5 Tips to Live More Sustainably in Your Everyday Life!

April is Earth Month – Learn how to live a sustainable lifestyle during the month of April and all year long. Our planet is home to over 8 million living species. According to NASA scientists, human activities (primarily the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas) have fundamentally increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing global warming and climate change all over the world. It is vital that humans work together with the natural environment in order to live sustainably and preserve biodiversity for future generations. The issue of climate change globally is complex, but there are many small changes you can make in your daily life that will reduce the overall carbon footprint.

Here are some helpful lifestyle sustainable tips, inspired from the Common Wanderer Blog:

  • Thrift shop and buy used, second-hand, clothing.
  • Invest in sustainable quality clothing brands that last for years.
  • Reduce the need to purchase new clothes.

It takes a lot of resources to produce new clothing, so it is much better to buy things second-hand and consider shopping more sustainably.

According to Earth.org, the fast fashion industry consumes a huge amount of water, around 93 billion cubic meters, and much of it is contaminated by toxic chemicals. It takes 2,720 liters of water (as much as you’d drink in a three-year period) to make one T-shirt. Your favorite pair of jeans? It takes almost 10,000 liters of water into producing them and dying them blue. A big reason why these seemingly simple clothing garments use so much water is because they’re made from cotton. Cotton is the largest user of water among all agricultural commodities – it takes 20,000 liters just to produce one kilogram of cotton.

The increase in demand on fast fashion have increased so much that 60% of clothing fabric is made from plastic-based materials like polyester and acrylic, because it is cheap to manufacture and is durable, which makes polyester the world’s most frequently used plastic material in textile production. Polyester is closely related to the oil industry; It is a byproduct of petroleum production (plastic), so it never truly breaks down. The trouble with this type of fabric is that when it is washed, it releases very small plastic fibers that pass through the wastewater filtration systems into our rivers and oceans. With this process, clothing produces half a million tons of microplastics each year, according to Concordia University.

Your best option is to buy used clothes and donate your unwanted clothing and/or buy quality sustainable clothing (if/when you choose to buy new).

Watch this Tedx Talks video with Breton Lorway about the impact of consumer goods in the environment: Saving the Environment from Consumerism

  • Invest in a reusable water bottle.
  • Say no to single-use plastic utensils/straws and bring your own bag to the store.
  • Choose zero waste toiletries, like solid shampoo bars, safety razors, etc.

It is challenging to reduce your plastic consumption when most of the products purchased are sold and packaged in plastic material. As a consumer, you can start in small ways – for example, buying a reusable water bottle and stop purchasing plastic water bottles, or bringing your own bag to the grocery store. Consider adopting a Zero-Waste Lifestyle. According to Center for EcoTechnology, Zero-Waste is a movement to reduce the amount one consumes and consequently throws away. This lifestyle is one of the most sustainable ways of living because it reduces pollution and the number of materials sent to the landfill. Zero-Waste lifestyles have recently become popular and has opened up people’s eyes on how much plastic waste is around the world.

Watch this Tedx Talks video with Lauren Singer about living a Zero-Waste life: Why I Live a Zero Waste Life

  • Eat one plant-based meal a day for a year; It will save almost 200,000 gallons of water!
  • Find plant-based alternatives staple food items (i.e. plant-based milk, yogurt, and creamer).
  • Transform favorite dishes (i.e. pizza, pasta, and stir-fry) to include more veggies.

Going fully vegetarian or vegan is difficult if meat is a regular part of your diet, but you can start small. Vegetables are not only very nutritious and essential to a balanced diet, but also do not require as many resources to grow and harvest. On the other hand, raising livestock is more complicated – it requires animal feed, takes up more habitable land, and cows produce methane gas emissions, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. It is important to incorporate more vegetables into your diet and to reduce your meat consumption because it will make a difference for the environment and your health.

Watch this educational video from Vox, about cutting down your meat consumption:  The Diet that Helps Fight Climate Change

  • Have a well-thought-out meal plan and buy only what you need.
  • Freeze excess produce and add it to your food while cooking. Old veggies still make for good soups, stews, and curries.
  • Freezing leftover perishable ingredients can also increase the longevity of your food, so they are fresh when you are ready to use them.
  • Compost leftover or unused food.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2021 Report “From Farm to Kitchen: The Environmental Impacts of U.S. Food Waste”, one-third of the food produced, in the United States, is never eaten, wasting the resources used to produce it and creating a myriad of environmental impacts. Food waste that ends up in the landfills also generates potent greenhouse gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide, causes climate change and have global warming potentials 25 times greater than carbon dioxide. Fruits and vegetables are the most wasted foods, followed by dairy and eggs. Food waste is the single most common material landfilled and incinerated in the U.S. comprising 24 and 22 percent of landfilled and combusted municipal solid waste, respectively.

The average American family wastes $1,866 of food annually, according to Stop Food Waste Day.  Visit Stop Food Waste Day Website to take the pledge and to learn more about how to reduce your food waste.

For more information, watch this video from Our Changing Climate on food waste and climate change: Our Changing Climate – Food Waste causes Climate Change. Here’s how we stop it.


There are many educational books, websites, and podcasts you can reference to continue to educate yourself. Hopefully these will inspire you, your family, and friends, to never stop learning and to make a difference.



Living Planet

The topics of these weekly podcasts are environmental stories from around the world.  And for this episode, “Climate Misinformation: How Do We Tackle It?”.



A Sustainable Mind

A Sustainable Mind is a podcast series created for the earth-conscious individual. The topic of this podcast is “A Sustainable Mind – Environment & Sustainability Podcast”, by Marjorie Alexander



Resources Radio

Resources Radio is a weekly podcast that features interviews with researchers and leading experts about climate change, energy, ecosystems, and more.




Here is a list from “Earthwatch.org” of 23 must read science books about the environment chosen by Earthwatch scientists.

Here is a list from “We Are Teachers” of 42 books for Earth Day to inspire children.



Sustainable living is becoming more of a mainstream philosophy which a person takes to actively make a practical change and positively impacts climate change and environmental issues. You can learn a lot from people from what they are doing and how they are making an impact. Simply shifting your lifestyle in a way to consume and waste less products will make a huge difference.

Here is a list of eco-friendly blogs you might want to consider following.


Local Environmental Stewardship

This Earth Month and beyond, take the time to evaluate your current lifestyle and ask yourself if you are incorporating the tips above. It starts with YOU! If you are ready to take another step toward environmental stewardship, below is a list of some Earth Month events happening during the month of April in the West Contra Costa County area:


  1. Richmond Greenway Gardens Earth Day Celebration

Saturday, April 23, 2022:  10 am – 2 pm | Unity Park Plaza, 1605 Ohio Ave, Richmond, CA 94804

Come celebrate Earth Day with Urban Tilth, Groundwork Richmond, and more! There will be many activities for the entire family, including mural painting, planting a flower garden, beautifying playgrounds, building free fruit tree stands for the edible forest, watershed swale planting, and weeding.

Register HERE


  1. San Pablo Earth Day Creek Cleanup Event

Saturday, April 23, 2022: 10 am – 12 noon | Wildcat Creek at Davis Park, 1655 Folsom Ave, San Pablo, CA 94806

FREE snacks and clean-up supplies will be provided. Please wear a mask and closed-toe shoes.

Call for more information: 510-215-3066


  1. North Richmond Wildcat Creek Clean-Up

Saturday, April 23, 2022: 9 am – 11 am | 1925 Fred Jackson Way, Richmond, CA 94801

Show your love for the earth by helping to restore Wildcat Creek. Join Urban Tilth, The Watershed Project, and friends and neighbors in removing trash and debris that harms wildlife, and learn about plans to restore the habitat for rainbow trout.

Register HERE


  1. City of El Cerrito Earth Day Week Work Celebrations

Week of April 23 and April 30, 2022

If you are celebrating Earth week and taking action whether in a group for out-door cleanups, work parties, or for yourself, visit the City of El Cerrito Earth Day Celebration to learn more about what you can do for any earth-friendly activity.


In addition, feel free to download this reference document and post to your refrigerator for these sustainable tips to keep handy all year long! [CLICK HERE]