE YOUR LIGHT BULBS |
“By changing the lighting in your home from traditional light bulbs to CFL, using skylights and more natural light you will reduce your demand for energy resources significantly. Using longer lasting, energy efficient light sources also reduces the amount of waste going into landfills significantly.” (3)
|M||IDEA #7 PRACTICE MINIMALISM|
“Minimalism doesn’t mean living without anything, it means that you are making sure that everything you own and use is put to its maximum purpose. This means waste materials as well. With a minimalist lifestyle, you will recycle more, and be more mindful of the items you support being produced so that sustainability is emphasized.” (3)
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
|O||IDEA #8 GO OUTSIDE MORE|
Spend more time in nature. Try to reduce entertainment forms that require energy and natural resources. Stop the demand for entertainment practices that require production and start enjoying outdoor-life more.
|P||PROFITS, PLANET AND PEOPLE|
The concept of sustainability is composed of three pillars: economic, environmental, and social—also known informally as profits, planet, and people.
|Q||IDEA #9 QUIT PLASTIC|
“Plastic never goes away. It takes millions of years for plastic to decompose. Plastic can be found swirling in the ocean’s surfaces. It badly affects marine life. Every year a large number of mammals, seals, sea birds are killed after ingesting plastic or getting tangled up in it. It’s time for all of us to switch to reusable bags when we shop and ditch one-time-use plastic water bottles.” (3)
|R||REDUCE THE DEMAND|
“Sustainable living is the practice of reducing your demand on natural resources by making sure that you replace what you use to the best of your ability. Sometimes that can mean not choosing to consume a product that is made using practices that don’t promote sustainability; and sometimes it means changing how you do things so that you start becoming more of an active part of the cycle of life.” (3)
|S||SMALL STEPS |
Strung together with purpose, small steps can carry us great distances
Before you buy anything new… think twice. Ask yourself these questions:
Can I afford it? If you have to charge it to a credit card, you can’t afford it.
Am I willing to contribute to the actual cost of this item? Remember, the true cost of things goes further before and further beyond the price on the tag.
Will this item add value to my life? Do I really need it?
What are the alternatives? Can I find a more eco friendly/sustainable option for this same item?
Can I survive without it for a while? If so, wait and don’t buy it yet.
If you want to find out more read here.
|U||IDEA #10 STOP UNWANTED MAIL|
“Save natural resources by opting out from billions of unwanted mailings and simplify your life. It helps you to reduce clutter, protect your privacy and save the environment.” (3)
|V||IDEA #11 RETHINK YOUR VEHICLE|
Walk, bike or carpool more often.
“The less personal use of your car you do, the more you and the environment will benefit. Sustainable living not only promotes sustainability by reducing pollution and the consumption of natural resources; walking or biking to work will also improve your health and reduce the strain on public health resources. Even car-pooling assists sustainability as it can provide an increased social outlet that can improve the quality of life. Science has found that there is a direct connection between your quality of life and the sustainability of life that you will choose to lead.
Simple measures like using public transportation more often, reducing energy consumption, becoming more eco-friendly can go a long way in reducing your environmental impact and making this planet a clean and safe place.” (3)
|W||IDEA #12 CHANGE YOUR WASHING HABITS|
“This one is important to attain sustainable living. We wash everything too much. Not only has science discovered that our over emphasis on being clean has reduced our natural immune resistance to diseases (which require exposure to bacteria to develop), but each person wastes tremendous amounts of water when they bathe, wash dishes or do laundry. Practice taking short and times showers, washing dishes in a sink of water and then rinsing them and cutting down on the amount of laundry that you do.” (3)
|X||SUSTAINABILITY X |
This web page “explores how to effectively bring the environment and economy together through intellectual dialogue and discussion among individuals in all sectors with a strong interest in sustainability.
The goal is to take an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to untangling the intricate web of sustainability.
Whether you have a background in science, engineering, business, politics, or law, your voice matters.
Identifying the diverse factors involved in sustainability, how they interact, and how the disciplines are interconnected will only help accelerate local, national, and international sustainability goals — in simpler words, bringing the environment and economy together for a sustainable future.”
Want to learn more? Visit their web page.
|Y||YOU CAN DO IT!|
It might seem overwhelming to make a change. Don’t forget we need lots of people like YOU doing small things. Just get started by taking small, baby steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
|Z||ZERO WASTE LIFESTYLE|
Remember that a zero waste lifestyle is not easy.
Earthmama’s believe that our planet can use some help, so it might as well start with you! What are your thoughts on going zero waste? What will you start with? How far do you want to go? Read HERE to start with 6 things to carry with you at all times. Share below and let’s take this adventure together!
I can do it, you can do it, we all can do it.
(2) Horton, Jocelyn ed. “Mad About … Tropical Rainforests.” Friends of the Earth. Jan 2003. Web. Retrieved 27 June 2013. < http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/factsheets/rainforest_mad_ about.pdf>