How to live sustainably

A while ago I read about a woman who tries to live as sustainably as possible. She hasn’t or hardly has bought anything new last year and this year she’s been eating more and more vegan.

She’d been using this website where you can find out how many planet earth’s her lifestyle is using. You must be thinking: Err, there’s only one earth..?
That’s why most people on this planet have been using earth’s resources from the future. Humans are taking more than they basically CAN take. By taking more I mean at least THREE earth’s more on average. Earth’s overshoot day is for most countries before summer has arrived, when it should be on December 31. It’s gonna take its toll from future generations. If you still want to put children on this planet, you should know that you’re most likely eating the food they’re never gonna eat and wearing the clothes they’re never gonna wear.
This woman uses 1.4 earth’s. It’s much less than what most Western people use, but it means she’s still using resources from her young son’s future. It’s very hard to NOT use more than earth can sustain in western countries. However, it IS possible, but you’ve got to have your back straight – your friends and family will somehow feel threatened that you are doing better than they are, they don’t want to give up the luxury things they don’t need, but in the back of their head they KNOW what they’re doing is wrong.
So I’ve filled out the website that woman used and we use 0.9 earth’s at this moment, since, well, we’ve been living at mum’s place constantly for over 6 months. When we would still use our old car, we used 1.6 earth’s. Our food footprint is 0.7 acres of agricultural land and our water footprint is 714 liters every day. Yes, this sounds like a ridiculous amount of water, but it’s VERY little compared to what most people use. There’s 0.9 acres of agricultural land for each world citizen and with water there’s 2740 liter available for each world citizen!

Can you believe YOU are probably using even more than what’s available for you…?

As you can see on the image pictured above, there’s only very little freshwater available for us all to drink and use. Most of the water on this planet is either salt seawater or fresh water tucked up in icecaps (for now… They’re melting… *insert cynical face here*). Most countries are using way more water than the annual 1240 cubical meter per person. It’s basically only the developing countries that use less, but this is only because we use too much: if we used less water, they simply would have had more. If we didn’t cause the climate crisis, the planet wouldn’t have been much warmer and there simply would be more water for everyone, more evenly divided.

We prefer using water for food and clothes that we don't need, rather than taking exactly what we need and only that. 

Animal products use much more water than plantbased foods, as shown above. The animals don’t only drink a lot of water, but the process to make actual burgers requires a lot of water as well and so does growing their food.
I don’t entirely recommend how they’ve pictured the water usage, for example, I would not recommend eating chicken instead of beef, but to eat fruits and veggies only. Now that’s gonna make a difference, since chickenmeat still requires a lot of water.

But eating a local burger, isn’t that much more sustainable than eating fruits that have been imported from all over the world?

No. Transport emissions are relatively small for most food items, accounting only for about 10% of all emissions. The same goes for packaging.

What can I do?

  • As you may have noticed by now, not consuming and using animals is the single biggest thing you can do to contribute to saving the climate from getting irreversibly damaged. Luckily, it’s very easy these days to switch from animal products to plantbased products. So if you’re considering this, it’s the way to go!
  • The second most important thing to do, or rather to not do, is to stop buying. You don’t need ten pairs of shoes and twenty pairs of shirts. You don’t need the newest of the newest gadgets. They won’t make you happier. If you really need something, see if you can get it secondhand or refurbished. If not, buy organic.
  • Thirdly, stop flying and going on cruise vacations. Your own country most likely has many things for you to discover and enjoy. If you want to go farther, you could go by train, maybe go on a cycling holiday or carpool with your friends.
This video of a friend of ours shows how traveling by train is easier and less expensive than you’d think.
  • Fourthly, use green energy. If you have the money, buy or rent solar panels, as they are the most sustainable and rewarding. We use wind energy.
  • Fifthly, wear a jumper indoors rather than using your central heater. We don’t use the heater at all, but if you insist, how about putting it on 15 degrees celsius rather than 20?
  • Sixthly, shower less often. I don’t shower anymore, like, at all. Don’t judge before you’ve even tried it yourself. Think about it, how unnatural is it to wash ourselves so excessively, every day, with chemicals…? Your body is perfectly capable of keeping itself clean. I only occasionally wash my pits and bits. My skin is extremely soft and I have no itches or a painful skin. I don’t smell of flowers, correct, but that doesn’t automatically mean I smell bad. If you insist on showering, replace your bottles of shampoo for a soap bar.
  • Seventhly, wash your clothes less often. You won’t smell as bad as you believe you do. You won’t smell of detergent, that’s true, but as with not showering, that doesn’t equal smelling bad. Hang your clothes by an open window if they don’t have stains. It will not only save water, but electricity as well as of course your clothes, since every time you wash them, they won’t become exactly more beautiful. Plus every time we do our laundry, an average of 9 million microfibers are released into wastewater treatment plants that cannot filter them. Because of that, these fibers end up in the ocean. Also, just by wearing synthetic clothes, plastic fibers are constantly being released in the air.
  • Eightly, use either reclycled toiletpaper or toiletpaper made out of bamboo.
  • Ninethly, one third of all food on this planet it THROWN AWAY. Wasted. One fucking third. 1/3. Thirtythree percent.

10 Ways to Fight Food Waste

  1. 1. Adopt a healthier, more sustainable diet – Eat platbased only. That way, our food doesn’t have to go to lifestock.
    2. Buy only what you need – Avoid impuls purchases
    3.  Pick ugly fruit and vegetables – Banana’s that arent in a bunch at the end of the day, will be thrown away!
    4. Store food wisely – Use airtight containers
    5. Understand food labelling – Know the difference between “best before” and “use by”
    6. Start small – Take multiple smaller portions
    7.  Love your leftovers – Freeze the leftovers or use them in another meal
    8. Put your food waste to use – Compost your food waste
    9. Respect food – Read about food production. Know the process that goes into growing it.
    10. Support local food producers – Reduce delivery distances
    11. Use less water – Don’t eat animal products, as you’ve read above.
    12. Keep our soils and water clean – Recycle. That way chemicles can’t seep into our soils and water supplies
    13. Eat more pulses and veggies – This one speaks for itself!
    14. Sharing is caring – Share your leftover food with family or neighbours!

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