Sustainable living is a philosophy and a way of life.
By being mindful of the impact of personal decisions on each other and the planet, we can create a less wasteful and more peaceful future.
Modern consumer society is not sustainable. The impact on the planet of constant growth and overuse of resources is destroying the earth’s ability to sustain human or any other form of life. If every person on the planet, especially those who live in Western consumer societies, adopted even a few sustainable practices, the planet’s resources will still exist for future generations.
One critical area in which our behavior is imperiling the planet is in our use of water. Fresh water is a finite resource. 69% of all the fresh water on the planet is trapped in glaciers and icecaps. Modern agricultural practices consume a huge proportion of all available fresh water. Even worse, modern farming practices like monoculture planting are themselves damaging to the air, soil, water and human health.
We can lessen our impact on the water supply by abandoning processed food, and by altering how we use water in our own homes. Simple changes in behavior such as not running the wash machine or dishwasher unless it is full can lower water use. By treating water as the precious scarce resource it is, the water supply will be protected.
Change Your Habits
Changing eating habits is another way in which we can live happier, healthier lives. The current American diet is based on corn. Nearly everything available in the supermarket has ingredients derived from corn. Modern corn is genetically modified and treated with massive doses of pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides to ensure huge yields.
These toxic chemicals are transferred to any creature that consumes the corn. Because corn is heavily subsidized, an overabundance of it is grown every year. Much of the surplus is turned into high fructose corn syrup, which contributes to obesity and related diseases.
By adopting a sustainable diet, we can increase our own physical and spiritual health. Modern society divorces us from any contact with the natural world. Food comes wrapped in plastic, and bleach-laden water flows from the tap.
However, human beings are not designed to live sedentary lives shut up inside climate-controlled buildings. We are built to exercise, eat fresh plants and drink pure water. We are adaptable creatures, so we’ve learned to survive in modern conditions. But deep in the human soul is a longing to live a more natural life, a life that uses but doesn’t use up the world’s resources.
Our ancestors even two or three generations ago lived sustainable lives. They lived in smaller dwellings and planted trees to provide shelter from the wind. They grew the food they ate, or purchased it from farmers in their local area. If something broke, it was repaired or put to another use.
There was very little waste in the past. When things are purchased with the sweat of one’s own brow or created with one’s own hands, the item is cherished and valued. In this same way, for our own good and that of future generations, we must learn to live a sustainable life. We’ll be healthier and happier by realizing we are part of the world rather than its owners.
This article was contributed to encourage and promote sustainable practices.