The Practical Guide to Sustainable Living

Living sustainably does not mean changing every bit of your daily routine. Don't worry, you don’t have to be a very DIY person or go out and make your own products.

We believe that sustainable living doesn’t have to be a challenge. It should be simple. And kind of fun. Being mindful of our planet can be as easy as rethinking the things we use every day and using materials that have a low impact.

Explore what it means to live sustainably and mix and match ideas from our blog that fit seamlessly into your lifestyle!

Defining Sustainable Living

We have one planet and many choices.

Sustainable living describes our conscious effort to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet. It is an attempt to use less of Earth's natural resources and aim for zero waste. A day in a sustainable lifestyle means thinking in terms of transportation, energy usage, diet, and personal preferences.

The choices and decisions that we make reflect our lifestyle. You can live sustainably by making small changes to your daily routines. So, sustainable living doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the quality of life you're used to.

The Importance of Sustainable Living

According to the Global Footprint Network, if everyone adopted the consumption patterns and lifestyles of an average North American citizen, we would need 5 planets just to handle our current desires. As lovely as having unlimited resources sounds, that isn't the reality.

Perhaps even more shocking! In the last 50 years, 60% of ecosystems degraded due to our habits and the norms we've created. It's estimated that by 2030, 90% of our coral reefs will be in danger. What's worse is that developed countries have access to the most resources. It turns out that a mere 20% of the world's population is accountable for 86% of resource consumption.

If this is alarming you, don't worry, it should! We've included a section below on what you can do today to make a positive impact. If none of the statistics have convinced you yet, here's a list of reasons why sustainable living is essential:

1. Global Warming & Climate Change

I'm sure we've all heard horrifying stories and have at least experienced a few of them. In the last few years, we've had extreme weather: forest fires, rising sea levels, and natural disasters unlike ever before. To top it off, we recently had snow in the Sahara Desert, the world's hottest desert.

In other parts of our world, glaciers are rapidly melting due to global warming. Some of our favourite animals are now endangered! The world isn't able to recover as fast as we are polluting and overconsuming. If we continue living the way we do, we should expect harsh weather patterns and global warming to rise.

But, people are doing amazing things to prevent this! The ocean, in particular, is seeing a reverse change in pollution. We are making a positive impact on climate change because citizens made a change to their habits. The Ocean Conservancy hosted the Last Straw Challenge, where 25,000 people participated in diverting over 5 million plastic straws from landfills and oceans. Talk about a fantastic global effort!

2. Dependence on Finite Resources

The world does not have an unlimited supply of natural resources, and we are running out. Due to our dependence on finite resources and current rates of consumption many natural resources being strained.

    5 Natural Resources Depleting too Quickly

    • Water
    • Oil
    • Coal
    • Natural Gas
    • Phosphorus

    3. Sustain the Planet for Future Generations

    We all want a beautiful and healthy planet for our kids and grandchildren to live in. It is essential to learn how to create a balance between social and ecological needs. Our good habits will pass down to future generations so that they can learn to live sustainably too!

    Why You Should Start Living Sustainably

    As a consumer, you play a huge role in sustaining the environment. You have a lot of influence on promoting and pressing for change to meet global challenges like climate change. There are a number of reasons why you should adopt a sustainable lifestyle. Here are a few:

    1. Smaller Ecological Footprint

    An ecological footprint is a calculation of our consumption of resources versus the Earth's capacity to regenerate them. You can measure your footprint with this calculator here. Having a smaller carbon footprint means we can sustain our planet for much longer and enjoy Mother Nature to the fullest.

    2. Save Money

    Cut down on buying things you don't need. If you keep buying things, you'll eventually run out of space in your home. At some point, you'll end up throwing stuff out that could be reused or repaired. Remember, less is more! By living sustainably, you can also reduce your electricity and water usage. You'll thank yourself at the end of the month when your bill comes in.

    3. Simplify your life

    We're busy people with busy lives. Why not try and simplify your life with a simpler routine? Save water by only washing clothes and dishes when there's a full load. Go vegetarian every couple of days. Take shorter showers. Unplug your electronics when you're not using them.

    4. Feel Empowered & Happier

    Taking action and making a positive change will make you feel more empowered. You are the reason the planet will heal. Your voice can make a difference. Share sustainable tips with your family and friends. Let others know why you think it's important to live sustainably.

    If you want to learn more about why you should start living sustainably, check out this resource for additional information!

    The 3 R's of Sustainable Living

    I know most of us are familiar with the 3 R's; Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. You can do your part in keeping the planet healthy by eliminating waste, conserving energy and reducing pollution. Let's dive in and discover each R to find out ways you can go green at home!

    But first, enjoy this fun Earth Day Song to get you in the spirits!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtyBzFV9yTs

    1. Reduce

    Get creative and find ways you can limit your energy and water usage or simply cut down on waste. You can save the planet while saving money with these creative tips.

    7 Ways to Reduce Waste Disposal

    1. Before buying a product, think about what goes into making the product. Carefully read the ingredients and find out about the company's eco-friendly programs. Wellow's shampoo and conditioner bars use no water (no plastic bottles too). Their toothpaste tabs also have no liquids in them, so that lets them use better ingredients.
    2. Turn off the lights when you aren't in the room. Simple things add up.

    3. Forget the plastic bags! Start bringing reusable bags to grocery stores. Retailers like Target and Whole Foods even offer a discount for every reusable bag you bring in!

    4. Search for products that use less packaging (or no plastic packaging). When companies make their products with less packaging, they use less raw materials — making it cheaper for you to buy!

      • Check out Wellow's packaging that is recyclable and biodegradable.

        1. Read your news and magazines online. Unsubscribing can lead to less paper waste.

        2. Everyone loves their morning coffee. Unfortunately, the plastic lining on the inside makes it difficult for recycling companies to repurpose them. Buy a cute travel mug or refill a mason jar.

        3. Shop at your local Farmer's Market or try to buy in bulk. You are supporting the farmers in your area and getting fresh food. Less transportation is also required for the food to reach the market. Don't forget to bring your reusable containers and egg cartons!

      2. Reuse

      Reusing is a fun way to keep your old items fresh! You can use the item for its original purpose or completely reinvent its use. But whatever you choose, you put one less thing in the landfill, and you should feel proud. It's time for some good old-fashioned arts & crafts.

      Fun ways You Can Reuse Items You Already Have At Home

      • Glass Jars - Use these as candles, flower vases, or as a reusable jar to hold nuts and spices. 
      • Egg Cartons - Organize your jewelry in divided compartments. Grow little plants by using this as a seed sprouting container.
      • Tissue Boxes - Cut the top off and use them as compartments in your drawers.
      • Cardboard Tubes - Use them to organize cables.
      • Newspapers - Use as shipping material, absorbing odor, cleaning material.
      • Clothes - Sew your ripped clothes and make cool patch designs out of them.
      • Teacups - Turn cute teacups into succulent holders.

      To check out a more exhaustive list, visit this resource for a couple more items you can reuse and repurpose!

      Reusing doesn't just have to be you on your own repurposing the items you have at home. Think of it as a society-wide challenge. You can find a lot of neat stuff for a low cost if you know where to look. The best part is you're saving some great items from ending up in landfills by giving it a second home.

      Like they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure.

      Reusing as a Community

      • Garage Sale - Save money and reclaim trendy items you can use around your house.
      • Thrift Stores - Reduce your carbon footprint by buying beautiful clothes secondhand.
      • Online Marketplaces - Ebay, Amazon and Kijiji are some sites you can buy used goods.

      3. Recycle

      Recycling is the process of transforming waste into reusable materials. We always hear about the common things you can recycle. These include paper, cartons, glass, metals and cans. We've decided to put together a list of unusual items you can recycle so that you can go green at home.

      10 Interesting Things You Can Recycle

      1. Ink Cartridges - Many office supply companies offer recycling services, including Staples.
      2. Sports Equipment - If you have a mini gym at home and no one seems to be using the yoga mat or weights, recycle! Consider finding a sports company with a recycling program.
      3. Toothbrushes - Try swapping your old plastic toothbrush out for a more sustainable option like bamboo. Bamboo toothbrushes provide the same quality but can be recycled and composted!
      4. Running ShoesNike's Reuse-A-Shoe-Program accepts shoes from any brand and turns them into material used for athletic and playground surfaces.
      5. Cell Phones - Everyone has a pile of old cellphones lying around their house. Follow the guidelines for your region to see how to recycle them.
      6. Bicycles - Take a look at Bikes of the World to see how your used bike can help someone in a developing country.
      7. Mattresses - This bulky item always ends up in landfills! If you live in the United States, use Bye Bye Mattress to help you dispose of your mattresses in any state.
      8. KeysKeys for Hope Foundation is a non-profit organization that recycles unwanted keys to end hunger.
      9. Washing Machines - This is perhaps the most surprising item of the list. Pieces of it can be used to create other materials. Check out Recycle Nation for more information.
      10. All ItemsTerraCycle is a non-profit organization that recycles just about any type of waste. Get rewarded through their free recycling programs that can be redeemed for charitable donations.

      Here's 30 more ideas about surprising things you can recycle.

      4. Re-imagining (Everyday Products)

      Imagine a world without garbage, wouldn't that be nice? It's not life or death but, it's worth fighting for! We want to challenge you to think beyond the simple stuff. Don't change what you do, change how you do it.

      Take a look at your daily routine. Ask yourself: "what can I change today to become more sustainable?" or "can I reimagine using a different product that accomplishes the same things?" Living a sustainable lifestyle means being more mindful of how you're living. Put those creative brains to action and try to think of new ways you can make those small changes in your daily life.

      Join the global challenge and fight for a plastic-free world! Trust me, it's not as difficult as it sounds. Simply reimagining the decisions we make when we shop. Or doing that extra bit of research to find out more about shipping and packaging. All of these little things add up!

      Now if this is still sounding too abstract, let's hop into some ideas on how you can re-imagine your life sustainably:

      Deodorants

      Everyone uses deodorants, and you should! Your co-workers will definitely thank you for it. But how can we make this more sustainable? Shop for a deodorant tube that is made without plastic!

      Wellow uses a biodegradable paper tube for their natural deodorants. Simply changing the material a deodorant tube is made up of reduces a lot of waste.

      Shampoo and Conditioner

      This dynamic duo plays a huge role in our hair care routine. Unfortunately, they're both usually encased in plastic. Wellow uses a shampoo and conditioner bar packaged in a paper box instead of a plastic bottle. There's no waste and no hassle!

      Body Wash

      I know we all love using our loofahs in the shower along with our liquid body wash. But, why not switch back to a nice simple body bar? It gives you the same quality and gets the job done! Wellow uses a body wash bar, that's liquid-free and less waste.

      Creative Ways To Live Sustainably

      Living sustainably doesn't need to be hard; it should be fun! Together, we can create a sustainable lifestyle that is both meaningful and feasible for your day-to-day routines. Here are some fun ideas for you and your family to try together.

      Tips & Tricks on How to Get Started With a Sustainable Lifestyle

      1. Shopping

      If you love shopping like me, find ways to buy products that are plastic-free and use clean ingredients like Wellow! You can browse our collection of eco-friendly personal care products that are sustainable and affordable.

      2. Composting

      Check out our last blog on how to compost at home! It's easy, fun, and promotes sustainable living. From composting with worms to digging holes, we're sure you can find something you like!

      3. Greener Transportation

      Don't drive if there's an alternative option. Walk or ride your bike instead. It's healthier! Uber has become unanimously famous worldwide. Find some friends that are going to the same place as you and share a car. Or, take the bus. It'll save gas, money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

      4. Cook food/Eat Locally

      Choose restaurants or dining options that are closer to home. You can reduce transportation costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

      5. Have a Fun Picnic

      Spend more time outside enjoying the sunlight than indoors where you turn on your lights. Choose activities that have a low impact on the environment. If you choose to have a picnic, don't forget to bring reusable containers to hold your food in (and practice safe distancing)!

      6. Grow your own Fruits & Vegetables

      Your fruits and vegetables will be fresher and tastier grown at home. Not to mention no harmful chemicals or pesticides need to be used if you combine it with compost. This will save you a couple of trips to the grocery store and back.

      7. Gardening & Tree Planting

      Plant as many flowers, trees and bushes as you can. Make this a fun family sport! Trees are important for the environment, health and quality of our lives. Get involved with your communities' tree-planting efforts.

      8. Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances

      By purchasing energy-efficient appliances, you'll save money every day. They do the same tasks as regular appliances but use minimum energy. Better for the environment and your wallet!

      9. Donate

      If you have things lying around your house that you don't need anymore, consider donating. Give school supplies to camps, schools, and charities. If you have used books, donate to the library or children in your neighborhood. If you have clothes, give them to nonprofit companies.

      To find out more ways you can live sustainably, read this article.

      Conclusion

      Adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle is the best way to sustain our planet! Being environmentally conscious will reduce the impacts of global warming, dependence on resources and maintain our world for future generations.

      Modifying the little things in your life is an excellent way to begin your journey on sustainable living. Get creative and find ways you can repurpose items you have without throwing them out. We can do simple things like following the 3 R's: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Explore ideas from our blog that fit comfortably in your life.

      We live in a world where we have a voice, and we can make a stand to fight global challenges. Spread the word about living sustainably as far as your network can reach. The time to make our choice and change our habits is now. Simplify your lifestyle, get involved in eco-friendly events, and help out local charities. Each day is a new one. Now, let's make it a green one!

      Let us know which ideas you have already tried to implement in your life. Which of these are you most excited to try? If you think of any more interesting ways we can stay sustainable together, let us know in the comments below.


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