Sustainable Lifestyles

This article is part of our “blog series” — written by youth, for youth, by members of our very own VSBSC executive team. We hope you enjoy reading these as much as we did writing them and stay tuned for future posts!

By Leona Lam

Our current way of living is comfortable yet detrimental to the state of our environment. With the increase in population, there has been an intense demand for food, fashion, travel, housing, and related necessities. As a result of the growing numbers in our communities, many people are unable to attain basic living essentials. Environmentalists have noticed a significant imbalance in available resources around the world; a state may be abundant whilst the other state is struggling.

Living sustainably means understanding how humans co-exist interconnected in the world, and how our lifestyle choices may impact those around us. It is up to us to practice appropriate controlled consumption of resources. There are many opportunities to make sustainable choices that will positively influence the peoples around us. This starts on a personal level; how we run our homes,
what we chose to consume such as clothing, technology, and food, our form of transportation, how wecare for our planet, and what companies we support. Following that, individuals may expand their impact and attempt to create meaningful change by supporting and donating to global and regional
organizations and initiatives that focus on encouraging sustainable lifestyles.

Action items:

1. Become a member of a community garden community organization or initiative that promotes sustainable lifestyles

2. Use everything you purchase and own to its full potential. Maximize its purpose – Purchase only what you need and will use.

3. Become more efficient with your means of transportation – run all your nearby errands at once instead of doing multiple trips. You may also want to begin using different forms of transportation such as biking, public transit, and walking.

4. Replace some household items – invest in implementing more natural light and energy-efficient light products. Start using natural cleaners, there are several recipes online. Replace paper towels and napkins with a reusable cloth.

5. Device addiction has become a soaring issue worldwide. Reduce your use of electricity-run devices; instead, read a book or play some sports. That action is beneficial to your mental health and doesn’t drain our resources.

6. The famous Rs. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Make an effort to sort out your waste appropriately.

7. Choose renewable energy – install solar panels and implement actions that can offset your carbon footprint.

8. Runaway from plastic. No seriously – run away from plastic. Avoid purchasing products wrapped in plastic, avoid using disposable plastic products. Instead, invest in reusable bags, straws, and other overlooked essentials.

9. Make your own! DIY projects are always fun and trendy. Make your own new products out of the scraps of old products.

10. Share and borrow! Go to a thrift store and shop for cute clothes. Borrow books from the library. If you need something temporarily, find a temporary solution; such as sharing.

11. Remodel your diet and make healthy decisions that ensure we are consuming an appropriate amount of meat. Even better; go vegan!

12. Do your research! Educate yourself!

This idea is targeted by the UN Environment Programme as it looks towards implementing changes in lifestyle and visions proposed by political authorities. On a larger scale, it is up to the government and businesses to provide education and information on this idea; the authoritative should publicly encourage positive change by assisting in the development of new business models and project
executions. Non-governmental organizations and research foundations should work towards analyzing data and proposing evidence-based policies that associate with interactive societal systems.

However, back to ourselves.

Every individual should be actively making decisions that support
sustainable lifestyles. A goal is to implement these concepts worldwide to the point where these actions, lifestyles, and sustainable development proposals become the norm. In order for us to fulfill our plan, we must raise awareness and educate those in our communities about how daily living decisions may negatively impact the environment and those around us. We should spread our message through creative mediums, influencers, platforms, and cultural figures in hopes of reaching every single person in the world. Change needs to happen, and change starts with you.