Sustainable Living for a Better Environment

Sustainable living has become an increasingly popular concept in recent years, as people become more aware of the impact that their daily actions have on the environment. At its core, sustainable living involves making choices that minimize the negative impact on the environment while still meeting our daily needs.

Seniors, in particular, have a unique opportunity to use their wisdom and experience to contribute to sustainable living efforts. Here are some ways you can help to promote sustainable living and contribute to a better environment for generations to come.

Water

As we age, some household chores become less demanding, such as doing laundry. Where you used to fill the washing machine to the brim with school clothes and sporting uniforms, now you can easily hand wash your clothes. Not only does this reduce water wastage, but it can also provide some added exercise to your day. Hand-washing can also be a gentler way to care for delicate fabrics, potentially extending the lifespan of your clothes and reducing the need for frequent replacements.

Another way to promote sustainable living is by upgrading your bathroom with a new water saving toilet and showerhead. These come in all sorts of designs to fit your style, and can significantly reduce water usage without sacrificing performance. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge, you can still make a difference by simply reducing your time in the shower. Aim for three minutes or less to conserve water and minimize your environmental impact.

Electricity

One simple and effective way to promote sustainable living is by making a few changes to your home’s lighting. By replacing old light bulbs with LED or CFL ones, you can save energy, reduce your electricity bill, and minimize your carbon footprint. It is also important to make sure that you turn off lights when you leave the room to avoid wasting electricity.

Living in Australia, we are also blessed  with beautiful weather almost year-round, so why not make use of natural light? By opening up blinds and windows, you can enjoy the sunshine and reduce the need to turn on electric lights. This can also help you skip using the dryer, with a clothesline or drying rack taking advantage of the natural heat.

With windows open, you can also cool down your home with a refreshing breeze, reducing the need for air conditioning. And in the cooler months, you can save electricity by adding layers to your wardrobe, which is both stylish and better for the environment.

Transport

Instead of sitting in traffic and struggling to find a parking spot, consider taking public transportation. This not only helps reduce your carbon footprint but also saves you money on car costs and allows you to meet other locals.

Another way to incorporate sustainable habits into your daily routine is by mixing in some  exercise with your daily errands. You can walk to the local convenience store for your weekly top-up, bike to your volunteer meetings, or opt for the stairs instead of the elevator at the shopping mall.

Recycle

The older generations have long been champions of sustainable living, practising the principles of reducing, reusing, and recycling well before they became popular. To get back in touch with these values, consider replaying your favourite outfits instead of buying new ones. You could even take it a step further and try thrifting for unique and vintage finds.

Save containers and jugs for storage or gardening purposes instead of throwing them away. And next time you go grocery shopping, remember to bring some reusable cotton bags instead of using plastic ones.

Paper

The widespread use of the internet and email has made it easier than ever for companies to reduce their reliance on printing and paper goods. As a consumer, you can also do your part to promote sustainable practices by requesting digital bills and email receipts from your suppliers.

Living Options

Choosing a sustainable living option can have a positive impact on the environment. As an older Australian, you have the flexibility to choose where you live based on your unique needs and preferences. Consider exploring options like renting with others in a senior share house, living in a generational home with family, joining a retirement village, or even downsizing to a smaller, more efficient living space.

By carefully assessing your needs and actively using the space you have, you can make a conscious decision that’s not only better for the environment but also better suited to the next stage of your life.

Overall, sustainable living is not only important for the environment, but it can also help us to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. There are countless ways in which older Australians can make a positive impact on the environment, and, by incorporating some of these sustainable living practices into our daily routines, we can create a brighter, more sustainable future for ourselves and future generations to come.

Michelle Sommerville

O50s
Australian Over 50s Living & Lifestyle Guide

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