What do You Understand by the Word – Sustainability? Or a Sustainable Lifestyle?

For me, these terms define 2 things:

  1. To practice measures that are earth-friendly and
  2. to make use of long-lasting products that have the least environmental impact. 

Today, most of us have become educated enough to understand the human effect on our planet. Our current lifestyle and the source of economy is more linear than circular.

To put it in simple words, our actions are harming the environment. We are aware of the problems and also the solutions, but we lack the urge to do something about it.

Having said that, breaking a habit and adopting a new way of life is not easy. You need to commit. You need to understand the importance of why should you do it. If you care for the resources and expect them to sustain, these are enough reasons to take action. The fact that you are reading this article, says a lot in itself.
 

If you wish to contribute to make our world a better place to live in, here’s what you need to do: Adopt an ethically Sustainable Lifestyle.

There are plenty of ways to make green efforts for the betterment of our planet. I want to discuss just them. And to provide you a genuine set of methods, I asked a few of my friends to help me out. I asked them about their sustainable practices, and the following is a compilation of their responses.

You may find some suggestions basic, while some may be extreme. Try to incorporate the ones you can. If you find something repeated, then maybe it is important and worth considering.

Response #1:

“Adopting a sustainable lifestyle, I guess is a much-needed solution today. The execution is not easy though; we cannot start big. We have to start small from the bottom and work ourselves up. So for the problem at hand, this start should begin with you. And to do so, you need to feel the urge, the importance of it. Then, you may plan out how to make your household earth-friendly.
 
You can start by managing waste. Here’s how you can maintain a sustainable workflow:
 
  • Do not litter (basic!)
  • discard waste the right way by segregating garbage into dry and wet wastes,
  • discard the sanitary waste separately in a paper bag,
  • limit the use of non-biodegradable, use-and-throw products/practices, and
  • promote and educate others.
Following the above simple guidelines, one can achieve a green routine. And, if every citizen is responsible enough, a sustainable lifestyle Take one step at a time.”
 

Response #2:

“Instead of falling for the brands who produce fast fashion, try to stitch your clothes with the help of a tailor. This can help curb the pollution caused by textile waste – a major contributor to landfills.

Fast fashion promotes the use of cheap fabric that does not last long, and thus creates more fabric waste. A lot of freshwaters are also polluted due to textile treatments and dyeing. Moreover, most of the time, the craftsmen work in unethical environments and do not get their due. While these are only a few factors influencing textile waste, there are ways in which we can tackle it.

Start by making small changes. Contribute towards a circular economy, and ultimately to sustainability.

Learn the advantages you get when you choose to stitch your clothes,
 
  •  You select the fabric of your choice – which is of good quality, durable, and will last for years and years to come.
  •  You know the background of your local tailor which will assure you of the ethical workplace.
  •  You can customize your clothes the way you want. The clothes we buy most of the time have some or the other issue in the fitting. Here, you can get the perfect fit.
  •  You get a variety of options in the patterns and designs of your choice. Think about the various possible outcomes you can have!

The fashion industry is the 2nd most polluting field. We can control this waste by opting for stitched clothes and avoiding fast fashion. Your small effort in practicing a sustainable lifestyle will be of great help.”

Response #3:

"1. Veganism

Animal-based products account for about 60% of Agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. So we can prevent climate change by going vegan which in turn also contributes to animal welfare. Thus, try to follow veganism and vegan diets as much as possible.

2. Waste and Composting

  • Manage your in-house biodegradable scraps by creating a mini compost. You can also grow your vegetables or herbs on a small scale in your apartment if possible. Buy local produce as much as you can. By reducing the use of processed and packaged foods, you can have a sustainable lifestyle. And even if you happen to buy them, throw the trash mindfully in recycling/waste bins.
  • Practice waste segregation. Ensure proper disposal of sanitary waste and try switching to biodegradable sanitary napkins or menstrual cups. Regular pads contain plastic which takes around 500-800 years to decompose. Whereas, compostable pads take around 5-6 months. 

3. Prevention

Use Public transport when you can. Try to live a minimalistic lifestyle by buying and using only what is needed. Recycle or donate extras to charity.

4. Clothing Waste

About 70% of clothing waste ends up in the landfill. So buy limited, necessary clothing, and donate what you don’t wear to charity or people who can repurpose it.

Craft best-out-of-waste. Turn your old garments into aprons, cloth wipes, scrunchies, etc. Or, use the single-use plastic bottles for mini plantations. The famous ‘5 min Crafts’ handle on Instagram will show you amazing hacks.

These are 5 of the many ways to practice sustainability. Start small. You need to commit and not make excuses. Earth is ours to protect.”
 

Response #4:

“’Explain in brief about Pollution’ to ‘Use of green Technology in Chemical Industry’ in my undergraduate days, the education system made sure to have one environmental subject. This is to make students aware and to educate on how to deal with the problems related. But has it served the purpose? Or do we take the subject for granted, and answer “EVS hai re, woh toh aata hi hai!” (It’s environmental studies! It’s easy). We do, don’t we?
 
This proves that our academic assignments do not drive us to work for nature. And unless one feels the ‘need’ to do so, he/she will most probably not contribute. This may be because our education system has always kept EVS a secondary subject when it deserves to be mainstream education.
 
It’s high time we realize the upcoming crisis and begin to work on an individual level. We should not care about the certificates or tax exemptions from social activities. Let us do our part, not for the sake of it, but because it needs to be done!”

My personal advice:

My friends have pointed out some great ways in guiding you to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. However, only learning and educating others is not enough. You need to present yourself as an example so that you can inspire your peers the right way and not be a hypocrite.

Show your concerns. Use your resources to promote your beliefs, and join hands in reducing the human impact.
 
Our environment, the natural resources, deserve better. Take a step in making that happen.

Let me know if this helped you. 

Also, comment down below how you practice sustainability. 

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