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We are approaching the last couple of months of the year and closing off 2020. I would like to believe that this year was full of learning and realizations. Among the many things that occurred during 2020, a few key things to note include: COVID-19, #BLM, and a heightened motive to live sustainably.

No one topic could supersede another, but going into 2021, we need to learn from the past. We cannot let our mistakes drag on any further. We have been mistreating the Earth for far too long. It can no longer be ignored. It can definitely be viable to live a luxurious day-to-day life even by following sustainable habits.

Clothing

There are a few things that we do on a daily basis, and one of those few routine tasks is picking out a new outfit for the day. To keep consistent with the theme, a popularly recycled phrase:

“Quality over quantity”

should start sparking up some ideas. Clothing is not only something that we wear for warmth on a day-to-day basis, it is a statement. Fashion can often tell us what someone is like. Through this, it can also show us how much we care about the environment. Through referring to some posts by fellow bloggers at My Green Closet, and Terumah, and the Good Trade, we were able to discover a whole new world of clothing. These brands are not exactly new – some of them have been around for decades.

Photo by Lauren Fleischmann on Unsplash

These Canadian brands would be able to help you out with choosing the right clothing retailers. These are the people that care enough to create products that not only benefit us but the planet. You can find brands that source their materials sustainably, ethically, and responsibly through the posts at My Green Closet, and Terumah, and the Good Trade.

Clothing, more specifically the fast fashion industry, creates a huge impact on the environment. It does not hurt to do your part and research where your clothing is from, and how it is handled before clicking “Purchase” at checkout. Read more about Fast Fashion on our website.

Energy Efficiency

Another thing we do on a daily basis is flick on a light switch, turn on the tv, and cook on a stove. It often seems like electricity and water are at our infinite disposal. On the contrary, we are not even close to achieving 100% sustainable energy yet. Over the recent years, there have definitely been strides towards achieving majority renewable and sustainable energy in certain areas. For example, we often see Iceland taking the number one spot here. Iceland has proven since 2015 that they can provide 100% of the electrical needs through renewable energy sources (Source: Government of Iceland).

Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

For those of us who do not have readily available renewable sources of energy as mentioned in the following blogs, Building to Support the Environment and Running the World on Clean Energy, we can search for other alternatives like, energy-efficient appliances and water-efficient taps.

The most popular energy efficiency rating organization would be Energy Star. If you are ever at a store that sells appliances, take a close look, and you’ll notice an energy rating done by Energy Star. Apart from saving energy on each use of the appliance, they can also provide insight on preventing energy from escaping through rating windows and doors.

On top of using energy more sustainably through finding the most efficient appliances for our needs, we can save money through lower utilities costs, and potential rebates. Local governments or utility companies often provide benefits to switching to new, more efficient products. As an example, Enbridge provides a $75 rebate for smart efficient thermostats, as well as a rebate up to $5,000 for replacing various items in your house. Replacing said items would be an investment for the future. It would provide you with comfort and it would be made at a discounted cost with rebates. For other programs, you can refer to your local energy provider, or government (Government of Ontario and Canada).

For more information on energy and water sustainability, visit: EPA, UN, and Science Direct.

Research & Development

The most important aspect of living a sustainable lifestyle would be to familiarize yourself with new sustainable habits, and alternatives. Always try to research new methods of doing something – that is how we grow and improve. After all, that is how most of our energy-efficient appliances and sustainable clothing came about. Through research and development, if the time is invested, serious results can arise.

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