5 Ways to Practice Sustainability in Your Every Day Life

The Earth is a majestic planet that is currently the only known planet to support life on a grand scale. In recent years, there has been an emphasis placed on living sustainably and doing our part in ensuring that the Earth maintains its health and beauty for many generations to come. With Earth Day on the horizon, here are five ways that you can reduce your footprint without having to alter your daily life. 

1. Reduce Energy Use

This may seem obvious, but reducing your daily energy use can go a long way in saving your wallet and the Earth. This can be done through a variety of ways, some we already know, and some that we've never considered before. Be sure to turn off lights and appliances when you aren't using them, install energy efficient lights and appliances and program your thermostat to lower the temperature when you're not home. If you're looking to REALLY cut down on the energy you use, you could hang your clothes outside instead of using a dryer, keep the heat low in the winter and bundle up (as well as doing the opposite during the summer) or use an electric tea kettle to boil water instead of a stovetop one. These are just a few ways you can help reduce your energy output in your everyday routine. 

2. Eat and Shop Locally

If you shop and eat locally, not only will you be supporting small business owners but you will also be reducing the fossil fuels used in transporting that food to you. It may be more convenient to go to your local supermarket, but in the long run, there are a lot more benefits to buying and eating locally than settling for convenience. 

3. Recycle

Reduce, reuse, and recycle is a mantra that has been engrained in our heads for years. However, it's true that doing those three things can go a long way in helping to sustain the Earth for many generations to come. This can be done easily and on a large scale. For more tricky items to recycle such as technological devices and glass, look in your local community for a recycling center that will take these things. Many places offer these services for free with your only obligation to bring the items to the recycling center! 

4. Resell and Donate Items

Donating and reselling items that you don't use is a great way to reduce your individual waste and give to someone who will actually use what you're trying to get rid of. This is also a great way to de-clutter your home and your life. If you donate to a nonprofit resale organization such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army or the American Cancer Society, they will redistribute them to those who are in need. By doing this, you can also get a nice tax deduction! 

5. Buy Fair-Trade Products 

A product is considered fair-trade when it is grown using sustainable methods of agriculture. This is a way to know for sure that you are doing your part in living sustainably. Items that are typically fair trade are coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, chocolate and fruit. If you buy a product without this certification, you have no idea if the product you're buying was grown using sustainable agricultural practices. 

Happy Earth Day!

Erin Gilmore is a Georgia native, born and raised in Forsyth County. Since 2015, she has been attending the best university in the south: UGA. She is a third year majoring in Risk Management and Insurance and Advertising (a unique combo right?!) She loves to learn new things and go on adventures with her friends. In her free time, she likes to hang out with her dogs, read and travel. She has a strong interest in law and hopes to one day become a corporate lawyer.

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