With global warming, the world population explosion, and environmental pollution increasing rapidly, many New Zealanders have become advocates of sustainable living. Let’s look at what it means to live sustainably and how you can make small steps towards saving our precious environment.
What is sustainable living?
Conscious attempts at reducing waste and living a lifestyle that helps reduce carbon emissions and environmental pollution is the road to living sustainably.
It could be argued that nobody lives a 100% non-polluting lifestyle. But it’s within our powers to contribute more to the regeneration of the environment and pollute less than we need to. We live in a modern industrial society far removed from the low-impact lifestyles of our ancestors. It’s our responsibility to change our consumption habits and increase our use of alternative technologies to preserve the environment for generations to come.
To live sustainably takes commitment. It’s hard to make efforts every day to reduce waste and support renewable products and services when politicians around the world break their sustainability promises.
The impact of non-sustainable services on the world is devastating.
Did you know Europeans use three to four times the resources of Asians and Africans? Our neighbours in Australia extract 10 times more natural resources than inhabitants of Asia or Africa. The United States consumption of resources is double that of Europe.
When we use resources, we also consume precious water supply and we increase waste. We also emit more carbon into the atmosphere and change the delicate balance of ecosystems.
Why is sustainability important?
Our natural resources become more toxic every year. And as with every system in nature, there’s a tipping point or level where the system breaks down. As for our environment, reaching this point would mean entering an irreversible state of damage.
Sustainability is important because it helps reduce environmental waste and preserves our precious natural resources.
What does environmental sustainability mean?
When the environment provides for people to live and prosper without depleting natural resources, we call this a system of environmental sustainability.
Environmental sustainability examples in everyday life:
- Using natural materials for packaging
- Consuming organic food products
- Reusing household items instead of adding to landfill
- Using natural, recycled, materials for clothing
- Using energy-saving light bulbs instead of regular ones
- Running smart cars rather than gas-guzzling engines.
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