How Can I Live Sustainably in 2023?

blue and white desk globe on green grass field during daytime

Living sustainably isn’t just a trend—it’s a lifestyle that we must all adopt to preserve and protect the planet. With the growing concern and awareness about the impact of climate change, living sustainably is becoming more important than ever. In this article, we’ll discuss 12 key ways to live sustainably, covering topics from shopping and transportation to energy use and green home improvements. We’ll also include an FAQ section with answers to common sustainability queries, and tips on sustainable living in general.

1. Think Twice Before Shopping

When it comes to living sustainably, the first place to start is your purchasing habits. Be mindful of what you’re buying, where it’s made, and how it gets to you. Opt for products and materials that have minimal environmental impact, are recyclable or biodegradable, and are produced ethically. This includes things like clothing, electronics, and home goods. Choose products made from environmentally-friendly materials like bamboo and recycled plastic.

  • Pros: Better for the environment, promotes sustainability.
  • Cons: Sustainable products can be pricier, limited availability.

2. Make Sure Your Purchases Have Environmental Benefits

Apart from buying eco-friendly products, consider investing in products with environmental benefits like solar panels, electric cars, and green energy. These products are designed to reduce environmental impact and increase energy efficiency, while also improving your overall quality of life. They may be more expensive upfront, but the benefits are worth the cost in the long run.

  • Pros: Can save money on utilities, improves energy efficiency, reduces environmental impact.
  • Cons: Higher upfront costs.

3. Plan #PlasticFree

Plastic waste is among the biggest environmental problem in the world today. Plastic bags, straws, cups, and utensils are a major source of pollution in the oceans and landfills. Plan to go #PlasticFree by choosing reusable materials instead. Carry a cloth bag with you when grocery shopping, take a reusable water bottle or coffee cup, use metal or bamboo utensils instead of plastic ones.

  • Pros: Saves money, reduces environmental impact.
  • Cons: Requires lifestyle changes, may forget reusable materials while travelling.

4. Boycott Products that Endanger Wildlife


Some products are produced at the expense of wildlife habitat and conservation. Boycott products that endanger wildlife, such as those containing palm oil, unsustainably harvested seafood, and other products that contribute to deforestation. Look for eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to these products.

  • Pros: Saves wildlife, promotes ethical consumption.
  • Cons: Limited product availability.

5. Pay Attention to Labels

Food labels, especially those marked as organic and non-GMO, have gained attention in recent years. Choose products that have eco-friendly certifications such as Energy Star and WaterSense. Look for eco-friendly labels and certifications before purchasing food and home products.

  • Pros: Better for the environment, promotes sustainability.
  • Cons: Limited availability, can be more expensive.

6. Conserve Water Usage

Be water wise by reducing your water usage through measures such as fixing leaks, taking shorter showers, and using water-efficient appliances. Install low-flow shower heads and sink faucets, and try drip irrigation instead of overhead sprinklers in your garden to minimize water waste.

  • Pros: Saves money, helps the environment.
  • Cons: May require lifestyle changes, higher upfront costs.

7. Drive Less, Drive Green

Transportation accounts for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions. Reduce your carbon footprint by driving less, or taking public transportation or biking. If you must drive, choose vehicles that are fuel-efficient, or opt for electric vehicles that produce zero emissions.

  • Pros: Saves money, reduces environmental impact.
  • Cons: Can be inconvenient depending on location, may require lifestyle changes.

8. Green your Home

Green home improvements benefit both the environment and your wallet. Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances and LED light bulbs, and invest in programmable thermostats, double-pane windows, and insulation. Use solar-powered lights in your garden, and consider installing a green roof to reduce the amount of energy used to heat and cool your home.

  • Pros: Reduces utility bills, lowers environmental impact, promotes sustainable living.
  • Cons: Initial cost may be higher.

9. Choose Wild Energy

a house with a solar panel on the roof

Renewable energy sources harness the power of nature, while minimizing the negative impact on the environment. Choose renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, which generate electricity from natural resources. This can mean installing solar panels on your roof, or choosing a renewable energy provider for your home.

  • Pros: Saves money, promotes sustainability, reduces carbon footprint.
  • Cons: Higher upfront cost, need to be compatible with home.

10. Take Extinction Off Your Plate

The meat industry contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Reduce your carbon footprint with a plant-based diet, which is not only great for the environment but also promotes healthy living. Alternatively, choose sustainably-sourced meat and seafood products, and avoid those that use unsustainable practices.

  • Pros: Healthier diet, promotes sustainability, reduces carbon footprint.
  • Cons: May require lifestyle changes, limited product availability.

11. Choose to have a Smaller Family

Father and Daughter

Having a smaller family can reduce our carbon footprint long-term. Consider family planning, as it can also help plan for a sustainable future for the family.

  • Pros: Reduces carbon footprint.
  • Cons: Personal decision, may be difficult to make.

12. Use Your Voice and Your Vote

Last but not least, use your voice and your vote to create awareness and bring about positive change. Support environmental policies and regulations that seek to protect the planet and promote sustainable living. Attend community events and volunteer for local environmental organizations.

  • Pros: Promotes sustainability, raises awareness, and helps the environment.
  • Cons: Requires participation, may require lifestyle changes to contribute.

Sustainability FAQ

Climate awareness pamphlet in San Francisco, 2018.

What are 5 ways to be sustainable?

There are several ways to be sustainable, including reducing plastic waste, conserving water, using public transportation, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, and choosing renewable energy sources.

What are 10 ways to be more sustainable?

In addition to the above, some other ways to be more sustainable include choosing a plant-based diet, using cloth bags, reducing water waste, boycotting products that endanger wildlife, supporting local environmental organizations, and using sustainable products.

How to live 100% sustainably?

Living 100% sustainably is a challenge, but it is possible. It requires serious lifestyle changes, such as reducing car usage, producing zero waste, choosing a plant-based diet, and using renewable energy.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • The average American throws away around 185 pounds of plastic each year.
  • Transportation accounts for nearly a third of greenhouse gas emissions globally.
  • The meat industry produces around 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Choosing renewable energy sources can significantly reduce carbon emissions.
  • According to a recent survey, 55% of Americans prioritize sustainability when shopping.


Living sustainably in 2023 requires a conscious effort and lifestyle change. By making small changes, such as reducing water usage, using sustainable products, and reducing plastic waste, we can collectively make a big impact on the environment. Keep in mind the pros and cons of each option to choose the best sustainable options for your lifestyle. Follow the tips mentioned in this article and be more mindful with your purchases, transportation, and energy usage for a more sustainable future.

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