e-learning centre on sustainable development
THINGS YOU CAN DO
There are many things that individuals can do to live more sustainably. We can:
re-examine our values,
educate ourselves to the issues,
change our way of thinking to be more integrated, systemic and long-term,
look outward with more solidarity, and
live lightly on the earth, being content with little.
There are many practical applications of principles of sustainability in daily life.
Water can be economized in washing, bathing, laundry, and gardening, and efforts made to reduce pollution.
Energy can be economized or used more efficiently in heating, cooling, cooking, lighting and appliances.
The need for transport can be reduced, and motor vehicles replaced by public transport, bicycles, or walking.
Food offers many choices of lifestyle: fast food or organic, meat or vegetarian, local or fair trade, nutritional balance, risks of contamination with pesticides/hormones/antibiotics, and the possible presence of genetically-modified organisms.
Clothing can be made of natural fibers, with possible agricultural impacts, or synthetic fibers that are persistent and made from non-renewable petrochemicals.
In our role as consumers, we can consider issues of socially-responsible manufacture, changing styles or using things until they wear out, and the desirability of making choices based on brand names and fashions.
Housing can be looked at for location, materials, health impacts, energy efficiency, and social effects.
There are sustainable dimensions of recreation, tourism and entertainment, such as their impact on the natural environment, effects of transport, and ecotourism.
The aesthetic aspects of the environment cannot be ignored, such as beauty, natural versus man-made, and respecting cultural diversity.
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Last updated 10 April 2006