By: Katie Brenneman
Sustainable living makes a measurable difference in society. Changing your habits and becoming committed to sustainability limits the number of toxins released into the environment and reduces your carbon footprint. People benefit by focusing on choosing a sustainable lifestyle, as everyone lives in a healthier, cleaner world.
You can find ways to green your daily routines and positively impact the environment by combining the power of technology and nature. Let’s explore ways that you can change the world today.
Technology and Daily Habits
Technology already dominates our daily habits, but you can take a few extra steps to use that technology for good. Consider the following ways to use technology to make your home more sustainable:
Smart Home Devices
You can begin making a sustainable difference right from home. Consider making your house a smart home using everyday devices with technological components that conserve energy. For example, many appliances are now internet-enabled, allowing you to control everything from your thermostat to light bulbs to refrigerators. While these upgrades are convenient, they are also sustainable.
A smart thermostat is one of the best ways to conserve home energy. These devices can “learn” your daily routine and automatically adjust the temperature when no one is home. You can also use an app to control your home temperature from anywhere. Simply programming the thermostat in advance and letting it understand your habits minimizes wasted energy.
The same goes for smart lighting that ensures lights are not on in your home unless needed. A 2023 Statista study shows that 63.43 million American households actively use smart home devices, so this sustainable step is quickly becoming an easy way to make a sustainable difference.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional cars that run on gasoline. The EV motor has a simple design and runs on lithium-ion batteries that you must occasionally recharge. Because EVs don’t emit CO2 emissions, no fuel is burned, which improves your carbon footprint. EVs also have fewer moving parts than gas vehicles and cost less in repairs over ten years and 150,000 miles, so driving green helps the world and saves you money.
Electric cars still rely on electricity, but there are more options to obtain that energy from non-fossil fuel sources, such as wind, nuclear, and solar power. The Environmental Protection Agency notes that even with electric emissions from charging, the EV has a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline cars.
Another way to green your transportation routine is by using car-sharing apps. Car-sharing involves renting a car for a short period; often, a car owner “rents” their vehicle to customers or guests. These popular peer-to-peer sharing programs result in fewer cars on the road, reducing carbon footprints and decreasing greenhouse emissions. Car-sharing allows you to green your commute and make a difference in the environment.
Renewable Energy Options
Many people who want to live eco-friendly lives choose to invest in solar power for their homes. Solar, like wind, is a sustainable and reliable form of energy that saves homeowners money on electric costs and increases property values. Consider installing solar panels in your home and feel good about saving money while saving the environment.
Other tech-based ways to green your routine include using smart apps to monitor the energy usage in your home and sustainable online shopping. Purchasing from merchants who use sustainable and ethical products and recycled materials and packaging makes a difference in eliminating carbon footprints over time.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is also taking a supporting role in sustainable solutions to computing problems. AI and cloud-based solutions can help you or your business identify inefficiencies in energy systems or monitor the use of high energy levels and adjust accordingly.
AI is vital to reducing overall emissions in companies through predictive maintenance. This process identifies where a machine may need repairs before damage occurs. AI, for accounting purposes, helps businesses stay aware of their total emissions level and can build a program for reducing a company’s overall emissions.
There are also nature-based solutions to making sustainable changes in your life. Urban gardens or farms are places where food is grown within a city environment. Vacant lots, rooftops, and walls serve as gardens for city dwellers to experience growing food and promoting sustainable agriculture. Along with combating climate change, urban gardens address resource scarcity in cities.
Growing your food is good for the environment because it reduces plastic, pesticide, and food waste, which all contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. You become connected to what you eat and more mindful of its healthy values. An urban garden reduces your carbon footprint and traps carbon dioxide in the soil.
Combatting Natural Disasters
As climate change continues, the world experiences more natural disasters at higher destructive rates. Environmental sustainability is a critical aspect of reducing the risk of these disasters. Nature-based solutions to these events are viable options with multiple benefits and cost savings.
Forest management is one way to address damage from wildfires and flooding. Well-managed forests can reduce the impacts of natural disasters during and after the event. Environmental education, sustainable forest management, and land use policies help forests become a natural barrier against catastrophe.
What you eat also impacts the environment, and many processed foods leave behind large carbon footprints. Ultra-processed foods (UPF) dominate supermarket shelves and are unhealthy diet choices for people as they can contribute to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular issues. Moreover, UPFs are made with industrial processing methods and plastic packaging, contributing heavily to deforestation and substantial greenhouse gas emissions.
A plant-based diet is a sustainable means to reduce and offset the carbon emissions from the dairy and meat industries. The Stanford Report found that if each American chose to eat meat- and dairy-free once a week, it would be the equivalent of removing 7.6 million cars off the road. A plant-based diet also conserves water and reduces methane emissions associated with the meat and dairy industry.
Green Your Daily Life
Realistic sustainability changes in life should focus on small daily changes you can make to reduce waste and energy. These suggestions are practical steps everyone can take to contribute to a healthier, cleaner, more sustainable life. There’s no need to go to extremes to make these changes; instead, focus on doing a little better with sustainability today than you did yesterday.
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in business management, tech innovations, education, and sustainability-related content.