4 Ways Average People Can Become More Sustainable

So often we look at sustainability as a larger global issue, when in fact, it all boils down to individual people stewarding the sources they’ve been given in a responsible and forward-thinking manner. If you’re unsure of how you can contribute, you’ll be delighted to know that it starts with simple lifestyle choices.

4 Tips Anyone Can Use

There are many things you can do in your personal life to make a difference. It’s sometimes hard to imagine that a single action or choice made on your part can have any impact, but when they’re compounded thousands and millions of times over, they certainly do.

Here are a handful of helpful tips to get you pointed in the right direction:

  • Focus on the Three R’s

When it comes to being greener at home, there are three words you need to focus on: reduce, reuse, and recycle. If you can consistently make these actions a part of your daily lifestyle, you’ll quickly learn just how effortless it is to make a difference. The EPA provides some good advice in regards to how you can begin to develop these habits.

  • Plant a Garden

Nothing is more sustainable than living off your land. Even if you have no experience growing plants, it’s relatively easy to get started with planting a raised bed garden and cultivating your own fruits and vegetables right from your backyard.

Simply start by identifying an area of your yard that gets adequate amounts of sun and pace out the area. You’ll then need to strip the sod (helps with weed control) and build some sort of fence or enclosure to keep pets and animals out. Next, install a weed barrier on the ground, install the borders for the individual beds, and add the soil. You’re ready to mulch, plant, and grow. It’s that easy!

  • Stop Junk Mail

Did you know that, on average, American households receive roughly 69 pounds of unwanted mail each and every year? The majority of this mail is considered “junk” or “unsolicited.” Well, the good news – both for your own personal sanity and the environment – is that you can stop receiving the vast majority of this waste.

The first thing you should do is visit DMAchoice.org and follow their suggestions. They represent nearly 3,600 companies and each of these companies is required to respect your personal preferences. If you tell them that you want to stop receiving certain types of mail, they’ll remove you from their list. There are a number of other things you can do as well, so check out these tips when you get a chance.

  • Give Up Bottled Water

One of the most wasteful habits we participate in on a daily basis involves drinking water out of plastic bottles. Only a small fraction of the billions of bottles sold in the U.S. each year are recycled. This means you may be a part of the problem. While there are times when a plastic water bottle is the only option, you can almost always eliminate the need by choosing other options. One of the best solutions is to purchase a stainless steel water bottle.

Play a Sustainable Part in Your Community

This list is just a starting point. It’s imperative that you sit down and identify the various aspects of your life where there could be improvement. Every individual is different and we all have weaknesses and shortcomings. By replacing wasteful habits with smart, sustainable choices, we can all do our part in making our local communities better.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.