By Avery Owens |

Sustainability is a trending topic these days, as it should be. When a broad matter such as sustainability becomes a widely discussed subject, sometimes it is hard to digest how it impacts a single person. 

The reality is that many people have a difficult time grasping onto the idea that just one person can make a difference. Although this is somewhat true (just one person choosing to recycle won’t reverse global warming), creating a lifestyle that minimizes one’s ecological footprint starts a ripple effect. One person choosing to speak up and live a sustainable lifestyle can encourage those around them to do the same. 

So where do you begin? 

Living sustainably can start in small ways — it doesn’t have to begin with a dramatic life change (but if that works for you, go for it). The artist, Vincent Van Gogh, once said, “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”

Small steps are nonetheless steps in the right direction. For the last article in our sustainability series, we want to provide you with practical ways to live sustainably. Here’s a list of easy ways to begin:

  1. Swap out plastic straws with metal ones
  2. Anytime you can walk instead of drive, do it. 
  3. Take the stairs and not the elevator. 
  4. Take shorter showers. 
  5. Use a reusable water bottle. 
  6. Avoid fast fashion. Shop sustainable brands or thrift. 
  7. Eat less meat, or even consider a plant based diet
  8. Recycle what can be recycled. Know your city’s recycling policy and scheduled pick-up times.
  9. Don’t toss out old clothes. Donate them or give them to a friend. 
  10. Turn the lights off when you leave. 
  11. Use natural light when possible. 
  12. Drink tap water. Don’t trust your tap water? Buy a water filter
  13. Eat locally. 
  14. Buy your produce from your local farmers market. 
  15. Hang dry your clothes.
  16. Use cold water when washing your clothes. 
  17. Open your windows, instead of using the AC. 
  18. Use reusable grocery bags. 
  19. Use a bamboo toothbrush
  20. Stop using plastic zip-close bags and instead use a reusable alternative
  21. Bring your own coffee mug to a coffee shop.
  22. Take advantage of public transportation.
  23. Use towels instead of paper towels. 
  24. Turn off electronics when they’re not in use.
  25. Learn how to compost.

Start by trying one of these ideas today. Conscious choices turn into habits, and habits turn into lifestyles. Practicing sustainability is easier than it seems. All it takes is a step in the right direction. You’ve got this!