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In today's modern world, it has become more apparent than ever that living a sustainable lifestyle could be of a major impact to both the planet and your wallet. When you can decrease the amount of waste being fed into the earth and save some money via a few small changes to your lifestyle, it seems like a no-brainer that switching to a more sustainable lifestyle is a smart move. Here are four keys to living a sustainable lifestyle.

Be Smart About Energy

The first key to living a sustainable lifestyle is to be smart about your energy use. For starters, this can mean turning off the lights when you leave a room or unplugging electronic devices when you are not using them. A bigger change can be made when you consider the source of your energy. A switch to solar energy via solar financing is a great way to both support sustainable energy use as well as save some money. Installing solar panels is a one-way ticket to reducing your carbon footprint, and you'll be rewarded with a smaller electricity bill. If you can be smart about how you use energy, you'll be rewarded. 

Reuse and Recycle

When it comes to making sustainable personal choices, recycling is key. But what you can also do to make sure you're thinking differently about living a sustainable lifestyle is reuse old items such as bags, containers or clothes. There's no reason a shopping bag should only be used for one grocery trip. Take it back to the store the next time you go and use it again. For containers that you receive from a restaurant when taking food home, use them during the week to pack a lunch to bring to work. When you have clothes that are beginning to be tattered or unwearable, make them into cloths, rags, or sew them together to make a quilt. There is plenty of opportunity to reuse items instead of throwing them away and adding to the multitude of waste that's produced on a daily basis. All it takes is changing your frame of mind to one that looks at how you can reuse things rather than how quickly you can throw them away and move on from them.

Repair Instead of Replace

Culture today is one of replacement and obsession with buying new things. If you're able to hold onto things for a bit longer than you normally would, or are able to repurpose them instead of throwing them away, you are practicing a sustainable lifestyle. Often times, you'll find it more economically feasible to repair items rather than discard them and purchase new ones. When you make this choice, you're making not only a cost-conscious decision but an environmentally-conscious one as well. 

Be Mindful

Rather than another direct action, a fourth key to living a sustainable lifestyle is simply changing the way you think about the decisions you make and how they affect the earth. The next time you're about to throw something away, try to enter a mindset that makes you think about all of the ways you could potentially reuse or repurpose it instead. When you're in a public place or a home that isn't your own, are you noticing ways that others could also cut back on energy use? These are all elements of changing your mindset to one that prioritizes sustainability, and can be developed over time. 

The keys to living a sustainable lifestyle do not exist far off in a future of an environmentally-conscious society. They exist right now, and you have the opportunity to embrace them to change your lifestyle and the world for the better. Consider your choices about how you use energy, reuse and recycle, repair instead of replace and be mindful about the way you see the world. If you can bring these sustainable practices into your everyday life, the world will be better off.