The cynical among us may view sustainability as little more than a marketing ploy. Here at Pale Blue Earth, it is anything but. We believe sustainability is a mentality. It is also a lifestyle. Every one of us can contribute to global sustainability by adjusting the way we live. We can all adopt ever more sustainable lifestyles.
In fairness, 100% sustainability is not possible. Nor is it possible to completely eliminate all waste. We live in an imperfect world, and imperfection dictates that there will always be some level of waste and unsustainable activity. But we have a long way to go before we reach those minimal levels.
If you are in agreement (and we hope you are) here are some practical tips for living a more sustainable lifestyle:
1. Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle
The first tip is one you have been hearing your entire life. We are all familiar with it, yet it bears repeating. The first rule of sustainability is to reuse, re-purpose, and recycle. There simply is no need to consume and throw away.
Ironically, the current global obsession with consumption is a comparatively modern phenomenon. Way back when, ancient civilizations did not have the luxury of cheap consumer goods and mass production. They wasted very little. They reused, repurposed, and recycled out of necessity. We should follow their example.
2. Avoid Using Plastic and Single-use Products
The vast majority of consumer plastics end up in landfills. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that virgin plastic is cheaper to produce than recycled plastic. What can you do to help? Make a point of avoiding plastic whenever you can.
Invest in cloth sacks or bags you can take to the grocery store. Take an insulated aluminum travel mug with you to the coffee shop. Carry your own reusable utensils with you when you go out to eat. The list goes on and on.
3. Use Lithium-Ion Batteries
Living a more sustainable lifestyle includes eliminating waste. To that end, you can replace your disposable alkaline batteries with lithium-ion batteries. Pale Blue Earth USB rechargeable batteries offer equal or superior performance for most applications. They are 100% recyclable and can be charged 1000+ times. What more need we say?
4. Avoid Throwing Away Food
We Americans are terrible about wasting food. According to the USDA, we throw out 30-40% of our total food supply. Not only could that food go toward feeding hungry people, throwing it away means we also waste the resources used to produce it. Your more sustainable lifestyle should include a commitment to avoid throwing away food.
5. Conserve Water
Though some 71% of the Earth's surface is covered in water, fresh water is not always easy to come by. It turns out that we expend a tremendous volume of resources providing clean drinking water to our cities and towns. However, conserving water conserves the resources we need to process it. Water conservation is so simple to do it's a wonder that more people don't practice it.
6. Lend a Hand to Clean Up
Finally, you can make your lifestyle more sustainable by lending a hand to clean up. There will always be those among us who leave messes behind. That will never change. But the rest of us can work together to address those messes. When we do so, we are making the world more sustainable for everyone.
Remember that sustainability doesn't occur by accident. Likewise, maximizing sustainability requires a long list of purposeful actions, ranging from reducing consumption to replacing alkaline batteries with lithium-ion batteries. We all have a role to play. Are you playing yours?