Changing Your Footprint: A Guide to Sustainable Living Table of Contents
Changing Your Footprint: A Guide to Sustainable Living is a series consisting of 5 parts.
- Changing Your Footprint: A Guide to Sustainable Living, Pt. 1
- Changing Your Footprint: A Guide to Sustainable Living, Pt. 2
- Changing Your Footprint: A Guide to Sustainable Living, Pt. 3
- Changing Your Footprint: A Guide to Sustainable Living, Pt. 4
- Changing Your Footprint: A Guide to Sustainable Living, Pt. 5
With the world population steadily increasing, the demand for precious resources is rising too. Every life is precious, no doubt, but we must realize that our planet can only support so many. That’s why the people already here must work at conserving our resources as well as creating innovations that better use our resources.
Let’s apply these two tenets to our daily lives and when we interact with our precious resources.
With only 2 percent of the world’s water being fresh and everyone needing it, it’s hard to overstate the importance of water. Most of this fresh water is also in the form of glaciers or ice, making extraction difficult. Not surprisingly, the huge demand for water has sparked uprisings and unrest before. In the United States and other developed countries, rising against the government for water may seem like a last ditch resort, but for many others it is the only option.
That’s why it’s critical that we take a conservative stance on our water use. Here are just a few ideas to seriously curb your use:
- Ditch your lawn. Go with something indigenous and that requires little water.
- Fix all your leaks and set all your timers. Essentially, make sure water is only running when you want it to.
- Wash your car in the early morning or evening to avoid wasting water from heat evaporation.
- Make a routine with conservation in mind: 5 minute showers, no running water while brushing, don’t flush all the time.
If one were to implement a list like this, they would be savings tons of water every day, which adds up quick.
Although it isn’t something we ‘mine’ or ‘drill for’ per se, electricity is still one of our most valuable resources. (Plus, electricity is partly generated through the burning of fossil fuels.) Indeed, nearly everything we do in life requires electricity, and if we all want to continue to use our TVs, computers, and phones, then we better we wise with how we use it.
Practice these simple tips to reduce your use with electricity:
- Lights! Keep your lights off whenever possible. And the same goes for the TV, ceiling fan, or anything else.
- Change your bulbs and consider DC power.
- Paint your roof white – the reflected heats means less AC is needed.
- Insulate and Isolate. Make sure your home holds the temperature and only cool the rooms you want.
Like water, these few simple tips implemented in tandem can means lots of saving over the year.
In our final category, natural resources – namely land and food – are of special focus. At the root of the problem, we see that ever increasing demand in food requires an ever increasing use of land for that food. That means clearing forests, polluting the water, and raising cattle or crops. We must be especially careful with this as we begin to feel the effects of the world having little forests.
Although the problem is systemic, here are a few easy things you can do to promote wise resource use:
- Demand organic farming. It requires less chemical use, provides enough food, and is better on the land overall.
- Don’t eat meat 3 days out of the week. If you do, buy free-range, grass fed beef. Cattle farms like this are much better than huge industrial farms who feed their cattle corn in a dirt lot.
- Grow your own food. This decreases demand for more land used for farming.
- Start a tree farm or plant a tree. Let’s face it – we’ve got to replenish the world!
As we can see, changing the demand is as easy as changing your diet, or at least being aware of what’s going on with it. Practice sustainability and practice all of these tips!