For decades, massive environmental degradation was an unavoidable consequence of large scale economic development. As a result issues caused by global warming and pollution have become increasingly threatening as of today, requiring us humans to rethink all the aspects of our life on this planet in a more sustainable way. However, a lot of us still refrain ourselves from adopting sustainable practices either because of some skepticism about the impact of our actions or perhaps because there seems to be a trade-off between convenience and environmental protection. On the contrary, leading a sustainable lifestyle can bring many benefits, the most attractive being cost-reduction, both at the micro and macro levels.
Here are eight simple and sustainable ways by which each of us can individually cut down the expenses involved in basic activities:
1. Reconsider your mode of transport
When it comes to means of transportation, it is always better to use public transports like bus or train depending on travel distance. This helps to a large extent in sharing the costs and carbon emissions between all the users, thus reducing individual costs and footprints. For short distances, when it is possible, walking and cycling are always options to consider, as these have added health benefits too! Carpooling, the new cool when it comes to travel, is also an energy-efficient practice.
2. Replace energy inefficient electronics
Regarding electronic appliances, most of us tend to consider the cost of purchase and often overlook the costs of owning and using them. This is why we buy cheap, energy inefficient appliances and end up paying higher electricity bills as a consequence. Be a rational consumer by taking into account the future implications of a purchase and when it comes to electronic appliances, always check for the star rating. Higher the star-rating, higher the energy efficiency, and higher the savings in the long run.
3. Replenish the resources
Installation of solar panels and rainwater harvesting are some steps each individual can take in order to replenish resources, while contributing to maintaining its adequate supply at affordable prices as well. After an initial investment, solar energy and rainwater harvesting help in cutting down expenses on utility bills (i.e. - electricity and water bills). With solar panels connected to the grid, there is also an interesting opportunity to receive payments for surplus energy.
4. Reassure good insulation to your house
Insulation for a house functions almost like a thermos does for a liquid; it keeps the house cool during summer and warm during winter. It therefore results in lower dependence on electrical appliances - resulting in lower energy bills, and creating a more comfortable place to live in, overall. Simple steps like planting more trees around the house, careful use of appliances, etc. can improve the insulation of the house as well.
5. Reverse the lifestyle
With recent advancements in globalization, e-commerce, etc., there has been a rise in excessive consumerism and human wants. Living a modern lifestyle has become quite costly and unsustainable of late. Restoring minimalism is the solution to this, and the three R’s- Reuse, Reduce and Recycle form the pillars of this lifestyle. Buying second-hand goods, buying only when needed, and buying products that last for a long period of time are some of the simple ways to go minimal.
6. Rely on locally available resources
Be it any commodity, the locally available variants are always devoid of the additional charges of marketing (transportation, warehousing, etc.). Moreover, conveyance costs are cut off for local purchases.