Man shopping in supermarket

It would be absolutely impossible to declare one evening that you’re going to completely change your life and then wake up the next morning and integrate an entirely new set of habits and patterns. Creating new lifestyle patterns often takes a bit of time to truly incorporate into a person’s daily routine.

We’re just getting started here at evōxLiving. Last week I shared with you a little bit about what you can expect at evōxLiving. This week I’ll offer a few tips to help you get started in having a more sustainable life. This is by no means a complete list, but below I’ve shared a few items that might spark some creativity and support you taking care of the world around you.

Slow down
We all live fast-paced lives. Technology is at our fingertips at any moment. There are countless meetings, clubs to join, websites to read, and wants/needs to serve from family/loved ones. It’s important to consciously slow down at times to truly have a more sustainable life. Take an inventory of what’s most important to you and let go of the things that aren’t truly serving your world. It’s extremely helpful to take “mental inventory” and re-evaluate instead of continuing to do the same things out of habit.

Purchase Consciously & Repair When Necessary
We live in a society where so many goods are created for one-time use. The disposable mentality is becoming a huge problem for our landfills as people continuously buy cheap goods that often need to be replaced. Instead of buying inexpensive items that have a very short shelf life, make an investment in purchasing high-quality and durable goods that you will have for a long time. Opt for items made of sustainable materials that will last, instead of plastic items that might break more easily and then end up in a landfill. Also, maintain and repair quality items rather than replacing them. Strive to be a conscious consumer.

Read Food Labels
Knowledge is power. Food labels contain nutritional information, an ingredients list, and information about the manufacturer. Since we do live in such a fast-paced society and eating packaged food is often part of our daily routine, it’s helpful to know what’s in packages of food so that we can make the most informed decisions about what’s going into our body. Reading food labels is important if you’re trying to eat more or avoid a certain type of food, regulate calorie intake, or help you evaluate if the product is made with genetically modified ingredients.

Breathe Deeply
When you’re feeling rushed and overwhelmed as a result of life’s pressures, stop wherever you are and take a deep breath. The oxygen you inhale goes directly to the brain and into the bloodstream, cleansing your cells. As you exhale, carbon dioxide is released from your body. The result is that you’ll feel more relaxed, grounded and refreshed, which will help in all aspects of your life.

Save Water
Water is the new oil and both individuals and big companies are fighting over this precious resource. As our reserves decrease and water continues to be contaminated by pollution, access to clean drinking water will become harder to come by. It’s important to conserve water and be conscious about how we use each drop. Think about the ways in which you can save water throughout your daily life. As you heat the water from your shower, can you catch the cold water in a bucket? Can you save the water when cleaning vegetables? In both cases, the water could be used to water the garden or houseplants, which is much better than having this precious resource run down the drain. Also, you can save a few gallons a day using some creative techniques - potentially saving a bit of money!

Reuse & Pay Forward
This is one of the more challenging tips for some. If you have items around your home or office that you don’t need anymore, find someone who could put it/them to good use rather than throw them in the landfill. Great resources to use include Craigslist, Freecycle, or Yerdle.

Get & Stay Engaged
Again, knowledge is power. Knowing what’s going on in your local community, your state, and in our country is helpful to know as sustainability-oriented types of policies are created and enforced. Get involved in issues that you truly care about and take action when necessary.

It’s been known that it takes 30 days to build a habit so please don’t worry about integrating all of these tips into your life overnight! Bring a few into your life gradually and adapt your lifestyle accordingly. You might run into roadblocks and stumble along the way. We’re all human and it happens. Soon, you’ll be able to move to along to new ways to help yourself create a more sustainable life without feeling the loss of your former ways of being.

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About The Author

Nikki Pava's picture

Nikki Pava is the author of Green Wisdom: A Guide for Anyone to Start, Engage and Energize a Sustainability Team. She is also the founder of Alegria Partners, a consulting firm that specializes in sustainability engagement initiatives for mission-driven companies.

Prior to her work at Alegria Partners, Nikki founded EcoTuesday, a national networking forum that facilitated vital connections and essential change in the business community. EcoTuesday hosted more than 300 events in 12 cities across the country and brought together hundreds of sustainability professionals, making a positive impact in each city.

Nikki holds an MBA in sustainable management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. She lives in an eco-community in Costa Rica and is currently writing a book about teams in businesses that focus on reaching their company’s climate change goals.

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