We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Sustainable Living?

By Jessica Hobby
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
AllThingsNature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At AllThingsNature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Sustainable living has become the new trend in lifestyle choices that involves a person’s relationship to the Earth and the natural resources used by that person. Sustainable living has a different definition for each of its adherents, but the basic concept is living in way that leaves natural resources for future generations. To accomplish this goal, people must not demand to consume more resources than are available and, in some cases, even have a positive effect on natural resources by helping to replenish them. By not overusing resources, they are given the opportunity to naturally replenish themselves.

Supporters of sustainable living often refer to a person’s “carbon footprint,” as the effect that their lifestyle has on Earth. One of the main tenets of sustainable living is reducing one’s carbon footprint. This is done by through changes in diet, transportation and energy consumption. Practicing sustainable agriculture, choosing to use public transportation, driving a vehicle that gets good gas mileage, bringing cloth bags to the grocery store, instead of using paper or plastic, and showering, instead of taking a bath, are all ways to reduce someone’s carbon footprint.

Strict advocates of sustainable living reduce their carbon footprints through sustainable living practice called permaculture, which is an ethical design system. The first of the three core ethics in permaculture is caring for the Earth so that nature is not disrupted or damaged. Secondly, there is a concentration on sustaining people’s needs without damaging the Earth. Finally, adherents to permaculture must accept that they must limit consumption in relation to population growth.

When practicing sustainable living through a permaculture system, there are seven principles that are followed to hold up the ethical core.

1. Conservation - only use the resources that are needed.
2. Stacking Functions - use one thing for as many uses as possible.
3. Repeating Functions - meeting needs in as many ways as possible.
4. Reciprocity - using the outputs of the system to meet the needs of other parts of the system.
5. Appropriate Scale - only produce things at a scale that is conducive to its use with the intention of causing the least amount of disruption to nature.
6. Diversity - utilizing a variety of different elements in the system helps to create resilience.
7. Share the Surplus - give away the abundance in your system to help others sustain.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is sustainable living?

Sustainable living refers to a lifestyle that aims to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources. It involves making conscious choices to minimize personal and collective environmental impact, such as reducing waste, conserving energy, and supporting eco-friendly practices. The goal is to create a balance where our needs are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.

Why is sustainable living important?

Sustainable living is crucial for maintaining the health of our planet. It helps to combat climate change, preserve biodiversity, and ensure the availability of resources for the future. According to the United Nations, sustainable living practices can significantly contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to address global challenges such as poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation.

How can I start living sustainably?

To start living sustainably, begin by making small changes in your daily routine. This can include reducing energy consumption, recycling, using public transportation, and purchasing products made from sustainable materials. Additionally, consider reducing meat consumption, as the livestock sector is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

What are some examples of sustainable practices at home?

At home, sustainable practices can include using energy-efficient appliances, installing low-flow water fixtures, composting organic waste, and growing your own vegetables. Reducing single-use plastics by opting for reusable bags, bottles, and containers also makes a significant difference. Moreover, supporting renewable energy sources, like solar or wind power, can further reduce your carbon footprint.

Can sustainable living save money?

Yes, sustainable living can lead to financial savings. Energy-efficient appliances and home improvements can lower utility bills. Buying in bulk, choosing second-hand items, and reducing waste also cut costs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that if all U.S. households installed water-efficient fixtures, the country would save $18 billion annually on water bills.

Is sustainable living only about environmental concerns?

While environmental protection is a key aspect of sustainable living, it also encompasses social and economic dimensions. It promotes fair trade, ethical labor practices, and community engagement. Sustainable living encourages a holistic approach to well-being, considering the long-term impacts of our actions on the planet and its inhabitants, thus fostering a more equitable and sustainable world for all.

AllThingsNature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon319609 — On Feb 13, 2013

Thanks for the info. I'm currently working on Self Sustainable Living myself. My goal is to help individuals start producing their own food, water, energy and wealth from their homes then plan to start with community projects and vertical farming. Lots of love and respect to those who are doing their part.

By submariner — On Jan 19, 2011

@ GiraffeEars- You are right about your last statement. I know plenty of people who live completely unsustainable lifestyles, but buy things like Priuses and the likes to simply fit in with a group of people. Sustainable living is more about your lifestyle than about what you own.

By GiraffeEars — On Jan 17, 2011

@ Georgesplane- You highlight the point that most modern definitions of sustainability include provisions that cover the environment, economic development, and an equitable social development. The thing about sustainable living is it is not only about the type of home you have or the things you buy. Living sustainably is about the total impact that those things have on society, the economy and the environment. Someone can drive a Prius and live unsustainably, while his or her neighbor drives a truck and lives sustainably.

By Georgesplane — On Jan 14, 2011

Sustainable living also refers to a person or families economic livelihood. Someone who is living sustainably is only living within his or her means. This person is not spending beyond their means, putting him or herself into debt. Their personal balance sheet would at least be equal, having yearly savings that would cover their entire debt load for the year (not including mortgage). Ideally, a person would want to have much more short-term savings than debt to be living sustainably economically.

AllThingsNature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

AllThingsNature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.