Sustainability. What likely comes first to mind when you hear this word are images of solar panel fields and people riding their bikes to work. And while both of these things are important to protecting the environment, sustainable living is about more than recycling and making sure that you always have your reusable straw at hand. Living sustainably includes everything from purchasing goods grown from sustainable agriculture, to donating your old clothing, to the not-always-glamorous composting of food that has turned bad. To live sustainable is to live environmentally conscious in all aspects of your life— energy use, waste disposal, shopping, transportation, education, water use, cleaning, and more— in order to maintain a habitable planet.
While making sure that you turn the lights off when you leave a room and deciding to walk instead of driving to school might seem inconsequential in the grand scheme of the Earth, it is important to realize that these small actions are extremely significant when we work as a collective. The more people who choose to adopt environmentally conscious lifestyles, the less overall negative impact people have on the planet. Every single individual action counts when it comes to living sustainably.
There is only one planet Earth, and we rely on its limited supply of natural resources. To protect such natural resources and ensure a healthy and prosperous future for all, we must adopt environmentally conscious practices into our daily lives. With the state of our current deteriorating environmental conditions, we are in store for increased flooding, storms, temperatures, and more, which will all eventually lead to things such as housing crises, refugee crises, economic devastation, and increased spread of illness. Negative climate change can be stopped though, if the general public chooses to adopt sustainable living practices in their daily lives and if our structures adapt to facilitate them.
The Sustainable Living Guide is a collection of resources and recommendations intended to help off-campus and graduate Hopkins students and other affiliates minimize their environmental impact in their day-to-day lives. The guide covers many aspects of personal sustainability, including cleaning, energy, shopping, school, transportation, water, waste diversion, and waste reduction.