It’s estimated that we use about 40% more resources in a year than what nature produces in modern life. In other words, if we continue at the rate we’re going; eventually, the world will run out of natural resources.
That’s where the idea of sustainability comes in. Let’s dive in and learn all about this critical concept and what you can do to contribute to a more sustainable way of life.
What Is Sustainability?
Sustainability, particularly how to achieve it, is a complex subject. At its most basic, however, the idea of sustainability is to use fewer resources than the planet can produce. This will ensure a gorgeous, healthy, and green place for our future generations to enjoy in the future. It is finding ways to accelerate the production of materials, such as using fast-growing bamboo for wood products instead of slow-growing trees. In addition to looking for rapidly renewable resources, it can also mean looking for ways to reduce our consumption, for example, buying locally grown or made products to cut down on transportation emissions (not to mention supporting your local economy).
Finally, we can also replace our consumption with something sustainable. As a larger-scale example, instead of burning fossil fuels for energy, we can use wind or solar energy to power our homes and businesses. But, what can we do day-to-day on an individual basis?
How to Live More Sustainably
As consumers, we can contribute to a more sustainable world by where we choose to spend our money. Research brands to understand where their products come from and how they are made.
Would you buy from a company whose manufacturing practices release tons of toxins into the local water supply? You might already be contributing to this and don’t know it.
Instead, seek out companies who talk about their commitment to a more sustainable way of life. They may source materials sustainably, look to reduce water consumption or pollution in their manufacturing processes, or power their factories with sustainable energy sources like solar or wind.
When shipping out products, they will often use sustainable packaging made from recycled and recyclable materials or repurposed packaging.
Among the best choices in sustainable products made from wood will be those marked “FSC-Certified” to indicate that the wood came from a forest that has been responsibly and sustainably managed. This simple choice goes a long way in combating deforestation due to illegal logging operations around the world. FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council, which holds companies accountable for tracking the origins of the virgin lumber used in manufacturing.
Watch Out for Deceptive Packaging/Advertising
Be wary as you choose products in the store. Some companies deceptively use nature scenes on their packaging or unregulated terms like “natural” to make consumers think they are buying sustainable products. This is called “Greenwashing” because the company is not disclosing the full truth about the product materials or ingredients. Don’t fall for these tricks and buy from trusted sources or companies that are very transparent about their sustainability practices.
Living a More Sustainable Life
The good news is that living sustainably doesn’t mean we have to give up on our modern way of life. It merely means that we need to look for a different way of doing things. Here are some great ideas to get you started:
Remember to choose brands that are eco-friendly as mush as possible. If you're looking for more sustainable products, feel free to browse the digital shelves at our sister store! We have a wide selection of home decor, zero waste, jewelry, accessories, gifts, and personal care products manufactured or made by hand in ways that keep environmental impact in mind.
Founder of Green Haven Living, a Veteran of the United States Air Force, former Human Resources professional, and Environmentalist.