After the recent COP26 meeting revealed that human influence has continued to warm the planet, experts have begun to work harder than ever towards creating a sustainable future.
As current emission levels point towards a 4-5 degrees Celsius increase in global planet temperature by the end of the century, it has never been more important to adopt sustainable living habits and contribute to reducing the globe’s carbon footprint.
(Image Source: Statista)
The question is, what is sustainable living and what does this commonly used phrase actually mean?
What Is Sustainable Living?
Defined by the UN World Commission as a type of “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”, sustainable development is certainly not new, but it is ever-evolving.
As more urban spaces continue to adopt sustainable practices that impact both the environmental and socio-economic state of their corner of the world, the process of sustainable living has become more common for the average person aiming to reduce their carbon footprint.
From investing in renewable energy sources to reducing plastic consumption and food waste, sustainable living is all about giving back to the planet and replenishing the resources that have been depleted by human actions.
The Importance Of Adopting A Sustainable Lifestyle
For those of you with their eco-friendly hats already on, fear not. We’re about to teach you how you can make some small but powerful changes to your lifestyle for a sustainable future. However, firstly, let’s delve deeper into the importance of adopting a sustainable lifestyle and learn why it is vital if we want to save our planet.
Currently, the Journal of Cleaner Production estimates that we use 40% more resources than we can replenish, which continues to contribute towards global warming, rising sea levels and global pollution, three of the main issues environmental activists are continuing to fight.
With two-thirds of the population expected to be living in cities by 2050, it is becoming continually important for world leaders to encourage climate-resilient growth, improve the sustainability of agricultural resources and create fewer carbon emissions.
This is where the future of sustainable urban development comes into play. Read on to find out what the future of sustainable urban living consists of and how to incorporate it into your daily routine.
What Is Sustainable Urban Living?
The art of achieving urban sustainable living is essentially creating a successful balancing act between social, economic and environmental factors that make up a city.
(Image Source: Sustainable.org)
Sustainability is not a quick fix process, but there are a number of lifestyle changes, strategies and eco-friendly tricks that both leaders and the population can embrace as they work towards a sustainable future.
Here are just a few of the goals that need to be addressed by leaders as they begin to define the future of sustainable urban living:
Introducing Renewable Sources
Fossil fuels currently make up 80% of the worlds energy consumption, providing heat, electricity and transport to the globe.
If this non-renewable energy demand continues to increase, urban spaces will become hubs for mass CO2 emissions, rendering cityscapes one of the main culprits for global warming.
Therefore, to achieve sustainable urban living goals, it’s time to invest in alternative forms of energy consumption. Swapping fossil fuels for renewable energy alternatives is key for creating growing urban spaces that are emission-free.
Reducing your own carbon footprint has also never been easier. When incorporating sustainable living into your daily routine, think about how you use your own energy sources, and opt for eco-friendly alternatives such as solar and wind energy, powered by earth’s natural processes.
Sustainable Food Consumption and Waste
Creating a resilient agricultural environment is also vital for sustainable success. In fact, prioritising plant-rich diets and promoting home growing can significantly reduce greenhouse emissions.
Currently, the meat and dairy industry creates 60% of the 13.7 billion tons of annual global CO2 emissions caused by agricultural practices, so becoming ‘meat conscious’ is becoming ever more important as the question of ‘what is sustainable living’ is asked.
Introducing a regenerative agricultural system into urban spaces is the way forward, leading towards a future of pesticide-free produce that promotes land regrowth and actually restores carbon to the soil rather than chemically stripping it from the environment.
(Image Source: EIT Food)
If you’re looking to improve your sustainable living plan, eating green has never been easier. Making some quick changes to your diet and introducing homegrown produce to your zero waste lifestyle will aid the reduction of your own carbon footprint while also reducing your food and packaging waste caused by overconsumption.
Travel & Transport
The future of sustainable urban living is all about going carbon neutral. A large part of that journey depends significantly on the development of eco-friendly transport systems in developing urban spaces.
It’s time to take those gas-guzzling vehicles off of the road and introduce emission-free busses, electric transport and walk to work schemes for an emission-free future.
In fact, thanks to greater use of biofuels, and vehicle electrification, annual transport-based emissions have increased by less than 0.5% in the last two years, in comparison to 1.9% yearly since 2000.
Adopting A Sustainable Lifestyle At Home
Whether you’re in the deep countryside of the wide cityscape, prioritising a sustainable living plan is vital as the world moves forward.
Why not take your own steps towards an emission-free future by making some simple changes within your own home.
Whether you want to reduce your plastic consumption or find eco-friendly alternatives to your favourite products, Bower Collective can help you on your way towards a sustainable future for both your family and the planet.