It only takes repeating something 21 times for it to become a habit. Imagine if everyone around the world repeated just one action each day that helped the environment? Over time, these small changes could become habits and effect positive change.
This is a blueprint for a day in the life of someone living more sustainably, and it begins just like everyone else’s day: by simply waking up.
After breakfast, you would put any leftover food in the composter. Just by composting your food, you are helping reduce the 1.3 billion tons of food thrown away each year, according to The New York Times. Composters eventually create soil, which can be used in a garden or around plants in one’s yard.
After eating, you brush your teeth with a wooden toothbrush to help reduce your plastic waste. If possible, you walk, bike, carpool, or take public transportation to school or work. When it’s time for lunch, you bring reusable containers and bags instead of paper and plastic bags. You also bring reusable utensils instead of throwing away single-use plastic ones. If you have to use or buy something that is single-use plastic, make sure to recycle it.
Once school is over, you might stop by a coffee shop with your reusable cup – oftentimes, they will give you a discount for using one. You also try not to use plastic straws and bring your own reusable one instead. When you go to the store, you bring a reusable bag to avoid the five-cent tax and help the environment.
When you go clothes shopping, try to buy clothes that will last a long time so you don’t contribute to fast fashion. When you no longer want your clothes, make sure they are reused by giving them away or placing them in donation boxes that recycle fabrics. You are conscious about what you purchase, because you know it takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt, equivalent to one person’s water consumption over two and a half years, according to the World Resources Institute.
Once the day is over, you take a shower in a reasonable amount of time. This is because you know that “for a standard shower head, every minute wasted equates to 2.5 gallons of water,” according to The Washington Post. One way to be aware of how much time you spend in the shower is to set a timer or stopwatch.
Living every day more sustainably is not difficult – it just requires a little bit more thought and time. Overall, the big ideas are to follow are those on each recycling bin: reduce, reuse, and recycle.