The integration of sustainable practices into everyday life is an important first step towards a sustainable future. It can also be a simple step. This blog post will assist in providing information about small sustainable changes that can make a large impact. Sustainability, in simple terms, is a practice to maintain our current environments, ecosystems and resources for our future generations to enjoy. “Transition toward sustainable society requires behavior change,” (Salonen and Ahlberg, 2011) The most common behavior change, and usually the most convenient, is recycling. There are many resources, including this website, that supply location information for recycle centers,. “According to EPA, in 2014 alone, about 258 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) were generated in the United States. Around 34.6 percent of that amount which is over 89 million tons were recycled and composted. Around 136 million tons (52.6 percent) and 33 million tons of the remaining amount were sent to the landfill and incinerated, respectively. In 2014, 66.4 million tons of MSW were recycled, a total just over one-quarter of total MSW,” (LeBlanc, 2017). These statistics show that many Americans are currently utilizing some kind of recycle program, but there are also many more that need to incorporate the practice.
In addition to recycling, there are quite a few behavior changes that are easily integrated into everyday life. The following are common sustainable choices in addition to recycling: changing conventional light bulbs to LED bulbs, the reduction of water usage, carpooling when possible and shopping local vendors. According to energy.gov, LED bulbs “typically use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents.” They provide you with a savings of energy and also a savings of money. In regards to reducing water usage, there are a few small changes that can be made. Turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth and washing your hands can make a big difference. According to care2.com, “the average American household uses 400 gallons of water per day!” Our overuse of water in addition to climate changes are adding to our future droughts. The last two suggestions can assist in the reduction of pollution. Carpooling with a coworker or riding a bike to work or while shopping reduces the amount of pollution in our air. In addition, shopping locally can cut down on the pollution created by vehicle transporting goods. By shopping locally, there is a reduction in the distance our goods are required to travel, hence reducing the level of pollution.
Have you integrated sustainable practices in your life? Do you have any suggestions to add? Share your tips and tricks of sustainable practices.
Salonen, Arto and Ahlberg, Mauri, Sustainability in Everyday Life, 2011 http://www.metropolia.fi/fileadmin/user_upload/uutiset/ArtoSalonenArtikkeli2.pdf
LeBlanc, Rick, Recycling Facts and Figures, 2017
Plastic_bundles by JMacPherson
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