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Sustainable living isn’t a sacrifice

By: Parrys Raines, Category: Science, Date: 07 Feb 2010

Living a sustainable lifestyle is not about what you are giving up but what you gain.

There are so many sustainable living tips that give advice on what we should be doing and it may look like we are supposed to “give up” and “cut back” BUT what are the gains if the tips become everyday habits?

For example using the car less and walking more is better for our health.

Buying products with less packaging and that are locally produced will support local business and that’s a positive gain for small businesses and for the economy.

Growing your own fresh food and eating less processed food is cheaper and healthier.

Consuming less costs less.

Swapping toys, games, books, console games and clothes with friends and family saves time and money and you don’t get bored.

Planting natives in the garden attracts local native birds that chase away starlings. They also provide shade, they need less water and they look nice.

Not throwing out unwanted goods that end up as landfill and donating them to local charities supports people in your local community less fortunate. Knowing you have helped someone is a positive feeling. Also bargain hunters give your goods a longer life span.

Replacing old electrical appliances with new energy efficient ones such as fridges and washing machines saves you money on your power bills. If you can, don’t bother with a clothes drier the sun and wind will dry your clothes for free and they will last longer.

Using fewer chemicals in the home is better for the health of your family and you can make your own safe cleaning products at a fraction of the price.

For gifts buying on experience means the memory of the gift will last longer and you could be helping people in developing countries. Giving a waste free gift such as tickets and restaurant vouchers means less landfill.

Educating children that our Western model of consumption has limits and being a role model by showing kid’s everyday what is possible is what is needed for education to be successful.

A lot of these tips mean we can save money, be healthier and start to think smarter - all positive gains but making these small lifestyle changes means that the sustainability of our planet also gets some gains.

It is easy to stay positive and stay motivated knowing what the gains are to achieve the goal of a sustainable future.

Remember ‘Habits made today will help life tomorrow’.