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You’re busy and there never seems to be enough time for anything. So while you know that it’s important to make your life more sustainable for the sake of the environment, adding more sustainability into your life can seem like a daunting, time consuming and financially difficult thing to do.

But adding sustainability into your life need not be a massive hardship, as there are many small things you can do to make sustainability part of your daily life. And many small things eventually add up to a big difference, particularly when you get a lot of people doing a lot of small, sustainable acts.

If you’re game to start working on it today, here are some simple tips you can use to get your sustainability quest off to a flying start.

Recycle

This is the most basic of sustainability activities, and if you’re not doing it already, start today. Recycling is becoming mandatory in many jurisdictions now and difficult to avoid in others due to the increased cost of garbage disposal being charged to citizens by local governments. Recycling things like paper, cans and bottles is relatively easy, but recycling batteries, electronics and used chemicals can be more difficult – but is incredibly important. The latter poison the environment if put into landfills and also waste precious resources that could be re-used.

Use less (and cleaner) energy

Using less energy is another incredibly simple way to increase the sustainability of your life. Cutting back your energy usage is as simple as replacing your incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs and only using them when necessary, unplugging your appliances when they’re not in use or turning down the air conditioner a notch on a hot summer day. If you currently use petroleum-based energy sources like an oil or gas burning furnace, consider switching to electric heat to cut back your greenhouse gas emissions.Sustainability in daily life

Cut back your meat consumption

The majority of meat most Americans eat comes from large scale factory farms that not only use vast amounts of petroleum energy to power them and farmland to grown grain to support them, but also produce unhealthy, fatty meats filled with chemicals, hormones and antibiotics. Boost your sustainability efforts by either reducing your meat consumption or switching to grass fed, free range animals and preferably organic if possible.

Drive less

Taking the bus equals sustainability. If you have access to public transit, consider leaving your car at home and making use of it. It can be less convenient for sure, but you’ll be helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and riding public transit is a great chance to people watch and relax instead of sitting in your car stressing out at the traffic. If you think a hybrid car is a compromise, consider that hybrids still burn gas and also factor in the fossil fuels used to assemble the materials, build the car and ship it to the dealer.

Conserve water

Water is the essence of life on Earth and becoming an increasingly scarce resource.  The average American uses about 45 gallons of water per day, much of which goes down the toilet or the drain. You can increase your water sustainability with simple acts like fixing dripping taps, flushing your toilet less and running your taps for less time. More advanced water saving techniques include: installing low flow toilets, shower heads and taps in your home; using a water catchment barrel to collect rainwater to water your garden and purchasing appliances that use less water.

Say goodbye to bottled water

Bottled water not only adds thousands of pounds of plastic waste to the environment every year, but also costs more than gasoline to buy and is not regulated as rigorously as the water that comes from your tap. It doesn’t support sustainability practices and is generally bad stuff. If you’re concerned about the quality of your tap water, buy a filtering system or a filter jug for your fridge and use a glass or stainless steel bottle to take it with you when you head out.

Sustainability is simple

As you can see, adding more sustainability to your everyday life doesn’t have to be a huge hardship. It just takes a will to do it and a bit of effort on your part to make it happen. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!

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This article was written by Jeremy Hall, who is an environmentalist interested in sustainability and making resources last for generations to come.

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