5 Ways to Live a More Sustainable Life


Claire Stafford

“The Home Planet”, Earth holds life for hundreds of thousands of living species. Currently, the life it holds is being depleted and disrupted by the Human species. But, there are 5 simple ways to help prevent further disruptions to the beautiful planet Earth.

Madelyn Wapner, Staff Writer

3.5 million tons. That’s the average amount of plastic and waste the world produces per day, according to a study by World Bank researchers. This number is 10 times higher than the amount of waste produced daily a century ago, and it’s only increasing. 

The problem with plastic is that instead of biodegrading, it breaks down into tiny pieces, also known as microplastic, going on to pollute waterways, oceans and cities and can even become ingested by animal species. This then devastates their physical health and deprives them of a healthy and balanced ecosystem. To ensure the longevity of our planet, we need to take action now. That starts with incorporating environmentally friendly practices. 

Read on for five simple ways to live sustainably.

#1 Take action in the community 

There are many ways to immediately better your community, including volunteering with local environmental organizations, organizing personal sustainability initiatives, and participating in beach or park cleanups.

At SJHHS, there are many sustainability-related clubs to get involved with like Sustainable Stallions, Great Outdoors, Surfriders Foundation and the Green Club. 

#2 Support environmentally friendly businesses/brands 

Support environmentally friendly businesses by purchasing eco-friendly products, shopping second-hand, donating to environmental charities, and visiting local farmers markets. 

Every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m, Ladera Ranch hosts a farmers market at Founders Park. In San Juan Capistrano, a market is held at Farmakis Farms on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. These markets host small businesses that sell hand-made clothing, locally sourced foods, and other sustainable items.

#3 Reduce waste

Reducing waste is a simple way individuals can help protect the planet. A good way to start is by buying products made from sustainable materials and selecting products with minimal packaging. This can also be achieved by recycling paper products, glass bottles, metal cans, and recyclable plastic. Make sure to avoid recycling your regular plastic bags in your home recycling bin, as they can actually become caught in recycling machines.

Compost your food waste like vegetables, fruit trimmings, egg shells, bread, pasta, and coffee grounds, to reduce the impact of waste. Consider creating a secondary trash can in your kitchen to dispose of these products. When it’s time to throw them away, place them in the green yard waste bin. 

#4 Conserve water 

Water is a necessary resource for all living species on planet Earth. Without water, there would be no life on Earth. All living species rely on water to live. A few ways to conserve water include fixing leaks, taking shorter showers, and setting timers on sprinklers.

#5 Go outside and enjoy nature 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, being outdoors has been shown to increase life expectancy, improve sleep quality, reduce cancer risk and stress, lowers cortisol levels, decrease muscle tension, and lowers heart rates.

Take a walk outside, go on a bike ride, practice yoga, create a garden, enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, and breathe in fresh air. These activities are especially enjoyable while California is experiencing a super bloom.