Simple Steps to Living a Sustainable Lifestyle
Author: Janis Theron The human population has reached epic proportions, and the actions of every human, has an impact on the Earth. Each of us can change this by reducing the carbon we are personally responsible for. We can take simple steps in our daily lives to commit to practices that allow the Earth and its natural resources to continue as self-regulatory and cyclical as it always has been. With this in mind, let's talk about being more mindful, compassionate and kinder to Mother Earth. Let's unpack the meaning behind 'sustainable lifestyles' and 'reducing our carbon footprints'.
According to Extinction Rebellion, "A carbon footprint is a way to measure greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide and methane that trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute greatly to global warming. A carbon footprint is determined by the sum of these greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere either directly or indirectly by our actions (usually in tons per year). This can be applied to individuals, families, companies, events, products and even countries."

Carbon emissions are becoming a real issue as human impacts on the environment cause continual increases in carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions. Most of these stem from burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear energy) and releasing methane caused by landfills, oil and natural gas systems, agriculture, coal mining, fires/burning, wastewater treatment, and industry.

You can measure your own carbon footprint simply by looking deeper at your use of natural resources (water, soil, air and energy) and how this impacts the Earth. Everything we do causes carbon emissions which affect the atmosphere: how we travel, how we use energy, how we eat, how we shop and how we create waste.
How to reduce your Carbon Footprint:

• Reducing Energy Consumption
One of the most significant ways to reduce our environmental footprint is by reducing energy consumption. This can be done by adopting energy-efficient practices, such as using LED bulbs, turning off lights and appliances when not in use, and reducing air conditioning and heating systems.

• Using Renewable Energy
Renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower are becoming increasingly accessible and affordable. Using these energy sources can significantly reduce our environmental impact and help mitigate the effects of climate change.

• Adopting Sustainable Transportation Practices
Transportation is another significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable transportation practices such as carpooling, cycling, and public transportation can significantly reduce our environmental impact.

• Reducing waste
Reducing waste is another effective way to reduce our environmental footprint. Reducing the use of single-use plastic products, recycling, and composting can also conserve natural resources and reduce the amount of waste in landfills. Smart food choices like eating less beef and switching to organic foods can make a huge difference.

• Conserving water
Water is a precious resource, and conserving it is essential. This can be done by reducing water usage through low-flow showerheads and toilets, fixing leaks, and reducing outdoor water usage.

• Supporting Sustainable Agriculture
Unsustainable agricultural practices can lead to soil degradation and other environmental problems. Supporting sustainable agriculture practices, such as organic farming and reducing food waste, can help reduce our impact on the environment.

• Support Sustainable Fishing
This involves using fishing methods that are not harmful to the environment or other marine species, such as overfishing, reducing bycatch, and protecting sensitive areas. Sustainable fishing also ensures that fishing practices are not harmful to the livelihoods or cultural traditions of local communities that depend on fishing.

• Conscious Fashion
The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries globally. We can reduce the amount of water, energy, and chemicals used in production by choosing sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton, linen, or hemp. Buying clothes from ethical and sustainable fashion brands, reducing our clothing consumption, and opting for secondhand or vintage clothing are other ways to make more conscious clothing choices and contribute to a greener planet.

• Supporting Conservation Efforts
Conservation efforts, such as protecting natural habitats and preserving biodiversity, are critical for reducing our environmental footprint. Supporting conservation efforts through donations and volunteering can ensure the preservation of the planet for future generations.

The human impact on the planet has been significant, and reducing our environmental footprint is now, more than ever, essential for preserving the planet for future generations. 
Adopting sustainable practices are effective ways to reduce our environmental impact, and working together can positively impact the planet and ensure a sustainable future for all.