How To Stop Plastic Use and Kickstart A Sustainable Lifestyle

Sustainability a term coined a lot lately deserves more love and attention than ever before. There has been an uptick trend on the word 'sustainable' since the launch of an organization called "Brundtland commission". The mission of the Brundtland commission is to unite countries to pursue sustainable development together. According to the commission, after the Industrial Revolution, there was a major shift in our lifestyle. Our consumption habits dramatically changed and today we have become a throwaway society. Essentially, what Brundtland Commission is saying is to be mindful of our consumption habits, and consume just enough to meet our present needs without compromising the needs of the future generation.

To kick start the sustainable revolution to protect earth from over heating there are 3 key components that are essential during the development: 

  1. Environment Conservation: Full Environmental restoration.
  2. Economic Development: Stop reliance and dependence on fossil fuel, and find an alternate and clean sources of energy.
  3. Social Equality/Responsibility: Change in your lifestyle; your social and moral responsibility as an individual of this planet.

This article will focus mainly on the social and moral responsibility of an Individual towards sustainable development.

How To Kickstart A Sustainable Lifestyle

Switching your lifestyle towards zero waste living might seem daunting at first but by developing good habits and positive behavioral changes; it is possible to be part of this Sustainable [R]evolution. 

It is easy to start reducing your carbon footprint at the home. Here are the few tips to get started on zero waste lifestyle: 

    1. Reduce the reliance on fossil fuels: Fossil fuels are non renewable resources which means once the resources are consumed, it is gone for ever. Today, every aspect of our life relies on fossil fuels to meet the growing needs of the population whether it is for transportation or material production. You can take steps to reduce your carbon footprint by choosing to Bike or walk for short distance commute. Use public transportation to commute for long distance, or use carpool if there is no access to public transportation. 
    2. Say No to Plastic: A lot of plastic manufacturing relies on fossil fuels to package the Water and Soda's bottles. Plastic also contains BPA (Bisphenol A) a harmful chemical that has a negative impact on human health and is detrimental to the environment. The solution, stop buying bottled drinks packaged in plastic container, and carry your own Water Bottle. While we are on the subject of plastic, also say No to the following: Plastic bags and bring your own shopping bags, say No to plastic straws, bring your own coffee mug to the coffee shop. Essentially just get plastic off your face.
    3. Composting: When you toss the wasted food in garbage, it ends up in a landfill, producing tons of methane gas which is extremely harmful to the environment. Instead, find a compost pick up location within your neighborhood or community and drop off your food waste. You will be surprised the wonders these thrown away veggies and food scrapes does for soil revitalization to grow next generation of crops and improve water quality.
    4. Support local farmers and communities: Buy your produce at farmers' markets, not only are the produce fresh and organic but you will also encourage local farmers to continue growing produces that is not only good for your health but also good for mother earth. According to the Buddhist Economist, supporting your local's is the most rational way to economic life.
    5. Investment: If you have 401K or other investments, stay away from companies that extract natural resources. By investing in those company you are encouraging the big corporations to continue the exploitation of natural resources. Instead, invest in companies that are working towards clean sustainable energy, by doing so you are encouraging politicians and corporations to fund the clean green economy.
    6. Be more energy conscious: Coal is still the dominant source when it comes to heating and/or cooling the residential or commercial places, and coal is the number 1 source of CO2 emission. You can help, reduce carbon emission by being mindful to Turn off the lights, turn off the AC's and heaters, and TV's when not in use.
    7. Use your voice and vote for a representative who encourages the development of renewable and clean energy.
    8. Buy in Bulk: Buy items in bulk not only saves you money, but also eases the burden of CO2 emission because to deliver the items in bulk will require one total transportation as oppose to delivering individual items. 

To conclude, to be part of this movement, start small and do it consistently and turn it into a habit. These habits will turn into a lifestyle and your lifestyle will have the potential to impact and inspire the people around you, that way we have more and more people understand sustainability and its importance to reduce the ecological footprint.