Sustainable Living 101
Sustainable living has gained an incredible amount of momentum in recent years — and for good reason! Whether making an environmental impact by improving sustainability in the workplace or at home, you can make a difference. Sustainable living calls for thoughtful consumption and action by reducing one’s impact on Earth’s natural resources.
The actual definition of sustainability is “the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.”
If you’re looking for ways to make changes to your daily routine and become more environmentally conscious, read on! As a sustainable full-service organic catering business, we’ve got you covered on all things sustainability. We’ll go over some simple basics of sustainable living and also dive deeper into some creative environmental sustainability tips, too.
As with all things, small changes that you implement into your day-to-day routine can make a big difference in living an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Recycling is one of the fundamental parts of how to practice sustainability. If you’re interested in sustainable living, you’re most likely already recycling. Take it a step further and do the research before you throw something out. You might be surprised to hear that you can recycle everything from bicycles to carpet to crayons.
Say Farewell to Plastic
Plastic seems to be everywhere, though finding creative ways to cut it out can be fun. A good starting point is to ditch the plastic bags when you go grocery shopping and bring reusable shopping bags instead. Alternatively, you can also use mason jars to fill up your bulk items like rice, dried beans, and oats. A more obvious choice, but incredibly crucial, is to say goodbye to plastic water bottles and make a small investment for a reusable one.
Whether you’re purchasing food or clothes, buying local supports your community and the people behind the products. It also means that these products you’re purchasing haven’t called for lots of transportation to get them to you. Plus, we like to think a product delivered by bike messenger is a bit more charming than a product delivered by a semi-truck.
Use Eco-Friendly Products
Using eco-friendly products is one of our favorite sustainable living ideas. From green cleaning products that are natural and organic and good for wiping up kitchen spills, to cosmetic items that are made and packaged with natural ingredients, there is a wide variety of exciting products to help you practice sustainability.
Whether you’re using LED lights at home or making a conscious effort to turn the lights off when you leave the room, conserving energy and using renewable energy sources is one of the fundamentals of sustainable living. Strive to unplug electronics when they’re not in use, enjoy the fresh air and natural light (as opposed to using the air conditioner and artificial light) and purchase energy-efficient appliances. Investing in solar is a big step in sustainable development, but an amazing step to take, too.
Sustainable food itself refers to plant and animal products that protect the environment, the land and the farmers. When we eat natural foods, we steer away from processed foods that create pollution and promote synthetic pesticides. Eating sustainably also means that chemicals or seeds have not been genetically modified, which protects ecosystems and encourages biodiversity. It also means that animals are protected along with all those who work within the food system — like fisherman and coffee growers.
Don’t Waste Food
An important part of eating sustainably is to not waste food. A good rule of thumb is to shop often rather than buy in bulk. Visit your farmers’ market a couple of times a week and base your meals around the freshest ingredients — like strawberries that are in peak ripeness or juicy, sweet tomatoes. Eating seasonally and locally with food from farmers markets helps to support farmers in the area and keeps you excited about the nutritious food you’re putting in your body.
Walk, Bike, or Take Public Transit
When you have the opportunity, bike, walk or take public transit. Not only will biking or walking reduce your carbon footprint, but it will help you feel good, too! Being in the fresh outdoor air is invigorating, more so than being stuck in traffic. Public transportation offers a wonderful way to catch up on emails on the way to work or to sink into a good book on the way home.
Another good way to go for transportation is carpooling. Make a map with your coworkers, teammates or friends and draw out a carpooling plan. Carpooling reduces the number of cars on the road, but it also is a good way to connect and enjoy each other.
What Are The Benefits of Sustainable Living?
Sustainable living encourages the promotion of local food, products, and community. It reduces environmental impacts and allows us to slow down and be conscious of how we’re living. From our attitudes towards waste to our choices in transportation, we each play a pivotal role in sustainable living and its impact.
How Do We Live Sustainably at Eco Caters?
At Eco Caters, we design custom menus around our guests’ personal tastes, budgets, and traditions. We use certified organic ingredients that are grown in California and throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Our team of creative chefs utilizes products that are season and pride themselves on serving sustainable seafood and fresh ingredients across a variety of cuisines. Above all, we aim to highlight textures, flavors, and colors of food that showcase their natural beauty. We understand that practicing sustainability in the food industry incorporates the growing, plating, serving and eating of that food.
Whether you’re just beginning to learn how to practice sustainability or are already an avid sustainable living advocate, we hope these tips on ways to live sustainably have inspired you to waste last, upcycle more, shop local and bike, walk or transit when possible!
Have any favorite sustainable living ideas you like to follow? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below. At Eco Caters, we love when our communities work together to share their passion for the land and its bounty of incredible ingredients.