Sustainable living is a lifestyle [1] That Attempts to Reduce an individual ’s or society ’s use of the earth ’s natural resources and personal resources. [2] Practitioners of sustainable living often attempts to reduce their carbon footprint by alternative methods of transportation , energy consumption , and diet . [3] Proponents of sustainable living in their lives that are consistent with sustainability , in the natural balance and respectful of humanity’s symbioticrelationship with the earth ’s natural ecology and cycles. [4] The practice and general philosophy of ecological living is highly interrelated with the principles of sustainable development . [5]

Lester R. Brown , a prominent environmentalist and founder of the Worldwatch Institute and the Earth Policy Institute , describes sustainable living in the twenty-first century as „shifting to a renewable energy-based, reuse / recycle economy with a diversified transportation system.“ [6] In addition to this philosophy, the practical eco-village builders like Living Villages maintain that the shift to renewable technologies will only be successful if the result is .

Derrick Jensen , has Celebrated American author , radical environmentalist and prominent critic of mainstream environmentalism (According to Democracy Now! Jensen „has been called Expired the poet-philosopher of the ecological movement .“) Argues That „Industrial Civilization is not and can never be sustainable. “ [7]


Sustainable living is fundamentally the application of sustainability to lifestyle choices and decisions. One design of sustainable living expresses what it means in the present ecological, societal, and economic needs without compromising these factors for future generations. [9] [10] An alternative design describes sustainable living in terms of four interconnected socialdomains: economics, ecology, politics and culture. In the first conception, sustainable living can be described as living within the innate carrying capacity defined by these factors. In the second or Circles of Sustainabilitydesign, sustainable living can be described as negotiating the relationships of the interconnected domains of social life, and the consequences for future human generations and non-human species . [11]

Sustainable design and sustainable development are critical factors to sustainable living. Sustainable design encompasses the development of appropriate technology , which is a staple of sustainable living practices. [12] Sustainable development in turn is the use of these technologies in infrastructure. Sustainable architecture and agriculture are the most common examples of this practice. [13]


  • 1954 The publication of Living the Good Life by Helen and Scott Nearing marked the beginning of the modern day sustainable living movement. The publication paved the way for the “ back-to-the-land movement “ in the late 1960s and early 1970s. [14] [15]
  • 1962 The publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson marked Reviews another major milestone for the sustainability movement. [16]
  • 1972 Donella Meadows wrote the international bestseller The Limits to Growth , which reported on a study of long-term global trends in population , economics and the environment . It sold millions of copies and was translated into 28 languages. [17]
  • 1973 E. F. Schumacher published a collection of essays on Shifting Towards Sustainable living through the Appropriate use of technology in His book Small is Beautiful . [18]
  • 1992-2002 The United Nations held a series of conferences, which focused on increasing the sustainability of societies to conserve Earth’s natural resources. The Earth Summitconferences were held in 1992, 1972 and 2002 . [19]
  • In 2007 the United Nations published Sustainable Consumption and Production, Promoting Climate-Friendly Household Consumption Patterns , qui Promoted sustainable lifestyles in communities and homes. [20]


It has global scale, shelter is associated with about 25% of the greenhouse gas emission embodied in household purchases Single and 26% of Households‘ land use . [21]

Sustainable homes are built using sustainable methods, materials and enabling practices, enabling a more sustainable lifestyle. Their construction and maintenance have neutral impacts on the Earth. Often, if necessary, they are close to such services as grocery stores, schools, daycares, work, or public transit makes it possible to commit to sustainable transportation choices. [22] Sometimes, they are off-the-grid homes that do not require any public energy, water, or sewer service.

If not off-the-grid, sustainable homes can be linked to a grid by a power plant that is using sustainable power sources. Additionally, sustainable homes may be connected to a grid, but There are two common methods to approaching this option: net metering and double metering. [23]

Net metering uses the common meter, which is installed in the grid, and runs backward when power is applied to the grid. in the grid when not needed, and using energy from the grid during peak hours, Power companies can quickly buy the power that is back into the grid, as it is being produced. Double metering causes two meters of electricity consumption, the other measuring electricity created. Additional, or in place of their renewable energy, sustainable homeowners can choose to use their batteries.electrical grid . [24]

Sustainably designed (see Sustainable Design ) houses [25] are Generally sited so as to create as little of a negative impact on the surrounding ecosystem as possible, oriented to the sun so That It Creates the best possible, microclimate (Typically, the long axis of the house or building should be oriented east-west), and provide natural shading or wind barriers when and where needed, among many other considerations. The design of a sustainable shelter affords the options it has later (ie, using passive solar lighting and heating , creating temperature buffer zones by adding porches, deep overhangs to help create favorable microclimates, etc.) [24] [26]Sustainably constructed houses are environmentally friendly, recycled, reclaimed, or low-impact production methods that have been created and treated in a sustainable fashion water-based finishes), and the use of low-impact production methods in the environment. [27] [28]

Many materials can be considered a „green“ material until its background is revealed. Any material that has been used in the manufacture or use of such products in its processing or manufacturing (such as formaldehyde in glues used in woodworking), has traveled extensively from its source or manufacturer, or has been cultivated or harvested in an unsustainable manner. In order for material to be regarded Any green, it must be resource-efficient, not compromised indoor air quality or water conservation , and be energy efficient (both in processing and when to in use in the shelter). [28]Resource efficiency can be achieved by using recycled content, reusable recyclable packaging materials, reusable recyclable packaging materials, reusable packaging materials, reusable packaging materials, and long-lasting material as possible. [29]

Sustainable building materials

Some building materials may be considered „sustainable“ by some definitions and under some conditions. For example, wood can be processed by sustainable forest , processed using sustainable energy . delivered by sustainable transport , etc .: Under different conditions, however, it could not be considered as sustainable. The following materials may be considered as sustainable under certain conditions, based on a Life-cycle assessment .

  • Adobe
  • Bamboo
  • Cellulose insulation
  • Cob
  • Composite wood (when made from reclaimed hardwood sawdust and reclaimed or recycled plastic)
  • Compressed earth block
  • cordwood
  • Cork
  • Hemp
  • Insulating concrete forms
  • Lime render
  • Linoleum
  • Lumber from Forest Stewardship Council approved sources
  • Natural Rubber
  • Natural fiber ( coir , wool , jute , etc.)
  • Organic cotton insulation
  • papercrete
  • Rammed Earth
  • Reclaimed stone
  • Reclaimed brick
  • Recycled metal
  • Recycled concrete
  • Recycled paper
  • Soy-based adhesive
  • Soy insulation
  • Straw Bale
  • Structural insulated panel
  • Wood

Insulation of a sustainable home is important because of the energy it conserves throughout the life of the home. Well insulated walls and lofts using green materials are a must as it is. Installation of insulation according to the type of insulation being used. Typically, lofts are insulated by strips of insulating material laid between rafters. Walls with cavities are done in much the same way. For walls that do not have cavities behind them, solid-wall insulation may be necessary. [26]Energy-efficient windows are another important factor in insulation. Simply assuring that windows (and doors) are well sealed in a home. [23] Double gold Triple glazed windows are the typical method to insulate windows, trapping gas or creating a vacuum between two or three panes of glass allowing heat to be trapped inside or out. [24] [28] Low-emissivity or Low-E glass is another option for window insulation. It is a coating on windowpanes of a thin, transparent layer of metal oxide and works by reflecting heat back to its source, keeping the interior warm during the winter and cool during the summer. Simply hanging heavy-backed curtains in front of windows can also help their insulation. [26]„Superwindows,“ mentioned in Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution , has become available in the 1980s and uses a combination of many available technologies, including two to three transparent low-e coatings, multiple panes of glass, and a heavy gas filling. Although more expensive, they are said to be able to insulate the oven and a half times better than a typical double-glazed windows. [30]

Equipping roofs with highly reflective material (Such As aluminum) Increases a roof’s albedo and will help Reduce the amount of heat it Absorbs, hence, the amount of energy needed to cool the building it is on. Green roofs or „living roofs“ are a popular choice for thermally insulating a building. They are popular for aussi Their Ability to catch storm-water runoff and, When in the Broader picture of a community, reduce the heat island effect (see urban heat island ) thereby Reducing energy costs of the Entire area. It is arguable that they are able to replace the physical „footprint“ that the building creates, helping reduce the adverse environmental impact of the building’s presence. [31] [32]

Energy efficiency and water conservation are also important considerations in sustainable housing. If using appliances, computers, HVAC systems, electronics, or lighting the sustainable-minded often look for an Energy Star label, which is government-backed and holds strict regulations in energy and water efficiency that is required by law. [33] [34] Ideally, a sustainable shelter should be able to make the most of the Earth’s water sources [35]

Greywater , sinks, showers, and baths may be reused in a landscape of irrigation and toilets. Likewise, rainwater harvesting from storm-water runoff is also a sustainable method to conserve water in a sustainable shelter. [36]Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems replicate the natural systems that clean water in wildlife and implement them in a city’s drainage system. [37] [38]

See related articles in: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ( LEED )


As mentioned under Shelter, some sustainable manufactures may choose to produce their own renewable energy, while others may choose to buy it from the grid of a power company that harnesses sustainable sources in a household). Purchasing sustainable energy, however, may not be possible in some locations due to its limited availability. 6 out of the 50 states in the US do not offer green energy, for example. For those who do, their total savings are typically a percentage of their monthly consumption and a share of the price of energy purchased from the national grid. Technically, in this case, the green energy is not being fed directly to the household that buys it.[39] In this case, it is possible that the amount of electricity is a small fraction of their total incoming electricity. This may or may not depend on the amount being purchased. The purpose of buying green electricity is to support their utility in sustainable energy. [40] Producing sustainable energy on an individual household or community is more flexible, but can still be limited in the richness of the sources that the rental can afford abundance of it).

When generating renewable energy and feeding it back into the grid (in the United States and Germany), they are generally sell to their utility, additionally (utilities are interested in buying renewable energy). In some special cases, the production of electricity may be paid to the standard rate, but this is not common. [41]

Solar power harnesses the energy of the sun to make electricity. Two typical methods for converting solar energy into electricity are photo-voltaic cells That are Organized into panels and Concentrated solar power , qui uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight to Either heat a fluid That Runs an electrical generator via a steam turbine or heat engine , or to simply cast onto photo-voltaic cells. [42] [43]The energy created by photo-voltaic cells is a direct current and has to be converted to alternating currentbefore it can be used in a household. At this point, users can choose to either use this device or use it for AC / DC inverter for immediate use. To get the best out of a solar panel, the angle of incidence of the sun should be between 20 and 50 degrees. Solar power via photo-voltaic cells are usually the most expensive method for harnessing renewable energy. It has the advantages of being mobile, it is easy to use, and it is flexible in terms of location and location. ). [40] [43]For those who are lucky, may be found. [40] Concentrated solar power plants are typically used in a household rather than an individual household scale, because of the amount of energy they are able to harness but can be done on an individual scale with a parabolic reflector . [43] [44]

Solar thermal energy is harnessed by collecting direct heat from the sun. One of the most common ways that this method is used by solar water heating. In a broad perspective, these systems are involved in the storage of collectors, and are in the form of active or passive systems. that will be used or not-freezing heat-transfer that will be used. Passive systems are cheaper than active systems since they do not require a pumping system (instead, they take advantage of the natural movement of hot water rising water used by the collector and storage tank). [45]

Other methods of harnessing solar power are solar space heating (heating for internal building spaces), solar drying (for drying wood chips, fruits, grains, etc.), solar cookers , solar distillers , and other passive solar technologies (simply, harnessing sunlight without any mechanical means).

Wind power is harnessed through turbines, set on tall towers (typically 20 ‚or 6m with 10‘ or 3m diameter blades for an individual household ’s needs). [40] [43]They typically require an average of 9 to 14 km / hr (14 km / hr) to be worth their investment (as prescribed by the US Department of Energy), and are capable of paying for themselves within their lifetimes. Wind turbines in urban areas usually require at least 30 ‚(10m) in the air to receive and remove neighboring obstructions (such as neighboring buildings). Mounting a wind turbine may also require permission from authorities. Wind turbines have been criticized for the noise they produce, their appearance, and the argument that they can affect the migratory patterns of birds (their blades obstruct passage in the sky). Wind turbines are much more feasible for those living in rural areas [40]and are one of the most cost-effective forms of renewable energy per kilowatt, approaching the cost of fossil fuels, and have quick paybacks. [43]

For those who have a body of water flowing at an adequate speed (or falling from an adequate height) on their property, hydroelectricity may be an option. We have large scale, hydroelectricity, in the form of dams, has adverse environmental and social impacts. When one has small scale, however, in the form of single turbines, hydroelectricity is very sustainable. Single water turbines or even a group of single turbines are not environmentally or socially disruptive. On the basis of the most efficient methods of renewable energy production, single turbines are likely to be economically feasible. It is more common for an eco-village to use this method rather than a singular household. [40]

Geothermal energy production involves harnessing the hot water or steam below the earth’s surface, in reservoirs, to produce energy. Because the hot water or steam is used in the reservoir, this source is considered sustainable. However, those who plan to get their electricity from this source should be aware that they are controversial about the fact that they are naturally limited (they are cool down, making geothermal energy production there eventually impossible). . This method is often used in the field of geothermal energy. There do exist small individual scale geothermal operations, however, which harness reservoirs very close to the Earth’s surface, avoiding the need for extensive drilling and sometimes having a depression. In this case, the heat is captured and sent togeothermal heat pump system located inside the shelter or facility that needs it (often, this heat is used directly to warm a greenhouse during the colder months). [44] Although geothermal energy is available everywhere on Earth, it is practically related to the extent to which it is required. Places such as the Philippines, Hawaii, Alaska, Iceland, California, and Nevada have geothermal reservoirs closer to the Earth’s surface, making its cost-effective production. [43]

Biomass power is created when any biological matter is burned as fuel. As with the case of a green materials in a household, it is possible to reduce the carbon footprint created by transportation. Although burning biomass for fuel carbon dioxide , sulfur compounds, and nitrogen compounds in the atmosphere, a major concern in a sustainable lifestyle, the amount that is released is sustainable (it will not contribute to a carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere) . This is due to the fact that it is being burned by the same amount of carbon dioxide as it consumed during its lifetime. [40] [43] However, burning biodiesel and bioethanol (seebiofuel ), where it is highly controversial and may not be considered sustainable because it is inadvertently increases global poverty, the clearing of the new agricultural fields (the source of the biofuel is also the same source of food), and may use unsustainable growing methods (such as the use of environmentally harmful pesticides and fertilizers). [40] [43] [46]

List of organic matter can be burned for fuel

  • bagasse
  • Biogas
  • manure
  • Stover
  • Straw
  • Used vegetable oil
  • Wood

Digestion of organic material to produce methane is a popular method of biomass energy production. Materials such as waste can be broken down into methane gas that can be burnt to produce electricity. Methane gas is also a natural product of landfills, full of decomposing waste, and can be harnessed to produce electricity. The advantage in burning methane gas is that it prevents the methane from being released into the atmosphere, exacerbating the greenhouse effect. Although this method of biomass energy production is typically large scale (done in landfills), it can be done on a smaller scale. [43]


Globally, food accounts for 48% and 70% of household environmental impacts on land and water resources, with consumption of meat, dairy and processed food rising rapidly with income [21] .

Environmental impacts of industrial agriculture

Industrial agricultural production is highly resource intensive and energy intensive. Industrial agriculture systems typically require heavy irrigation , extensive pesticide and fertilizer application , intensive tillage , concentrated monoculture production, and other continual inputs. As a result of these industrial farming conditions, we are striving to further exacerbate the environment. These stresses include: declining water tables , chemical leaching , chemical runoff , soil erosion , land degradation , loss in biodiversity, and other ecological concerns. [47]

Conventional food distribution and long distance transport

Conventional food distribution and long distance transport are additionally resource and energy exhaustive. Substantial climate-disrupting carbon emissions , boosted by the transport of food over long distances, are of growing concern as the world faces such global crisis as natural resource depletion, peak oil and climate change . [48] „The average American meal costs about 1500 miles, and takes about 10 calories of oil and other fossil fuels to produce a single calorie of food.“ [49]

Local and seasonal foods

A more sustainable means of acquiring food is locally and seasonally. Buying food from local farmers reduces carbon output , caused by long-distance food transport, and stimulates the local economy. [49] Local, small-scale farming operations also typically utilize more sustainable methods of farming than conventional farming methods, such as nutrient cycling , fostering biodiversity and reduced chemical pesticide and fertilizer applications. [50]Adapting a more regional, seasonally based, it is more sustainable than necessary and requires a long distance transport. These vegetables and fruits are also grown during their growing season . Thus, seasonal food farming does not require energy intensive greenhouse production, extensive irrigation, plastic packaging and long-distance transportation from importing non-regional foods, and other environmental stressors. [51]Local, seasonal produce is typically fresher, unprocessed and argued to be more nutritious. Local produce also contains no chemical residues from applications required for long-distance shipping and handling. [52] Farmers‘ markets , local food and local produce, are a good source of local food and knowledge about local farming productions. As localization of food, farmers markets are a central gathering place for community interaction. [53] Another way to become involved in local food distribution by local community-supported agriculture(THAT’S IT). A CSA consists of a community of growers and consumers who pledge to support a farming operation while sharing the risks and benefits of food production. CSA is usually involved in a system of weekly pick-ups of locally farmed vegetables and fruits, sometimes including dairy products, meat and specialty food items such as baked goods. [54] Considering the previously noted rising environmental crisis, the United States and the world is facing immense vulnerability to starvation. Local food production ensures food security and potential disruptions and climate change, economic, and sociopolitical disasters were to occur. [49]

Reducing meat consumption

Industrial meat production also involves high environmental degradation , such as soil erosion and depletion of natural resources , and especially pertaining to water and food. [51] Mass meat production increase the amount of methane in the atmosphere . For more information on the impact of meat production and consumption, see the ethics of eating meat . Reducing meat consumption, perhaps to a few meals a week, or adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet, alleviates the demand for environmentally damaging industrial meat production. Buying and consuming organically raised, free-range or grass fed meatis another alternative towards more sustainable meat consumption. [50]

Organic farming

Purchasing and supporting organic products is another fundamental contribution to sustainable living. Organic farming is a rapidly emerging trend in the food industry and the web of sustainability. According to the USDA National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), organic agricultureThe primary is defined as „an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activities. The goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil, plants, animals and people. “ On sustaining these goals, organic farming uses techniques such as crop rotation , permaculture , compost , green manure and biological pest control . In addition, organic farming prohibitions or strictly limited the use of manufactured fertilizers and pesticides,plant growth regulators such as hormones , livestock antibiotics , food additives and genetically modified organisms . [55] Organically farmed products include vegetables, fruit, grains, herbs, meat, dairy, eggs, fibers, and flowers. See organic certification for more information.

Urban gardening

In addition to local, small-scale farms, there has-been a recent emergence in urban agriculture Expanding from community gardens to private home gardens . With this trend, both farmers and farmers become involved in food production . A network of urban farming systems helps to further ensure regional food security and encourages self-sufficiency and cooperative interdependence within communities. [56] With every bite of food from urban gardens, negative environmental impacts are reduced in numerous ways. For instance, vegetables and fruits grown in small-scale grasses are not grown with tremendous applications of nitrogen fertilizerrequired for industrial agricultural operations. The nitrogen fertilizers cause toxic chemical leaching and runoff that enters our water tables. Nitrogen fertilizer also produces nitrous oxide , a more damaging greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide . Local, community-grown food also requires no imported, long-distance transport which further depletes our fossil fuel reserves. [57] In vacant lots, public parks, private yards, church and school yards, roof tops ( roof-top gardens)), and many other places. Communities can work together in changing zoning limitations in order to public and private gardens to be permissible. [58] Aesthetically pleasing edible landscaping plants can also be incorporated into cities such as blueberry bushes, grapevines trained on an arbor, pecan trees, etc. [53] With farming, sustainable farming and organic farming methods can easily be used. Such sustainable, organic farming technologies include: composting , biological pest control , crop rotation , mulching , drip irrigation , nutrient cyclingandpermaculture . [59] For more information on sustainable farming systems, see sustainable agriculture .

Food preservation and storage

Preserving and storing foods relies on long-distance transported food and the market industry. Home-grown foods can be stored and stored outside of their growing season and continually consumed throughout the year, enhancing self-sufficiency and independence from the supermarket. Can be kept and saved by dehydration , freezing , vacuum packing , canning , bottling , pickling and jellying. [60] For more information, see food preservation .


With rising peak oil Concerns, climate warming Exacerbated by carbon emission and high energy prices, the conventional automotive industry is Becoming less and less feasible to the conversation of sustainability. Revisions of urban transport systems that foster mobility, low-cost transportation and healthier urban environments are needed. Such urban transport systems should consist of a combination of rail transport , bus transport , bicycle pathways and pedestrian walkways. Public transport systems Such As underground rail systems and bus transit systems shift huge numbers of people away from reliance on car mobilization and Dramatically Reduce the rate of Carbon Emissions Caused by motor transport. [61] Carpooling is another alternative for reducing oil consumption and carbon emissions by transit.

In comparison to automobiles, bicycles are a paragon of energy efficient transportation with 50 times more energy efficient than driving. [62] Bicycles increase mobility while alleviating congestion , lowering air and noise pollution , and increasing physical exercise . Most importantly, they do not emit climate-disturbing carbon dioxide . [61] Bike-sharing programs are beginning to boom throughout the world and are modeled in Paris , Amsterdam and London . [63] Bike-sharing programs offerkiosks and docking stations that provide services to the city or city. [64]

A recent boom has occurred in electric bikes Especially in China and other Asian countries. Electric bikes are similar to plug-in hybrid vehicles that they are plugged into the provincial electric grid for recharging as needed. In contrast to plug-in hybrid cars, electric bikes do not directly use any fossil fuels . Adequate sustainable urban transportation is dependent on proper city infrastructure and planning that incorporates efficient public transit along with bicycle and pedestrian-friendly pathways. [61] Patrick Maria Johnson was the founder of this.


A major factor of sustainable living involves no human can live without, water . Unsustainable water use has far reaching implications for humankind. Currently, humans use one-fourth of the earth’s total fresh water in natural circulation, and over half the accessible runoff . [65] Additionally, population growth and water demand is ever increasing. Thus, it is necessary to use available water more efficiently. In sustainable living, one can use water more sustainably through a series of simple, everyday measures. These measures involve indoor home appliance efficiency, outdoor water use and daily water use awareness.

Indoor home appliances

Housing and commercial buildings account for 12 percent of America’s freshwater withdrawals. [65] A typical American single family home about 70 US gallons (260 L) per person per day indoors. [65] This can be reduced by simple alterations in behavior and upgrades to appliance quality.


Toilets accounted for almost 30% of residential water use in the United States in 1999. [66] One flush of a standard US toilet requires more water, and more day. [67] A home’s toilet water sustainability can be improved in one of two ways: To improve the current toilet, one possible method Also, there are inexpensive tank banks or float booster available for purchase. A tank bank is a plastic bag to be filled with water and hung in the toilet tank. A float boosterfasteners underneath the float ball of pre-1986 three and a half gallon capacity toilets. It allows these toilets to operate at the same valve and float setting, and one gallon of water per flush. A major waste of water in existing toilets is leaks. A slow toilet leak is undetectable to the eye, but can not waste hundreds of gallons each month. One way to check this is to put food in the tank, and to see if the water in the bowl bowl turns the same color. In the event of a leaky flapper, which allows for self-adjustment of the amount of water per flush.

If installing a new toilet there is a number of options to obtain the most water efficient model. A low flush toilet uses one to two gallons per flush. Traditionally, toilets use three to five gallons per flush. If an eighteen-liter flush toilet is removed and a six-liter flush toilet is put into its place, 70% of the water will be saved while the overall indoor water use will be reduced by 30%. [68] It is possible to have a toilet that uses no water. A composting toilet treats human waste through composting and dehydration , producing a valuable soil additive. [69]These toilets feature a two-compartment bowl to separate urine from feces. The urine can be collected or sold as fertilizer. The feces can be dried and bagged or composted. These toilets cost more easily than toilets and do not require a sewer hookup. In addition to providing valuable fertilizer, these toilets are highly sustainable because they save money and improve their productivity .

Additionally, one can reduce toilet water. For instance, instead of flushing small wastes, such as tissues, one can dispose of these items in the trash or compost.


On average, showers were 18% of US indoor water use in 1999, at 6-8 US gallons (23-30 L) per minute traditionally in America. [66] A simple method to reduce this use is to switch to low-flow, high-performance showerheads. These showerheads use only 1.0-1.5 gpm or less. An alternative to replacing the showerhead is to install a converter. This device arrests a running shower upon reaching the desired temperature. Solar water heaterscan be used to obtain optimal water temperature, and are more sustainable because they reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Too much water, water pipes can be insulated with pre-slit foam pipe insulation. This insulation decreases hot water generation time. A simple, straightforward method to conserve water when showering is to take shorter showers. The method is not necessary when it is not necessary (such as while lathering) and when the water is necessary. This can be facilitated when the plumbing or showerhead is allowed to turn off the water without disrupting the desired temperature setting (common in the UK but not the United States).

Dishwashers and sinks

On average, sinks were 15% of US indoor water use in 1999. [66] There are, however, easy methods to rectify excessive water loss. Available for purchase is a screw-on aerator. This device works by combining water with air thus generating a substance with reduced volume. Additionally, there is a flip-valve available that can be used for temperature and temperature. Finally, a 1.5-2.4 gpm stream of water that reduces water usage by half, but can be turned to normal water level when optimal.

In addition to buying the above devices, they can be more easily maintained by checking for leaks, and fixing these links if they exist. According to the EPA, „A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day, while larger leaks can waste of gallons“. [66] When washing dishes by hand, it is not necessary to leave the water running for rinsing, and it is more efficient to rinse dishes simultaneously.

On average, dishwashing consumes 1% of indoor water use. [66] When using a dishwasher , water can be maintained by the machine when it is full. Some have a „low flow“ setting to use less water per wash cycle. Enzymatic detergents are more readily available at a lower temperature. quote needed ]

Washing machines

On average, 23% of US water use in 1999 was due to washing clothes. [66] In contrast to other machines, American washing machines have changed to become more sustainable. A typical washing machine has a vertical-axis design, in which clothes are agitated in a tubful of water. Horizontal-axis machines, in contrast, put less water in the bottom of the rub and rotate clothes through it. These machines are more efficient in terms of soap use and clothing stability.

Outdoor water use

There is a number of ways to fit a personal yard , roof , and garden in more sustainable living. While conserving water is a major element of sustainability, so is sequestering water.

Conserving water

In planning a yard and garden space, it is most sustainable to consider the plants, soil, and available water. Drought resistant shrubs, seedlings, and grasses require a smaller amount of water. Additionally, native seedlings (as opposed to herbaceous perennials) will be used to reduce the incidence of plant disease. Xeriscaping is a technique that selects drought-tolerant plants and accounts for endemic features such as slope , soil type , and native plant range. It can reduce landscape water use by 50 – 70%, while providing habitat space for wildlife. Plants on slopes help reduce runoffby slowing and absorbing accumulated rainfall. Grouping plants by watering needs

After planting, placing a circumference of mulch surrounding plants functions to the evaporation . To do this, firmly pressed for organic matter along the plant’s dripline. This prevents water runoff. When watering, consider the range of sprinklers; watering paved areas is unnecessary. Additionally, to conserve the maximum amount of water, watering should not be avoided. Drip-irrigation systems and soaker are a more sustainable alternative to the traditional sprinkler system. Drip-irrigation systems employ small gaps at standard distances in a hose, leading to the slow trickle of water droplets which percolates the soil over a protracted period. These systems use 30 – 50% less water than conventional methods. [70] Soaker hoses help to reduce water use by up to 90%. [71] They connect to a garden hose and lay along the row of plants under a layer of mulch. A layer of organic materialadded to the soil helps to increase its absorption and water retention; previously planted areas can be covered with compost .

In caring for a lawn, there are a number of measures that can increase the sustainability of lawn maintenance techniques. A primary aspect of lawn care is watering. To conserve water, it is important to only water when necessary, and to deep soak when watering. Additionally, a lawn may be left to go dormant, renewing after a dry spell to its original vitality.

Sequestering water

A common method of water sequestrations is rainwater harvesting , which incorporates the collection and storage of rain. Primarily, the rain is obtained from a roof, and stored on the ground in catchment tanks. Water sequestration varies based on extent, cost, and complexity. A simple method involves a single barrel at the bottom of a downspout, while a more complex method involves multiple tanks. It is highly suitable for use in water purification and flushing toilets. Additionally, it would be possible to reduce the amount of pollutant pollution , and to remove it from the roofs. The following equation can be used to estimate annual water supply:

Area (square feet) Collection × Rainfall (inch / year) / 12 (inch / foot) = Cubic Feet of Water / Year

Cubic Feet / Year × 7.43 (Gallons / Cubic Foot) = Gallons / year

Note, however, this calculation does not account for such evaporation or leakage. [72]

Greywater systems function in sequestering used indoor water, such as laundry, bath and sink water, and filtering it for reuse. Greywater can be reused in irrigation and toilet flushing. There are two types of gray water systems: gravity fed manual systems and package systems. [73] The manual systems do not require electricity but require a larger yard space. [73] The package systems require electricity and are self-contained and can be installed indoors. [73]


As populations and resource demands climb, waste production contributes to emissions of carbon dioxide , leaching of hazardous materials to the soil and waterways, and methane emissions . In America alone, over the course of a decade, 500 trillion pounds of American resources have been transformed into nonproductive wastes and gases. [67] Thus, a crucial component of sustainable living is being waste conscious. One can do this by reducing waste, reusing commodities, and recycling.

There are a number of ways to reduce waste in sustainable living. Two methods to Reduce paper waste are canceling junk mail like credit card and insurance offers and direct marketing email and changing monthly paper statements to paperless emails. Junk mail alone accounted for 1.72 million tons of landfill waste in 2009. [74] Another method to reduce waste is to buy in bulk, reducing packaging materials. Preventing food waste can limit the amount of organic waste. [75]Another example of waste reduction involves being aware of excessive amounts of money when buying materials. Non-hazardous or less hazardous alternatives can also limit the toxicity of waste. [76]

By reusing materials, one lives more sustainably by not contributing to the addition of waste to landfills. Reusing saves natural resources by decreasing the necessity of raw material extraction. For example, reusable bags can reduce the amount of waste created by grocery shopping.

Recycling , a process that breaks down into new materials, is a particularly useful means of contributing to the renewal of goods. Recycling incorporates three primary processes; collection and processing, manufacturing, and purchasing recycled products. [77] A natural example of recycling involves using food waste as compost to enrich the quality of soil, which can be done locally or locally with community composting . An offshoot of recycling, upcycling , strives to convert material into something similar or greater value into its second life. [78] By integrating measures of reusing, reducing, and recycling in a more sustainable manner.

See also

  • Circles of Sustainability
  • Cradle-to-cradle design
  • Circular economy
  • Climate-friendly gardening
  • downshifting
  • Eco-communalism
  • Ecodesign
  • Ecological economics
  • Ethical consumerism
  • Foodscaping
  • frugality
  • Simple living
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable architecture
  • Sustainable design
  • Sustainable development
  • Sustainable event management
  • Sustainable landscaping
  • Sustainable House Day (in Australia)
  • permaculture
  • The Venus Project
  • Transition Towns


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