Sustainable living may seem a rather elusive term, associated with radical lifestyle changes such as living in a burlap sack or never using paper again. I assure you; this is a myth and not what sustainable living is about. If you are new to the concept, or simply want some clarification of the reasons to live ‘sustainably’, then read on. I’m sure by the end its benefits will compel you to think about adopting responsible trade and less environmental destruction are key to lifting much of the global south out of poverty and into a better standard of living.
1. We need to support a growing population:
Increasing population density inevitably means higher demands for natural resources such as oil and energy. In order to ensure our future families have a high quality of life, we need to halt unsustainable resource consumption and lay the foundations for a world without scarcity.
2. Protect endangered wildlife:
It would be heart-breaking to see so many weird and wonderful species – from polar bears and sea turtles to bees and tree frogs – to be extinguished from nature. Wildlife cannot fight deforestation or melting polar ice caps, so it is up to us to take up the mantle and preserve nature’s rich diversity.
3. Our future health and wellbeing:
With increasing pollutants in the atmosphere, water and soil, remaining healthy may become a serious challenge in years to come. Toxins and poisons have no place in the natural world and whilst it may seem far-off, human health will eventually bear the brunt of damaging the earth. The less contaminated our food, water and air is, the better of we will all be!
4. Keeping our homes and towns afloat:
An adverse effect of climate change is that sea levels are rising due to melting polar ice shelfs. A few cm may seem trivial, but if we don’t endeavour to make a lifestyle shift soon, our coastal towns and villages could – quite literally – be wiped off the map. Remember your ice-cream laden trips to the beach as a child, which was spent swimming, rock pooling or crab fishing? I am sure those are idyllic memories, so even the destruction of sea towns doesn’t directly impact you; I am sure your future (or present) mini yous will want to share the same blissful memories.
5. Extreme weather:
Once again, climate change (global warming) has its hand in increasing the intensity and frequency of storms and extreme weather events. Hurricane and monsoon seasons will become more protracted and deadly; whilst closer to home, flooding and drought will take its toll. It goes without saying that humans and vulnerable wildlife are better off without such turbulence, so being sustainable is the kindest solution.
6. Destruction of unique biomes:
Rainforests, coral reefs, tundras, forests and grasslands are just a few of the biomes under threat from resource exploitation. One cannot overstate the importance of these ecologically diverse systems, which provide sanctuary and support for wildlife and people. Running roughshod over these natural treasures (often through deforestation, pollution or fracking) cannot go on, so if you ever dream of visiting the Amazon or diving in the Great barrier reef, get your sustainable thinking cap on!
You are probably wondering how can I help? Well the answer is simple: reduce, reuse, recycle may be an old and cliched mantra, but really engaging with this method will yield such positive results for the planet. Some easy first steps such as conserving water in the garden through water butts, reducing your use of plastic (or replacing it altogether with sustainable alternatives), lowering your meat consumption and recycling household waste are great places to start.
If you are more familiar with an eco-friendly lifestyle, then you can try upgrading your lifestyle to incorporate renewable energy use in place of fossil fuels – e.g. powering your home through solar or hydroelectric power – and only buying Fairtrade/Ecolabelled groceries.
If this seems daunting do not be put off! Sustainable living only requires a few minor adaptations here and there, so test the waters by starting small and steadily working your way up.
The truth is, there is no end to the benefits of sustainable living: it is the gift that will keep on giving if only we give it a chance! We hope you feel readily motivated to begin making alterations to your daily activities in the knowledge that you can do a world of good. A sprinkling of an eco-friendly attitude combined with the gumption to welcome change is all you need!
Follow the links below to find out more about sustainable living. A healthy planet may seem an insurmountable goal, but don’t fear, if we work towards change collectively, we can conserve nature’s infinite beauty and future generations can enjoy tranquil woodland walks for centuries to come!
In terms of sustainable engagement and wedding rings, Eco Wood Rings offer many design possibilities for ethical jewellery that is affordable and ethical. From an engagement ring made from wood that you provide, to a wedding ring made from recycled metals and other materials, we always go above and beyond to make sure that your choice sits well with you and the intended wearer.
If you’ve already got a good idea of what you want then fill in our design enquiry form and we can start the conversation about making your dreams a reality. If you need a little more help to get the creative juices flowing, then visit our guide on 'designing your eco wood ring'.
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