Despite the pandemic, there are many ways to adopt a sustainable lifestyle - and adopting even one can both impact your lives and fight the climate crisis
According to a study, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shape our consumption and lifestyle behaviours around the world. This, in other words, translates to a major culture shift in the way we eat, dress, shop, and live. 58% of adults across 24 countries are more mindful of their impact on the environment, and 85% said they’re willing to take personal action to combat environmental challenges. That's good news in the world of sustainability, where I've always stated that "sustainability is a team effort".
In 2017, the sustainable development industry saw a boost, with 20 leading global banks and investors worth a whopping $6.6 billion having pledged to become more conscious of their investments, launching the Principles for Positive Impact Finance, a framework they hope will ensure sustainable development.
Whilst you may not have a portfolio quite as large, you need to remember that you too can do your bit to be part of the sustainable development movement, because after all, sustainability starts at home — and at any budget.
Despite the pandemic, the trend has rather solidified as opposed to expecting to wane with "the great greenwash". For example, with mass consumption and linear economic growth models no longer viable in a changing global climate, consumers are putting pressure on major banks. Planting trees for new accounts and swiping credit cards made with recycled plastics are not acceptable anymore. The focus has shifted to the lending focus of the bank. The new question is: where are they investing and what real, measurable impact is that creating (if any)?
Similarly, consumers don't want to live "life as usual", anymore. They want to become more conscious citizens, given that the pandemic has forced us to realize the true value of reconnecting with nature while reassessing our values in terms of prioritizing work-life balance and our mental health resilience. This focus on our interactions with nature and what impact we can create through our choices will define 2022.
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Here are four ways you can make a difference in 2022 by adopting a sustainable lifestyle:
A lot of households have already established a good foundation for becoming more sustainable, recycling, low-wattage bulbs, and electricity timers aren’t strangers to the average household, and can easily be built upon.
For example, starting your own garden, composting, and investing in a worm farm are all options that work together and easily pay themselves off. Composting and worm farms both produce high-quality fertilizer from food scraps and household biodegradable materials, which in turn can power your garden to help grow some quality produce. Such a system won’t put you out of pocket and is easy enough to handle that a kindergartener can do it.
You can slowly upgrade your garden project, making living off the land a possibility, reducing your dependence on processed foods and waste whilst improving your carbon footprint and health.
Other larger and more expensive options, are oftentimes not only going to make you more sustainable but also reduce financial burden.
Solar and other renewables are viable options that are already well established within new developments worldwide, and can easily supply all of your electricity needs.
However, you need to ensure that you are located in an area that is able to produce enough energy, and if you intend to add a system, that all your paperwork is properly filed with your local council.
Another option that could prove to be cheap or quite expensive depending on your situation involves transportation.
Reverting to public transport, carpooling, walking, or riding a bike to get from point A to point B are some of the cheaper options available to you.
Alternatively, upgrading your vehicle to a more fuel-efficient model, investing in a hybrid, or outright buying a fully electric car can prove costly but are worth it from a sustainable and financial point of view.
4. Getting Involved
Of course, joining a forum or group of people with similar ideas and projects can help you on your goal to become more sustainable. Get involved!
Your local community abounds of sustainable opportunities that you sometimes never even considered or thought existed.
There isn’t one path to becoming more sustainable and reducing your carbon footprint, so the best way to find something that works for you is to go out and explore.
These are just a few possible ways to adopt a sustainable lifestyle and promote a sustainable world. However, adopting even one option can have a significant impact on global sustainable development. Choose yours and play your part.