Ten tips for living more sustainably in 2010
A new decade & almost the beginning of a new year - is the time many people try to live differently.
For some, that change means living a more sustainable lifestyle. Sustainability, once merely a buzz word, is fast becoming the way to live consciously.From reducing your water usage to buying organic, here are 10 easy ways to make 2010 your year of sustainable living:
1. Use water more efficiently: Water is a limited resource and limiting it within your home is a cornerstone of sustainability. Rain butts, largely unheard of even a decade ago, are becoming a popular way to collect and reuse rainwater (Grey water) for purposes like gardening. Meanwhile, conserving water in the home by taking shorter showers or even fixing a leaking tap also can make a difference at a time when many communities are experiencing water shortages or are expressing concerns about water overuse.
2. Compost: Turning over leaves by way of a new compost garden is one way to live a more sustainable lifestyle. A compost heap is a simple, way to collect garden waste, like leaves and grass cuttings, and kitchen scraps such as raw vegetable peelings and tea leaves, and return them to the ground as organic matter.
3. Seek Eco-friendly packaging: To better fill that compost heap, alter shopping habits to look for products with compostable (Biodegradable) packaging.
4. Buy local & organic: Many farmers and, increasingly, food manufacturers, are offering foods and drinks made using sustainable practices. It could be a farmers market tomato, a local dairy's milk, an organic snack food, or any number of natural or organic items. The bottom line is that natural, organic and locally produced foods provide both sustenance and sustainability.
5. Go to seed: Take the locally grown movement a step further - like in your own garden or patio. One afternoon spent planting seeds or small plants can yield plenty of rewards a few weeks or months later, in the form of fresh, inexpensive and organic vegetables and fruits. You don't need a large plot of land, in fact, to start a small garden.
6. Ride out the trend: Sustain your own energy level by choosing to ride a bike or walk to a destination that isn't all that far away. Add a basket to a bike or take along a rucksack to bring something back home.
7. Re-recycle: Recycling is nothing new and most people have been recycling in some form for years. But recycling can be taken to another level, going beyond obvious and traditionally recycled items like drinks cans or newspaper to the smallest of waste materials, from plastic straws to the paper straw wrapper. Why not recycle clothing as well, by donating clothes and buying used clothes?
8. Plug in: Learn how to operate appliances more efficiently. For example, use cold water in the washing machine: clothes will still be cleaned, without the use of heated water. Turn off appliances when not in use, whether it's the television, computer or radio. Better yet, completely unplug. Many electronics and battery chargers continue to draw a small amount of power even when they are in standby. Instead, switch off at the socket outlet to cut power completely when not in use.
9. Lighten up: Use energy efficient lighting and lamps when possible and turn off lights when not in a room. That will reduce energy use and the family outgoing budget.
10. Get involved: As the sustainability movement gains momentum among the public, there are more opportunities to join in. Local communities, schools and organizations often have green committees, and there is a plethora of national and grassroots organizations geared around earth-friendly living that appreciate new volunteers or members.