How to Achieve A Sustainable Lifestyle in 2014

The year is again coming to an end, and this has many people thinking about how they’re going to improve their lives in 2014.
Many people want to make money money. Many others want to perform more service. Some people want to do both.
We think those goals are great. Thinking bigger than yourself usually drives innovation and leads to achieving much more than you would simply with selfish pursuits in mind.

As the sustainability movement has grown from year to year, more people are interested in knowing how they can enrich their lives through the triple bottom line. If you’d like to do your part to improve the world in 2014 and achieve a sustainable lifestyle, consider following these tips.

Start Small But Work Hard

Don’t go overboard. It’s easy to get really excited about sustainability and how you can contribute to making the world a better place. However, This decreases your chances of success. (How many times have you “burned out” on something new before you really mastered it?)

Don’t run before you can walk; instead, make a simple plan about how you’ll use sustainability principles to a little at a time and gradually incorporate them into your life. Here’s an example of how this can work:

  • Define the sustainability practice you want to do.
  • Make a few daily or weekly goals on how you’ll keep track of your progress.
  • As you begin to master your newfound sustainability, identify another practice and set appropriate goals.

Repeat this goal setting process at a comfortable pace until you’ve mastered a sustainable life.

Plan Ahead

It takes more than a visit to to know what’s coming in life. If you have a plan on how you’ll incorporate sustainability practices into your personal life and work life, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to keep your goal.
Maybe you go out to lunch everyday because it’s cheap and convenient. While a delicious fast food burger once in a while is a great treat, consuming red meat daily contributes to global carbon emissions (and isn’t great for your long-term health, either). Plus, when you eat fast food, you’re also producing paper and plastic waste.

That’s just one example of how planning can help. There are plenty of other ways you discover planning makes your sustainability easier.

Begin Looking For Easy Gains

Part of planning ahead is to begin looking for easy gains – ways you can make your lifestyle more sustainable without making drastic changes.

For example, plastic spoons, forks, and knives produce tons of non-biodegradable waste each year (literally: about 300 million tons of plastic waste is produced every year). But by carrying your own utensils with you, it’s possible to reduce your individual impact. It’s an easy gain that doesn’t take a lot of effort but helps keep you motivated to reach your goal.

Become Educated

Taking the time to learn more about trends in sustainability will help you to see ways you can improve. Say you own a business and have wanted to improve its sustainability. You may think this may be too expensive or difficult. (It can actually save you more money than you’d expect.) You may think employees won’t see your vision or ignore your efforts. They will see them. The more you learn about sustainability, the more you’ll realize how possible it is to achieve.

Keep Growing

Once you start implementing the principles described above, you’ll start to see other ways you can push your sustainability even further. Maybe you’ll begin biking a lot more. Maybe you’ll discover how to make your clothes last longer by building a wardrobe that is timeless in fashion. Perhaps you’ll change your diet. No matter what you decide to to, stick with it, and you’ll find sustainability is very possible.

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