Things to know to live more sustainably

Art by Ianna Rallonza

If you’re anything like me, the guilt of not living as sustainably as you’d like sometimes gets to you. The environmental issues we’re facing have always been much bigger than any one of us. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do something about it. In fact, sustainable living is really more about being aware of how our personal choices affect the bigger chain of choices that make up the big environmental picture.

We all know that every product we buy or toss out doesn’t just magically appear/disappear. There are natural and human resources involved in every step of each complex process of production. But even if we just see the final product that doesn’t really take away the responsibility we have to be concerned about how it came to be.

Sometimes, it’s even the unsuspected things that we need to be more conscious about. Take browsing the Internet for example. It’s easy for us to think of the web as an alternate universe that stores and retrieves information. But in reality, it does have a physical form. It may not be in front of our faces but somewhere in the world, millions of servers in data centers are powered to upload every selfie or stream every movie simultaneously, every second of every day. It’s just a simple click for us, but imagine how much energy is being used and what it takes to keep up with that much demand.

Sustainable living doesn’t ask us to boycott every item that leaves a negative footprint on our environment. (That would leave us dysfunctional, TBH.) But rather, it asks us to question and reevaluate the convenient lifestyle that we enjoy. Is there a solar energy device that I can actually afford? Do I really need to refresh Twitter for the third time this hour? We might not be drastically transforming the current state of our environment but having the opportunity and the right information to make the best possible choices is nevertheless a good place to start.

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