Climate action starts at home, at the very core of our everyday habits. The routines we take for granted, from how we dress to what we eat, where we work, and even how we sleep, have profound impacts on our environment. As we strive to reduce our carbon footprint and achieve a sustainable lifestyle, it's essential to delve deeper into these practices and understand how they contribute to the global environmental crisis.
As research shows, it takes about 90 days to form a habit. Let's use this knowledge to create sustainable habits across various sectors of our lives, taking climate action down to the bare bones of our daily routines.
Clothing is an integral part of our identity, but the fashion industry is one of the top polluters globally. It contributes to 10% of humanity's carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams. To truly embrace climate action, we must start by re-evaluating our wardrobe choices.
90-Day Challenge: For the next three months, commit to not purchasing any new clothes. Instead, explore thrift stores, swap clothes with friends, mend your current ones, or if you must buy new, support sustainable zero waste brands like Nudnik. This simple change can make a significant impact.
Expert to Follow: Aja Barber (@ajabarber) is a writer and fashion consultant who passionately advocates for ethical fashion and sustainable living. She offers valuable insights into making conscious fashion choices on her social media platforms.
Sustainable Eating Habits
Our food choices are another core aspect of daily life that impacts the environment. The food sector accounts for around 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions. A major contributor to this figure is the meat and dairy industry. By shifting towards plant-based diets, we can significantly reduce this impact.
90-Day Challenge: Try incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet. Start with one meal a day and gradually increase.
Expert to Follow: Max La Manna (@maxlamanna), a zero-waste chef, provides ample plant-based recipes and tips on reducing food waste on his Instagram page.
Our workplaces, where we spend a significant portion of our day, can be hotspots for waste, from disposable coffee cups to excessive paper use. In the U.S., paper waste represents the largest part of solid waste in landfills, with over 26 million tons discarded in 2018.
90-Day Challenge: Strive to create a zero-waste workspace. Bring your own coffee cup and water bottle, go paperless wherever possible, and recycle unavoidable waste.
Expert to Follow: Kathryn Kellogg (@going.zero.waste) offers practical advice on reducing waste at work and in other areas of life.
Even the way we sleep can be made more sustainable. Electronics left plugged in, known as phantom energy, can account for up to 10% of your home's energy use.
90-Day Challenge: Unplug electronics in your bedroom at night to save energy and create a serene sleeping environment.
Expert to Follow: Melissa Maker (@melissamaker), the host of Clean My Space, provides tips on eco-friendly cleaning and creating a sustainable sleep environment.
In conclusion, every action counts when it comes to climate action. Our daily routines might seem insignificant individually, but collectively, they form the building blocks of a sustainable lifestyle. By focusing on sustainability and making small changes to our everyday practices, we can contribute significantly to a healthier planet. Climate action starts with us, in our homes, in our routines, at the core of what we do every day.