Our life and survival are dependent on the various natural resources that we have been blessed with. As per UN findings, in recent years, resource extraction has more than tripled, with a 45% increase in fossil fuel use since 1970¹. The same study also points out that if the global population were to grow as predicted, i.e. reaching 9.6 billion by 2050, we could require the equivalent of almost three planets to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles.
This is a clear sign that our lifestyle is leading to over-exploitation of these very resources that sustain life. The prevalent environmental degradation is leading to situations that are difficult to manage in the form of extreme temperatures, global warming and climate change. Climate change is a global issue that will impact every life in one way or the other. The response to climate change, through mitigation and adaptation, interferes with sustainable development.
Our daily lifestyle and the choices we make need to be more sustainable. As the famous saying goes “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”. It means that we have to leave the planet in a state that the future generations can meet their needs. So it is our collective responsibility to protect and save our common home – Earth.
Small actions and changes that we can adopt in our daily lives to reduce the impact on the environment are known as sustainable lifestyles. It is an attempt to reduce our dependencies on natural resources as much as possible thereby reducing our overall carbon footprint. Some actions that we can take up and inspire others to follow are:
- Switch to LED lamps and energy-efficient 5-star rated appliances
- Switch to renewable energy or non-fossil fuel-based energy sources
- Use rechargeable batteries
- Unplug electrical appliances when not in use
- Use public transport whenever possible
- Avoid using single-use plastics
- Carry your own bag for shopping
- Use a refillable bottle
- Waste segregation at source
- Following the principles of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Upcycle
- Food – opt for local and seasonal produce as much as possible and reduce food waste
- Consume more plant-based food
- Composting organic waste
- Natural cleaners for home and office
- Opt for used items (second-hand) – fashion, furniture, other goods etc.,
We often need to remind ourselves that there is “No Planet B”, and work towards finding ways to use resources more sustainably without impacting the environment negatively.