Simple Steps to Improve Sustainability

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 12:10 PM

            For both businesses and citizens, a common sustainability question is simply: What can I do to improve my contributions to a sustainable environment?  Although conversion to sustainability may seem daunting at times, there are simple and effective steps that can significantly enhance your sustainability practices.

1)  Switch to digital
     - Many businesses and citizens still use paper products for a variety of tasks. The vast majority of these paper products are immediately discarded after use. Using digital resources not only cuts down on paper consumption, it is also more budget-friendly, allowing users to cut costs. So the next time you think of taking notes in a spiral notebook or documenting an event by hand, consider typing and saving instead.

2) Reuse items if possible
     - Try to take notice of when you are using tools that have short lifespans and make an effort to switch to alternatives that have the ability to be reused over time. Think reusable dishware instead of “one and done” plates and cups, or cotton towels instead of paper towels. The smaller the amount of items being disposed, the higher the level of sustainability.

3) Limiting food wastage
     - Many, if not all of us, are guilty of occasionally wasting food by tossing leftovers into the garbage. Two ways to help combat this sustainability problem are limiting ourselves in the first place and recycling. The first step is to limit consumption, control portions and store leftovers for later meals. When food is to be thrown away, using a food waste bin is an effective way to make sure it goes to good use.

4) Avoid overuse of heating resources
     - For most, comfortability is a premium, and if you live in a region with harsh winters the primary comfortability factor is heating. Taking steps to avoid wasting heat is an absolute must. For individuals, this can often be achieved by relying on layers of clothing instead of an in-home heating system. For businesses it boils down to proper insulation: closing windows and doors, generating heat in the early hours and making it last through the late ones. There are numerous ways to keep oneself warm without cranking a heat generator to its maximum potential at all times.

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