Living sustainably isn’t just a trend, it’s a necessity
Practicing a sustainable lifestyle may seem daunting, but it's a small price to pay for the future of our planet
Over the past decade, the use of the term sustainability has soared among consumers, businesses and governments alike. Though the buzzword may seem like a passing trend or another greenwashing gimmick, it’s much more than that.
Sustainability is simply the act of meeting our needs today in ways that do not hurt the ability of future generations to meet their needs tomorrow. As we grapple with urgent environmental challenges like climate change, resource depletion and pollution, it's clear that we can’t afford to ignore the ugly truth: we’re killing our planet.
Living sustainably is no longer a choice, it’s a shared responsibility.
Past the grim reality and urgency of sustainable lifestyles, they tend to be deceivingly marketed as expensive, aesthetic ways of life that involve vegan diets and pricey eco-friendly products.
While it can seem daunting and overwhelming to adopt a sustainable lifestyle as a busy student, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, living sustainably can be affordable, healthy and enjoyable.
Perhaps the most simple yet impactful changes are the ones you’ve repeatedly heard. At first glance, avoiding single-use items and limiting food waste look like surface-level changes. However, think about the fact that only 9 per cent of the 3 million tonnes of plastic waste Canadians generate is actually recycled or that 60 per cent of food waste generated by Canadians could have been avoided – that's a big deal.
Even as busy students, we can be responsible citizens. By bringing reusable bags, using refillable water bottles and recycling, you can limit the waste that ends up in our landfills and oceans. And by carefully planning your meals, composting your scraps, and donating excess to food banks, you can reduce your carbon footprint – all while saving money and supporting your community. And the same can be said for other sustainable practices like eating healthy greens and thrift shopping.
I know that these may seem like baby steps but they are important ones in the long journey towards a more sustainable future.
By being a sustainable student, you can also be a happier person. Knowing that your moral compass is in check and making conscious decisions for the benefit of yourself and others is proven to give you a good feeling.
We might be living in a world that still prioritizes convenience today, but as the leaders of tomorrow, it’s up to us to create the new normal.