Living Green: Unveiling the Path to Sustainable Living

Living Green: Unveiling the Path to Sustainable Living


The health of the environment and human well-being are interdependent. According to the World Health Organization, environmental causes are responsible for 24% of deaths worldwide. People require healthy environments that are devoid of risks and hazardous substances, clean air to breathe, and freshwater to drink.

In order to care for the environment, there are various daily practices that we need to adapt. They go beyond cleaning oceans and extend to the daily choices we make.

We must take action to undo these impacts and stop additional harm so that future generations can live in healthy environments. As we start to feel the long-term effects of exponential industrial growth and energy use, we must act to reverse these effects and avoid further damage. To help create vibrant communities and ensure future growth potential, corporations must commit to ecologically sustainable practices.

In this article, my main focus is to adequately explain what environmental sustainability is and how we can live sustainably. 

What is sustainability?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, environmental sustainability is making decisions in life that assure an equivalent or better standard of living for future generations. It is the responsibility we have to preserve natural resources and safeguard the world's ecosystems in order to promote people's health and well-being both today and in the future. 

One of the most important aspects of environmental sustainability is its forward-looking orientation because so many decisions that have an influence on the environment are not recognized right away.

Environmental sustainability attempts to enhance human well-being without unduly taxing the planet's life-sustaining ecosystems. It involves striking a balance between consumerist human society and the natural world. Living in a way that doesn't waste or unnecessarily deplete natural resources would help us achieve this.

Given the number of resources we use daily, including food, energy, and manufactured goods, environmental sustainability is crucial. Increased agricultural and manufacturing due to rapid population growth have increased greenhouse gas emissions, unsustainable energy consumption, and deforestation.

In other words, we require more resources and energy than ever. Despite this, there are a limited number of resources our planet can give before they run out. Businesses must intervene and take action as a result. They have more influence than any other group of people, and they can ensure a future that is livable by putting money into ethical and ecological activities like cutting waste, utilizing clean energy for business purposes, and paying fair wages.

The 3 Pillars of Sustainability

As efforts were made to expand the concept of environmental sustainability, it became clear that environmental sustainability cannot be treated without involving other concepts. This is because environmental problems could not be solved in isolation. Other problems also needed to be solved. 

I’ll give a practical example of what I mean. When the economy of a country is in shambles, it gradually reduces the capacity of government and corporate bodies to take on new goals that will sustain the environment. Although there is an argument that economic growth depletes the environment. I’ll talk about that more in this article so keep reading.

Another practical example is in the cases of war or extreme poverty. The environment suffers greatly from phenomena like these. Even when repairs are being made to rectify the damages of the war, the environment is usually not given top priority.

As you can see, there are other issues that need to be tackled before we can delve deeply into environmental sustainability. If we consider sustainability in the roof of a building that protects its residents, we can see that it needs all three pillars to support it. We can discuss social equity, economic viability, and environmental protection as the three pillars. The roof is in danger of falling if any one of the pillars falls. 

  • Environmental Protection
  • Environmental protection is the major point of environmental sustainability. It is what most people first think of when they hear environmental sustainability. We adopt sustainable habits because our main goal is to protect the environment. 

    To protect the environment and live more sustainably, we must stop contributing to the unnecessary mining of natural resources, not contribute to the overproduction of harmful items (like plastic), and stop destructive habits (like deforestation and wastage).

    These ideas for protecting the environment do not forbid us from ever mining substances, manufacturing goods, or cutting down trees. We just need to agree on methods that avoid pollution and interfering with natural processes.

    Environmental protection covers issues like air and water quality, resource preservation and integrity, ecosystem restoration and preservation, and much more. The United Nations established 17 Sustainable Development Goals and issued a global call to action.

    There is a unique duty to the pillar of environmental protection for facilities managers, commercial real estate owners, contractors, and engineers since sustainability must be incorporated into facilities and systems from design to implementation.

    If you add sustainability measures later, your efficiency and bottom line will still benefit, but partnering with a competent and experienced professional to oversee implementation will be even more critical.

  • Social Equity
  • Social equity refers to the long-term well-being of any social structure, whether it be the global society, a country, a neighborhood community, or a single company. ​​It seeks to protect social capital by investing in and producing services that are the foundation of our society. The concept encompasses a broader vision of the world in terms of communities, cultures, and globalization.

    Social sustainability focuses on sustaining and developing social quality through principles such as cohesion, reciprocity, and honesty, as well as the value of interpersonal interactions. Laws, knowledge, and shared notions of equality and rights can all help to encourage and support it.

    When disadvantaged populations are merely focused on survival, they are not in a position to think about the environment and cannot afford to implement environmentally friendly practices day-to-day. If everyone thrives & gets out of the poverty cycle, that means there is more education and a better capacity to focus on societal issues rather than individual ones.

    Local governments, which are closer to the lives of ordinary people, must be involved in social sustainability. However, governments cannot be in the business of redistributing money or selecting winners and losers. Bureaucracy must not grow faster than the economy as it will only exacerbate polarization and divisiveness.

    But, as is often the case, we have more power and impact than we realize. We can at least avoid acting like trolls by attempting to be reasonable and courteous to one another.

  • Economic Viability
  • Economic viability refers to an economy's ability to sustain its output on a continuous basis. The economist addresses subjects such as job creation, social prosperity, ecologically friendly market practices, the cost of sustainability efforts, government engagement and incentives for best practices in sustainability in business, and population and environmental health.

    Most businesses, especially larger corporations, are narrowly focused on the bottom line and long-term gains. This means that, very often, when presented with choices between choosing materials, for example, they often would go with less sustainable ones if that leads to more profits. 

    As a result of this, a lot of people think that environmental sustainability and economic growth and indirectly proportional. That is, they believe if we want a sustainable environment, we have to sacrifice economic growth because most of the practices that harm the environment are what develop the economy. Mining and deforestation are examples of these practices.

    This is a big misconception. Businesses and governments developed and applied technologies that lowered pollution while permitting uninterrupted economic growth, using public policies ranging from command-and-control restrictions to direct and indirect government subsidies.

     Environmental protection promotes economic growth. Someone creates and sells the air pollution control technology that we install on power plants and automobiles. Someone constructs the sewage and water treatment plants. And environmental amenities are worth money.

    This shows that it is important that a system is in place to incentivize corporations to implement sustainable practices, considering the larger impact on society and the globe.

    Why is sustainability so important?

    I can’t properly discuss sustainability without stating its benefits and why it is so important. Therefore, I have compiled some of the benefits of sustainability that should make you interested in living more sustainably.

  • Reduced Climate Impact
  • Climate change induced by human activity is the world's greatest challenge. We can reduce the concentration and flow of heat-trapping greenhouse gases by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and adopting clean energy. The ozone layer will be less depleted as a result of this.

    If we can live sustainably, we will see benefits such as improved air quality, biodiversity preservation, increased green space, and the survival of more species. Furthermore, the harsh weather patterns with heat waves that we experience so regularly presently will be somewhat managed.

  • Improved ocean conditions
  • The ocean powers the global processes that keep our world habitable for humans. The ocean regulates our drinking water, weather, food, and even the oxygen we breathe. Also, the diversity of new life in the waters is a rich source of medicinal research.

    Global warming, combined with human activity, is causing our oceans to become more acidic and heated, hurting marine life. 

    India, with its 7500-kilometer-long coastline, stands to benefit greatly from a sustainable ocean economy. We can save and sustain our fisheries by sustainable living, providing food and livelihood to millions of underprivileged people. 

  • Lower Energy-Related Expenses
  • Manufacturers are particularly concerned about energy and water costs. These costs can be reduced by focusing on improvements. These improvements are frequently realized as annual savings rather than immediate, short-term cost reductions.

    Switching to energy-efficient lighting and altering lighting levels in accordance with your production schedule will help you save money on electricity in the long run. Regular equipment inspections will also be advantageous. Air compressor leaks, for example, can waste energy and increase costs. 

    Changing the way you package your products and supplies can help you save money and free up space at your location. Solar and wind energy, as well as energy-efficient machinery and equipment, will significantly lower monthly power expenses. Recycling and going paperless are two techniques that will help you save money on supplies. Your bottom line can benefit from sustainability.

  • Innovation
  • Creative ideas for reducing the environmental effect of an organization's operations can spark new ideas and open doors for innovation within companies and society at large.

    For example, after years of increasing the use of solar energy in their stores and factories in order to increase the use of renewable energy for sustainable purposes, IKEA saw an opportunity to include solar panels in its product portfolio and began selling them at an affordable price in 2018 as part of its sustainable strategy.

  • Improved quality of life and social well-being
  • Sustainability enables us to adopt voluntary simplicity, which emphasizes consuming less while enjoying life more.

    Sustainability does this by promoting healthier and simpler living, such as walking or cycling instead of driving. Also, when we live sustainably, we favor fresh, locally grown foods above unhealthy processed foods. Lastly, sustainability helps us choose the use of natural, non-harmful items over harmful synthetic ones.

    Individuals and society are closely intertwined. If a person benefits, society benefits as well, and vice versa. To achieve a greater level of social well-being, sustainable practices include giving and supporting one another, as well as sharing common resources.

    How we can live sustainably

    After reading up to this point, you might be ready to make a change and you are probably thinking of ways to live more sustainably. There is no need to think too much because I have written some ways to live sustainably in this article. Keep reading to find out.


    • Minimize your usage of plastics

    This is one of the most common tips you’d see under any “how to” guide for sustainability. And it is for no other reason other than plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats plaguing our environment today. 

    However, plastics can almost never be avoided. Today, billions of pounds of plastic can be found in the swirling convergences that make up over 40% of the world's ocean surfaces. Thousands of seabirds, sea turtles, seals, and other marine creatures are killed each year after consuming or becoming entangled in plastic. 

    An easy and effective way of reducing your plastic use is by investing in some storage glass containers. Sur La Table 10 piece glass container set is BPA free, dishwasher-safe and is durable enough for microwave use.


    You can take it even one step further by replacing your foil or plastic wrap with Bee's Wrap Reusable Beeswax Wraps. These cotton wraps are affordable and definitely worth the investment as they're coated with waterproof, breathable, anti-fungal and antimicrobial beeswax that will let your food stay fresh for longer. The wax wraps are reusable, biodegradable, compostable and perfect for wrapping lunches or food left-overs. The beeswax is sourced from sustainably-managed hives in the US using only organic jojoba oil.  

    Some additional simple actions you can take to reduce your plastic waste is for example, when shopping, use reusable bags. You can go the extra mile by avoiding single-use water bottles, bags, and straws, and avoiding anything made of or packaged in plastic whenever possible (e.g., select unwrapped produce at the grocery store, shop local, cut down on online shopping).

  • Reuse and recycle
  • This is another very common tip for living sustainably. This is because recycling your items or packaging keeps them out of landfills, which affects the environment. 

    When you recycle, these goods are broken down into materials that may be used in products. This not only repurposes these items but also reduces the number of raw materials that must be mined.

  • Embrace drinking tap water
  • Bottled water corporations aim to make tap water look awful, even though it is basically free and much city water has won quality and taste tests against name-brand water. Furthermore, the extraction of water and the manufacture of all those plastic bottles is infamously detrimental to people and wildlife.

    When you drink tap water, you are not simply reducing the amount of plastic trash produced by single-use bottles. You also save energy that would otherwise be used to make plastic, fill bottles, and transport them. A filter system can also help to improve the quality of your tap water.

    My personal favorite filter is Simpure Y7 Uv Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System. I have been using it for several months and each times I test it the water is optimal! It's quintessential that you drink tap water ONLY after you've properly filtered out all harmful toxins. To learn more about the the toxic soup that our tap water consists of, check out our blog here.


    If you want to go the extra mile (in a positive way), repurpose a glass milk or smoothie bottle or buy a fashionable, eco-friendly reusable water bottle for on-the-go sustainability. If you don’t like plain water, you can spice things up a bit and add lemon, cucumber, mint, or even ginger to your drink.

  • Conserve water 
  • Water conservation is vital, particularly as our rising population places increased strain on the nation's water resources and we confront severe droughts. Water can be saved by taking shorter showers, repairing leaking toilets, and selecting low-flow and low-water appliance options. Consider xeriscaping your yard, a landscaping approach that employs native, drought-tolerant plants that require less water and upkeep over time while also providing habitat and food for birds and bees.

  • Reduce meat consumption
  • Factory-farmed animal protein has a larger carbon footprint than many other food options, pollutes groundwater, air, and land, and consumes an unusual amount of energy and water. While some may interpret this as a hint to eliminate all animal-based items from their diet, it is impossible to expect all everyone to have the ability or desire to do so.

    If you're thinking about plant-based meat substitutes, keep in mind that some may be more harmful to the environment than you believe. Having said that, I’d suggest that you at least drop your land-based meat consumption.

  • Drive less
  • On road, driving accounts for around 20% of total emissions, contributing to climate change. Changing modes of transportation can help to reduce the quantity of pollution produced. 

    Using public transportation allows numerous individuals to share the same vehicle instead of driving. While buses and trains emit emissions, they are lower than if all passengers drove. Walking and cycling emit no carbon dioxide and are practically free. If other modes of transportation are not available, you can switch to electric vehicles that have no emissions.

  • Grow your food
  • Most agricultural produce is imported to supermarkets and this increases fossil fuel usage. Also, some imported agricultural produce creates water and air pollution in the areas they are grown. Growing your own vegetables not only helps the environment but also helps you save money.

    Now I know that the prospect of gardening can seem like a monumental task especially if you've never quite had a green thumb but fear not!  Click & Grow Smart Garden 9 lets you grow herbs, fruits, flowers and vegetables all year round from the comfort of your home! 

    If you want to learn more about sustainable living, you can read this article. I compiled 20 easy steps that can help us live more sustainably and protect the welfare of our environment. 


    Sustainability is far too important for our environment, society, and the world at large. It is important that we all embrace sustainability and live more sustainably if we want a better environment for the future generation.

    Here on The Green Doctrine Blog, I write about basic environmental problems and teach ways to solve those problems and make our environment a better place. You can check out my blog for more information.

    Back to blog