Ways that people can go about applying sustainable technology to their lives are sustainable practices. Using the principles related to sustainable design and development, practices are applied to the lives and habits of individuals, companies, and communities. Such practices include conservation, reuse/recycling, waste reduction, and use of sustainable materials.
One of the first and easiest steps toward a sustainable earth is a lifestyle that embraces the concepts of conserving and reducing. Using less of the planet’s precious natural resources is a great start. Shorter showers, lower wattage light bulbs, or limiting paper waste are simple ways that households or businesses can limit waste. In addition, these types of conservation also save money for individuals and companies as they have to pay for fewer resources. This also applies to saving fuel costs by walking or biking to work, as well as sharing public transport.
Reuse and Recycling
Managing waste is a vital part of living a sustainable lifestyle. Re-using items again and again is a first step toward minimizing the negative impact of humans on the earth. For instance, re-usable shopping bags are much better for the environment than one-time use bags which simply end up in a landfill. Items that cannot be reused can almost always be recycled. Plastics, glass, metals, papers, and various other packages for consumables can be recycled into other useful products for a fraction of the cost that it takes to make new products, without using up more precious natural resources such as aluminum or trees.
This reduction in waste also keeps the landfills from filling up as quickly. Landfills are dangerous because of the harmful gasses which are released as the trash in the landfills decomposes. These gasses are harmful to humans, animals, plants, and just generally the environment. Using materials which are able to be recycled or reused is a giant step toward reducing waste. Minimizing the amount of waste will help keep the landfills from growing even as the population continues to grow and the environment is affected.
Sustainable Materials and Energy
Ultimately, the uses of natural resources which minimize the impact of humans on the environment are the best. In addition, sustainable materials will be derived from resources which are able to be renewed, meaning either grown quickly or replaced easily, should be the first choice in materials and fuels. This includes energy which is derived from sources such as wind or solar power rather than fossil fuels, or building materials derived from plants which are easily replaceable such as bamboo. In addition, using local resources which require little transportation helps to limit the amount of energy wasted in getting the items to the place where they will be used.
In general, sustainable practices such as making it easier to recycle, or walking rather than driving, will go far in making the environment more sustainable. Applying these sustainable habits will lessen the negative effects on the environment and society today while leaving plenty of resources available to future generations.