Sustainability is not just a trendy concept. In today’s society, it has stuck and changed the lifestyles of so many because of its message of hope and urgency. The call to climate action is an urgent problem, and sustainability provides a solution for it. We all know we’re in Code Red and what we need right now are drastic industrial and systemic changes. While this is out of our control, we can still do so much with our purchasing power; where we spend our dollars is a political vote on changing the wave of markets. We can direct industries to assume a more eco-friendly nature of products and services for this purpose continue to garner support. Simply put, consumers who are now becoming more mindful with their purchases in terms of saving the planet are a great first step.
The United Nations Environment Programme states that sustainable living demands “understanding how our lifestyle choices impact the world around us and finding ways for everyone to live better and lighter.” On another hand, McGill University perceives sustainability as “meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Let that sink in. Even though we’ll be part of the past in the future, our present lifestyles will greatly impact the lives of future generations. It is a tall order to change our learned and acquired behaviors, especially since we were born into this kind of world. We don’t see anything wrong so why change anything? Some might think it will just be an extra hassle to look for eco-friendly products to add to our routines and change our behaviors on waste segregation. It will definitely take time, money, and effort that not everyone can afford to shift. The world’s economies are greatly reliant on industries that are harmful to the environment.
Sustainability has remained to be an elitist concept, a lifestyle that is more welcomed in developed countries. People in these countries have the means to afford sustainable choices that often come with a heftier price tag. Yet we see hope that the market is still relatively new and is set to grow in the next few years, hopefully becoming more affordable and accessible to all.
If you are able and willing at the moment, there are many ways you could do to start living a sustainable lifestyle. One of these is having your own sustainable lifestyle kit that can reduce the waste you create on a daily basis. Here are some essentials that any environmental advocate must have in their sustainable kits:
Single-use plastic is the enemy of an eco-friendly world. Since plastic cutlery is what most fast-food chains hand to us, we tend to just accept and use them. So if you’re trying to become more sustainable, you must be responsible enough to bring your own cutlery every time you go out. They can be used multiple times before needing to be discarded.
2. Water Tumbler
Container Recycling Institute discovered that more than 60 million plastic bottles go to landfills and incinerators every single day. Again, be part of the solution and say no to plastic water bottles (or anything in plastic, for this matter). Bring your own water tumbler and be an example to others. You’ll never know that someone might be looking your way and might be influenced by your choice to not use anything that is for a one-time purpose only.
3. Canvas Bag
When you’re out shopping or you’re simply gallivanting on the streets with your best buds, always having a reusable bag inside your kit is a brilliant idea. You could kindly say no to vendors who will offer you single-use plastics. Instead of you saying yes to what they hand to you, you offer them your reusable canvas bag where they could place the goods that you bought.
4. Reusable Straw
The National Geographic cited a 2018 study about 8.3 billion of plastic straws polluting the world’s beaches. 500 million of which are used every day and only in the United States. Do not contribute to this waste problem by having a readily available reusable straw in your kit.
In recent years, major companies have been listening to market demand! Starbucks phased out its plastic straws in 2020. McDonald’s in the UK is planning to ban plastic straws in their U.K. and Ireland branches. Alaska Airlines won’t be using any plastic straws and stirrers.
5. Handkerchief or cloth napkin
Do you know that paper also accounts for 25% of landfill waste? It may not be a material as demonic as plastic but it still is a “single-use” product. People would often reach for tissue or paper towels when they have a runny nose in public or are eating outside with their family or friends. Always opt for reusables and have a handkerchief or a cloth napkin in your pocket.
6. Menstrual cup
If you haven’t made the switch yet, we highly recommend that you consider it. Many have attested to the benefits of using this life-changing cup. It might be scary at first, especially for women who have gotten used to using sanitary pads. But once you make the shift, you might never go back!
Stanford magazine says that approximately 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons have been discarded in the US alone. If all women use a menstrual cup instead, then we can get rid of all this waste in an instant.
7. Reusable face mask
In this time of COVID-19, always make sure to bring an extra pair of reusable face masks for the protection of yourself and your community.
What Else You Can Do
Apart from carrying your own sustainable lifestyle kit wherever you go, there are other things you can do to practice and even promote sustainability:
1. Buy products that are made of eco-friendly materials. Check out Flexispot’s Kana Bamboo Standing Desk for instance. It makes use of bamboo as its main material.
2. Volunteer for environmental organizations. Once you’ve decided to sign-up, be discerning of what club you will join. Why not use a singular or dual monitor mount when you look for one? The view is more spacious with two desktops and would cover more in a glance.
3. Educate yourself. Watch documentaries. Read. The monitor mounts or a standing desk converter will instantly upgrade your study station.
4. Go vegan. Meat consumption adds up to climate change by overproducing animals, meaning the burden of taking care of them is placed on mother nature. Raising more animals requires more land and water which are using up the world’s resources.
5. Spread information. Share the need for climate urgency in your social media accounts.