I think something that turns people off in the conversation about sustainable living is the thought of having to make huge changes in order to do their bit for the planet. And I get it, we’re busy and we have no time nor energy to make drastic changes.
But the truth is that we don’t need to bend over backwards to live more sustainably. The climate crisis doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all kind of solution, so we should embrace every little effort, don’t you think so?
As simple as that. Imagine how amazing this world would be if each and every single one of us did as much as we realistically could. Your life is completely unique and how you decide to live it and make it greener is completely up to you: maybe it’s quitting fast fashion once and for all or maybe it’s shopping only once every season; maybe it’s going vegan or maybe is eating vegan meals five days a week.
This is going to look completely different for each of us, and in my opinion that’s the beauty of sustainability.
This is why I wanted to write a little post about sustainable lifestyles. To show you that going green can be pretty damn easy.
So here you have a – non-exhaustive for now – list about sustainable lifestyles. Let me know if I’m skipping any!
When we talk about zero waste we’re talking about sending virtually nothing to the landfill. It’s about reducing what we consume, reusing what we already have and recycling and composting what we don’t need anymore. This mentality is key.
But in a larger sense, zero waste is about redefining the way in which we consume, use and discard stuff by redesigning the production and waste systems into a circular economy. And this applies to everything, from food to fashion, nothing should be overproduced, overconsumed and wasted.
Now we know that recycling is not as straightforward as they taught us in school. With the rate in which we create waste and with the technologies we currently have (unevenly distributed through the world btw) recycling is not going to solve the climate crisis.
Zero waste it’s very actionable in that it encourages us to have a goal in mind and make better decisions: you know you need to reduce your food waste and your use of single-use plastic and so on, so all you have to do is finding the perfect alternatives to adapt zero waste into your lifestyle.
You can learn more about zero waste on these posts I have on the topic:
- 8 Tips to Shop Zero Waste at the Grocery Store
- 7 Zero Waste Swaps For Beginners
- What is zero waste really about?
- Zero Waste Is Wrong and This Is Why
Low-impact living has this amazing goal of putting less pressure on the Planet’s resources.
It encompasses other lifestyles, like zero waste and veganism. What makes it special is that it empowers us to reduce our carbon footprint in whichever way we can: maybe my way to reduce my carbon footprint is going plastic-free and avoiding flying, but my neighbor might find it easier and more fitting for her lifestyle to become self-sufficient with her little vegetable garden.
Can you see the common theme in this post? It’s all about reinventing your own idea of sustainability.
Low impact living is not the same as eco-friendly living per se, even if they have a lot in common. If you live a low-impact life, you want to reduce the stress your lifestyle put on the environment through the use of its natural resources, whereas an eco-friendly lifestyle is more about making choices that don’t harm the Earth in a wider sense.
Most of us got to know veganism as a diet, but it’s actually a whole sustainable lifestyle. It can be applied to any product (fashion, beauty, cleaning products,…) and also to activities of our daily lives that may be considered forms of animal abuse, such as traditional circuses or zoos.
In the case of fashion, many consider vegan fashion as a part of ethical fashion (used commonly for fashion that respects worker and human rights) because it puts the animal wellbeing first. You can learn more about vegan fashion in this article about the amazing Australian vegan bag brand Kinds of Grace.
You may have also heard the term cruelty-free, which is used to talk about products that haven’t been tested on animals.
Slow living advocates for a more mindful approach to our everyday life. It’s not just about choosing paper over plastic, or vintage over fast fashion, it’s about the whole process that brings us to make these conscious decisions.
You can also apply the values of slow living into every part of your life, from food to fashion, finances, hobbies and personal relations.
Why is slow living sustainable? Well, it wants us to slow down the modern pace of things, this hectic, mindless and constant movement. By making more conscious choices, we have more power and control over the decisions we make and the impact we have on our environment (impulse shopping is a very good example of this).
You can read more about slow living on this post about slow fashion.
Minimalism is about learning how to live with less material possessions. It doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of everything you own and love, no.
Quite the opposite: you should own only what you love and need.
Decluttering is the base of minimalism and once you get rid of all the noise around you’ll be able to truly value the things you own. It is also about appreciating more experiences over material goods.
This is a sustainable lifestyle because it teaches us not to put too much value on material things and not to consume more than what we need. Overproduction and overconsumption are two of the biggest issues when it comes to sustainability because they’re the source of things like waste and resource depletion.
Minimalism can be applied to fashion as well and there’s no better place to start than by decluttering and building your very own capsule wardrobe. Capsule wardrobes are based around the idea of having a reduced number of pieces of clothing in your closet, all of which are staples that you can mix and match like heaven.
If you want to learn more about minimalism and you’re a bit scared of it, start by reading this article on Medium.