When it comes to protecting the health of the planet and its people, the decisions we make as individuals matter - that's the hopeful, sometimes daunting truth of it.
With the modern world being racked with unprecedented rates of global carbon emissions, pollution, and rapid biodiversity decline, it can be easy to forget the role that each of us plays in driving progressive social activism and reducing our environmental footprint. After all, you're just one person, right?
Actually, you have more power than you think. Where you choose to invest your money and attention matters which begs the question: what actions can you do today to contribute to a better, greener world?
This week, let's take a look at some ways to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, produce less waste, and protect our planet.
What Is Sustainable Living?
At the heart of the matter, sustainable living is about finding ways to live in alignment with your values, to lead with kindness, and to become the most responsible version of yourself. Every positive decision you make to prioritize the health and wellbeing of our planet compounds over time, holding great potential to influence some of the world's most heavily polluting corporations and to effect systemic change.
To put it simply, small actions equal big change. By making simple changes in your everyday life, you can make a difference - for yourself, your community, and our planet.
Sustainable Living Tips
When it comes to sustainable living, there is no 'one size fits all' solution. This means that a sustainable lifestyle for you might look different to somebody else. Across your home, diet, fashion, beauty, or leisure activities, there are so many ways you can choose to reduce your carbon footprint.
We’ve put together some of our favorite sustainability tips to boost your physical and mental wellbeing while caring for the world around you.
Reduce Your Energy Usage
Reducing your energy consumption at home will be one of the most impactful ways to shrink your carbon footprint immediately. This can be as simple as turning off your lights as soon as you leave the room and unplugging any household appliances that are not in use overnight.
Not only will this help to reduce the 'phantom drain' of electricity, it will also save money off your energy bill in the process. For a longer-term solution, investing in energy-efficient appliances and a smart meter will help you sustainably taper your energy consumption while monitoring your output.
Ensuring that your home is insulated correctly is vital to save energy and cut carbon emissions, especially if you live in a colder climate. Efficient insulation doesn't have to be complicated or expensive either - investing in thermal curtains or blocking any drafts from your doors is a great place to start.
Reduce Your Meat Consumption
Another way to help fight climate change is to cut down on your meat consumption. This is because the process of rearing livestock is highly energy intensive, placing a considerable strain on water conservation while contributing to soaring greenhouse gas emissions.
Embrace Plant-Based Living
Plant-based sustainable alternatives are highly nutritious and beneficial for your physical health. They also place less strain on the planet's natural resources. To help reduce your carbon footprint, why not visit your shop or local farmer’s market for locally produced food?
Laying aside some mindful time each evening to prioritize home cooking is a great way to take care of your mental health and reduce food waste at the same time.
Instead of throwing food waste in the garbage, consider tossing them in the compost bin to nourish your garden later. Food scraps can also produce delicious homemade broths and non-toxic cleaning products to use around your home.
Combat Plastic Pollution
Since its invention in the early 1900s, plastic has revolutionized how we live, enabling life-saving medical breakthroughs and manufacturing advancements and adding convenience to our lives. But at what cost?
Statistics show that the world's oceans are polluted by a 'plastic smog' which equates to 2.3 million tonnes of plastic waste. Now, more than ever, it's crucial that we fight back against plastic pollution, switching to more sustainable alternatives and reducing our usage.
Be Mindful of Food Packaging
Due to single-use packaging, the food industry is one of the biggest contributors to plastic waste. Shopping at zero waste stores even once a month could be a significant step in the right direction towards a more sustainable lifestyle. This involves taking your own containers to be filled with produce in bulk.
Reduce Single-Use Plastics
On a day-to-day basis, keeping a reusable water bottle and reusable bag close by will help you further reduce waste while protecting your body against the ingestion of microplastics, too.
Mindful Travel and Leisure
A sustainable life doesn't have to be a limited life. This is especially the case when it comes to travel and leisure.
Consider Low-Energy Travel Options
Cars and planes pump vast amounts of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere daily, guzzling through the earth's finite resources of fossil fuels. As a sustainable alternative, why not prioritize traveling by public transport day-to-day or enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of walking and cycling?
While far-away vacations may be tempting, choosing to holiday closer to home is another impactful way to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle and ensure a smaller carbon footprint.
For example, hitching a carpool to your nearest camping destination or catching the train to a nearby town you've never explored will help you cut back immensely on your annual contribution to global emissions.
Focus on Slow Fashion
Up to 25% of globally produced chemical compounds are utilized for textile finishing, while fashion accounts for 20 to 35 percent of microplastic in the ocean. With this in mind, it's no secret that the fast fashion industry has become heavily reliant on a business model that is no longer sustainable.
Embrace Slow Fashion
Our world operates on an 'out with the old, in with the new mentality' which encourages mindless consumption. The fast fashion industry is particularly guilty of this.
Considering both the social and environmental impact of irresponsible production practices, the slow fashion model strives to prioritize fair labor environments and environmental sustainability.
To reduce your carbon footprint, aim to invest in ethically-conscious clothing brands that ensure their garment workers are paid a liveable wage, adopt small-batch clothing runs, and use locally sourced natural materials such as hemp, organic cotton, and upcycled cotton.
Caring for Your Clothes
When it comes to washing your clothes, doing your laundry with cold water will help to reduce your home's overall energy consumption.
Rather than tossing your wet clothes in the tumble dryer, consider hanging them out to air-dry overnight or (even better) in the sunshine. This will not only boost the freshness of your clothes, it will also reduce carbon emissions. If you're hoping to cut back from the need to constantly buy new clothes due to wear and tear, acquiring basic sewing skills is also a great way to repair beloved items and maximize your clothes' lifespan.
Focus on Second-Hand
There's nothing wrong with pre-loved items! Thrift stores, clothing swaps, and online resale platforms are excellent ways to encourage a circular economy and reduce waste. Additionally, instead of throwing them away, your old T-shirts may serve just as well as comfortable gym gear.
Creating A More Sustainable Lifestyle
Sustainable lifestyles will look different for every individual, depending on your life circumstances. And that's okay. As we mentioned earlier, there's no singular correct way to live a sustainable life, and it's essential to take the time to decide what living in alignment with your values looks like for you.
While making a change can feel challenging, our earth is worth it. Whether you're ready to make radical changes in how you live your life or implement just one of these sustainable solutions, you're making a step in the right direction for our planet.
Our Commitment To Sustainability
Here at People of Leisure, we strive to be as ethical and sustainable as possible in everything we do. As a sustainable fashion brand, we recognize that it's our responsibility to not only create conscious clothing, but also share our journey of how we aim to reduce our carbon footprint and societal impact. We recognize that this is also a learning process.
In our pursuit of a greener future, we’re dedicated to reducing textile waste by sourcing deadstock fabric destined for landfills. This breathes new life into forgotten materials, transforming discarded fabric into unique pieces you’ll love.
Our garments are also meticulously crafted using low-impact dyes, allowing us to not only create vibrant and lasting colors but also to recycle water in the process. By steering clear of any detrimental inks, dyes, or chemicals, we ensure that our products are not only eco-friendly but also gentle on both the environment and those who wear them.
We're proud to be a part of the global conscious-living movement, joining thousands of individuals like yourself who prioritize the health of the planet and its people, one step at a time.