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Urban Sustainable Living

Wooden houses in Sigtuna streets (Sweden)

City life has a lot going for it. All the amenities of modern life are close at hand, choices abound for socialising, work, and recreational activities.

But what do you do if in amongst all the modern trappings you want to get back to living simply? Yet the idea of going rural and living off the land is not an option with your current situation, or you simply don’t want to step that far into an alternative lifestyle.

Fear not!

If you live in an apartment in the center of a city, rent, live in suburbia, or (heaven forbid!) in your parent’s basement it’s entirely possible to become sustainable in the way you live.

Define What Sustainable Living Means to You

Living sustainably is about reducing our impact in the world and consuming less than we do now. That gives us a lot of scope to make positive changes and improve our lives.

But you need to establish what changes you are happy to make and what you are actually willing to do.  

Think consciously about how sustainable you can be and still be happy with the way you live.

Yes, in a perfect world everyone would live with exactly the right amount of what they needed and be happy about it. We all know this world is not perfect. Far from it. Our family is still not living as sustainably as we can. But we’re aware of it and making small changes all the time to improve the way we live.

Take small steps like eliminating your use of plastic, keeping a wardrobe full of unworn clothes, using public transport or biking more often. Do what you can today and don’t beat yourself up for feeling like it’s not enough. Do a little more tomorrow.

Make the Decision

No change will happen until you take action and do it. The very first step is to decide to live sustainably. Tell your friends and family if you must. Heck, tell the world. Just be sure that you are comfortable making the decision and sticking with it for the long haul.

Simplify Your Life

Get rid of all the nonessentials in your life. The “stuff” you have accumulated but don’t really need. Think things, clothes, furniture, tools, and yes, even people.

You want to live a simple, stress-free and sustainable life? Clear the unnecessary clutter.

Eliminate the negative, accentuate the positive, and don’t settle for Mr Inbetween.

Go and spend your time, money, and energy on the essential things in your life. Accentuate the positive. Keep the quality in your life higher and quantity lower. Less is more as the saying goes.

In the city, getting out and about is easy. So is taking up satisfying activities that enrich your life. Learn a new skill (like sewing for example, or knitting) or take up a sport.

Learn to reuse, produce, and recycle/upcycle in all areas of your life.

Take up growing your own food. You don’t need as much space as you think. Even if you’re living in an apartment, gardening is possible. Get creative and out of the box of what society expects.

Learn to love yourself as you are, without the need for alcohol, drugs, or fad diets. Find your own image that doesn’t require the latest and greatest fashions or gadgets. Hang with those that support you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Get rid of those that drag you down and naysay whatever you do.

Easy? Not always. Worth it? You bet!

Become More Disciplined

With the increase of urban living there has become an increase in the time we have available for relaxing and doing our own thing. It’s a benefit to being closer to other people and more amenities. Unfortunately this has led to people to become greater time wasters. And wasting time is not sustainable living.

Sustainable living is about consuming less and putting more back into your environment. Sitting in front of the television for hours on end is time wasting.

Get more disciplined about making positive changes in your life. Learn to be grateful for what you have, and what every situation brings into your life.

Find pleasure in the simplest ways of living. That is a sustainable life worth living.

Be free and happy!

Scott (The Free Ranger)

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