Neithongunuo Angela Belho
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Botany, St. Josephs College, Jakhama  

Sustainable living. When we talk about sustainable living in general sense, it is a way of adapting a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the earth’s natural resources and personal resources in such a way so as to use it to fulfill our needs and not our wants. Sustainability is a topic which has hit the charts of the need of the hour in this present generation. It is one of the most common topics under review and every individual has now become aware of it. In fact, it has become a must for any school going individual to be made aware of it.Thousands of organizations and individual activists have come forward with various ways and means to sustain the environment and its resources. And all these initiatives have been taken just because the earth has now reached to a state where it can no longer provide us with more than we need, forget that, but it is now becoming unable to even meet our needs just because of one particular reason alone and that is ‘human greed’, a nature in man which can prove very dangerous and fatal for one’s own kind, which is now evident in the present scenario of our very own environment.  

Human kind needs the environment for survival. However, man often tends to forget that and tries to exploit the resources just to meet its own greedy desires and that is when everything goes wrong. Though it has been stressed on almost every time about the environment being deteriorated due to our merciless actions against nature just to fulfill our greedy desires, we often fail to realize what exactly we are leading ourselves to.  

To add to this never solving issue of environmental deterioration, it has become the most ‘not taken seriously’ issue. This is because though it is an issue which when we compare it to any other issue stands out as the most serious issue which needs intensive looking in to because our future generation’s well-being relies on it, it is a most talked about issue and the negative effects are slow and doesn’t come with a bang. However, if one may look deeply, one will find that health has deteriorated, air has become a source of diseases, rain water has become harmful, floral and faunal species are getting extinct because of their inability to adapt to the impure state of the environment, pollution is even visible in the atmosphere, and all these are leading to an imbalance in the natural ecosystem and thus will slowly lead to the extinction of our very own human race. When that has been mentioned, extinction, it is not a metaphor, it is literally mentioned and meant the way it is because man like any other living being is mortal and is capable of getting extinct if we do not do something about it. We may be dominant in many aspects but we also need to keep in mind that no matter how much of artificial forces and means we may use to survive, nothing beats the three natural elements of life, Water, Air and Food. After all why would we need them in the first place? It is mere stupidity to be building your house out of the food you eat.  

If only we could fight for our environment like we fight for our political rights. It does not require you to do extraordinary things to sustain the environment, even if it does, who is to benefit from it and why should one even hesitate. There are many small ways through which you can contribute a little more to sustainable living. Let me list out some, and they are as follows….

1) Think twice before shopping. Every product that we purchase has an environmental footprint from the material used to creat it to the pollution emitted during its manufacture to the packaging that ends up in landfills. So before you buy, ask yourselves if you really need it and if you do, try considering the ones with minimal packaging.

2) Make sure your big purchases have big environmental benefits, like when you buy a car, look for a fuel-efficient model, you’ll save thousands on gas money and reduce your carbon footprints over the years.

3) Ditch the plastics, as plastics never go away. Every year thousands of sea birds and mammals die due to ingestion of plastic wastes. Try to avoid any plastic product whenever possible.

4) Boycott products that endanger wildlife. Some products harm endangered species by threatening their habitat, from cutting down old-growth forests to using up the water that riparian species needs to survive. To avoid contributing to such, shop conscientiously and look out for sustainable materials like bamboos.

5) Pay attention to labels. Choose Fair Trade certified goods when possible to support companies dedicated to sustainable production.

6) Be water-wise. Most importantly skip bottled water.

7) Drive less, drive green. Changing your driving habits can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. Walk, bike, carpool or use public transportation whenever possible.

8) Green your home. Try using energy – saving light bulbs for more efficient lighting and make sure your home has energy saving windows.

9) Try to eat locally sourced fruits and vegetables as it lowers the amount of fossil fuels used to transport food over long distances. Also eat less meat as meat production is environmentally very destructive and responsible for massive amount of water use and pollution and habitat destruction.

10) Choose to have a smaller family. With more than 7 billion people in the world our demands on food, water, fossils and land are pushing other species to extinction.

11) Use your voice and your vote. Vote for candidates with strong environmental platforms. Today one of the best things you can do to protect the habitat is to politically get involved in the community.

12) Opt for renewable energy like solar panels or solar water heating at home


Sustainable living is thus just many easy steps away that you can do in your everyday life. It does not require any special skills; all it requires is just a little bit of concern for our own well-being as well as the well-being of our future generation, because, so to say, when we cut down the forest more than necessary we are wasting the very source of our own well-being.