I was brainstorming the other day, coming up with potential topics to write about, when it struck me that I haven’t actually made a post about why you should consider eco-friendly living.
Everybody can probably name one or two good reasons, but I thought it might be helpful to list out all of the things that motivated (and continue to motivate) me to want to live a little greener.
So here are 13 positive reasons why you need more sustainability in your life!
1. Clean Up Your Local community
In my opinion, the number one reason to get involved in sustainability is to clean up your own community. Because the green issues that affect us most are those on our doorstep.
If you live near a town or city then you’re no stranger to seeing litter and pollution. But that doesn’t have to be the norm. If people are the main cause of pollution, then people also have the power to prevent it.
You might think that your sustainable choices are insignificant but you’d be wrong!
Read on to see more of the positive impacts of your sustainable choices.
2. Support Local Shops and Businesses
Buying local is a great sustainable tip for you, but it’s also great for those small local businesses you support!
A strong local economy means higher local investment, better amenities, more jobs and a thriving, self-sufficient area. Sounds pretty ideal to me!
I have three posts on eco-friendly food, sustainable fashion and green shopping habits, all of which tie in with supporting local business.
3. Help Create a Greener World Globally
But sustainable living doesn’t just affect your local environment, it has a wider positive impact as well.
By being careful of how you dispose of waste you can help reduce our reliance on landfills which in turn reduces air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions on a regional and global level.
Voting with your wallet is another powerful way that you can make a more global difference. By supporting eco-friendly brands and companies you can help make these responsibly run business more profitable.
And when sustainability becomes profitable, it becomes more widespread, hopefully leading to a global uptake in environmentally friendly business standards.
These large-scale changes might not be as instantly visible as cleaning up your local neighbourhood, but they will be the things that help future generations to live safely and sustainably.
4. Protect and Restore Flora and Fauna
Protecting and nurturing the natural world is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling ways you can make a difference, and there are plenty of ways to do it.
You could do something direct like planting trees and volunteering with wildlife protection agencies, or something simpler (but no less important!) like opting to use more naturally sourced and ethically produced products.
When left to its own devices, our planet self regulates and thrives, but when you factor in all the damage that has been done and the work needed to repair it, I think it’s clear that nature could do with our help!
5. Improve Water Quality and Availability
Water might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of reasons to make sustainable change. But our fresh water supply and our world’s oceans are two of the areas most negatively affected by waste and pollution.
Water is the basis for life on this planet, both for hydration and as a habitat for so many of the world’s species, so it is definitely one of the big reasons to push for change.
Conservation of fresh water is an obvious answer and something everyone should implement as much as possible. But in order to protect marine life and improve water quality on a larger scale, we need to push governments and big industries to properly dispose of waste and not just dump chemicals and plastics into our rivers and oceans.
6. Help Address Ethical Issues
It’s not just our wildlife and natural resources that are affected by pollution and non-sustainable behaviours. People all over the world find themselves and their livelihoods increasingly threatened by the damage done to our natural environment.
The ethics of sustainability demand that we take the wellbeing of other people into account. That means supporting initiatives aimed at issues such as providing clean water, sanitation, fair working conditions and basic human rights for all.
Doing some research and making an effort to only support businesses that share your environmental ideals are great ways to push ethical business practices.
Pay particular attention to a business’s human rights record and look for specific information around their environmental policies.
Also keep an eye out for greenwashing, which is when companies try to paint themselves as more sustainable than they really are.
7. Improve Your Own Physical Health
If you need some more individual reasons to get involved, there are plenty of those too!
Sustainable habits can have a whole heap of health benefits, including improved healthy body composition, better nutrition, improved cardiovascular health and more. Examples of these sustainable and healthy habits include:
- Eating natural, seasonal, local and organic foods
- Moderating consumption of unnecessary junk and processed foods
- Using natural non-toxic beauty and cleaning products
- Walking and cycling instead of driving
8. Live a Simpler Life
One of the big pros of green living for me has been realising how little I really need to be happy, and how streamlined my life can be without losing the things I enjoy.
Minimalism and sustainability are closely linked due to the emphasis they both put on reducing consumption of unnecessary products and services.
And I really like this element because making do with less and ditching the luxury products feels pretty liberating. I’ve also found that not reaching for my wallet every time I think I need something has made me more resourceful and more capable of working out alternative ways to get a job done.
Plus, by getting back to basics you have more time and money to invest in the important things.
9. Look After Your Mental Health
Having spoken about physical health, the mental side of your wellbeing is just as important, and I believe sustainability can play a part here as well.
There are a million reasons somebody could be struggling, but I often think that the frantic pace of modern life has a lot to do with the pressure and anxiety many people experience. And while I have no authority to say that an eco-friendly life is the “cure”, I certainly think it can provide a positive change.
Just think of the kind of habits that sustainability involves; getting out in nature, walking and cycling places, buying less, getting creative with DIY and upcycling. They all involve slowing down and simplifying things, while still remaining active. And I think that can only be a good thing as far as your mental health is concerned.
10. Save Money
One of the barriers that people often associate with a greener lifestyle is the cost. And, to be fair, there are some elements which can definitely add up if you let them.
But likewise, there are plenty of cheap, free and even money saving ways to make positive changes. Transport, shopping and energy consumption are three big areas where less is better. And less money spent on fuel, unnecessary purchases and energy bills means more money saved.
Costs will be slightly different for everyone but there are always ways to make it work!
11. Improve Your Quality of Life
Tying in with the minimalist and money saving aspect of sustainability, fewer unnecessary belongings means that you might be able to afford to invest your savings into some higher quality essentials.
Instead of six or seven cheap fast fashion products, you could invest your money in one or two really amazing items that are responsibly made and high quality. This way you can reduce waste, own better longer lasting products, all without breaking the bank.
Obviously, there is a lot more to quality of life than your material possessions, so this one is very subjective.
I suppose the point I’m making is that sustainable living doesn’t have to mean sacrificing things that make your life easy or enjoyable, if anything it can help you improve on them.
12. Become More Self-Sufficient and Creative
Self-sufficiency and creativity are some of the pillars of green living. But don’t worry, you don’t necessarily need a farm or a workshop to get involved!
If you can grow your own food and create/build everything you need that’s great. But other simpler options such as cooking from scratch and doing a bit of DIY here and there can really help you become less reliant on the outside world to meet your needs.
Check out my post on 10 home upcycling ideas to get your creative juices flowing!
13. Set a Positive Example
It takes time for people to get on board with any kind of change, and I think the same is true of sustainable living. You can’t force it on people, all you can do is set an example, talk openly about it and hope that people see the good in what you’re doing and the reason for it.
Personally, I’ve found that you don’t need to force sustainability down people’s throats, most people are interested in making a difference and understand the need for it.
Making sustainable change in your own life and chatting about it will help others to see what they can do. That’s how society changes, people adopt behaviours and habits that are easy to do and give positive results.
And if we can keep setting a good example, over time sustainable living will hopefully become more the norm!