By Jennifer Landis:
You’ve spent your adult life working, and now it’s time to retire. As such, life’s good — but you can make it even better. One major way to improve your post-work life is by adhering to a sustainable lifestyle. We’re not talking just about a financially stable way of life, although that’s one benefit to expect. You can ensure that your post-work existence does little damage to the planet and contributes to its protection for years to come: that comes with a handful of enticing advantages.
The steps you take to do so will make your life so much richer, in every sense of the word. Here’s why:
1. You’ll Use Less — and Save Money
A sustainable lifestyle will have you using less of the Earth’s resources. You can do so in a myriad of ways, some of which cost nothing to implement. For instance, you might hang your clothes to dry instead of run the dryer. Or, you could make it a rule to run the dishwasher only when it’s full so that you’re not wasting power or water.
Otherwise, it might cost a few dollars to make your retirement lifestyle sustainable. But installing low-flow showerheads or upgrading to Energy Star-approved appliances will help you in the long run. Namely, you’ll save money on running your household. This asset’s a great one for someone living off a pension or retirement fund — the more you can save, the better.
2. You Can Move into a Green Retirement Community
Plenty of retirees want a sustainable lifestyle. As a result, green senior communities have popped up across the country, and they welcome like-minded retirees. The success of the first round of these types of communities has prompted more and more to open. Neighbors not only live in sustainably constructed buildings, but they partake in earth-friendly practices, too. For instance, some might helm the community’s recycling program, while others will harvest veggies from the neighborhood garden.
All of these benefits come alongside the major advantage of community living — the social scene that comes with it. As we age, having these kinds of relationships is vital for us for a multitude of reasons. For one thing, having friends can help us de-stress, especially in times of hardship. So, if you’re struggling with your health or the loss of a loved one, surrounding yourself with a community dealing with similar issues can help you cope.
3. You’ll Stay Active
A green retirement community — or a home run on green principles — will encourage you to remain more active throughout retirement, too. It’s vital to keep moving: the benefits of an active lifestyle include retained muscle mass, boosted flexibility and clearer mental function. Plus, exercise gets the feel-good endorphins flowing, keeping spirits high in the face of lingering anxiety or depression.
You might be wondering, “How will sustainable living keep me on my feet?” If you volunteer within your green community, for instance, you could find yourself in charge of sorting the street’s recycling. Such a task would have you on your toes, quite literally. Gardening and harvesting fresh produce require plenty of movement, too.
Then, of course, you have the natural assets of your sustainable lifestyle and community. You’re sure to find that your neighborhood will have earth-friendly activities. Take a walk on a hiking trail and enjoy the fresh air — no resources required for a bit of exercise. Instead, bask in the landscape that you’re protecting with your sustainable lifestyle.
Finally, you might skip out on car-centric transportation for other, earth- and body-friendly options. You can be equal parts sustainable and fit by hopping onto a bike to visit neighbors or walking to pick up groceries. The possibilities here are truly endless, and they’re good for you, to boot.
4. You’ll Feel Good About It
It’s always important to feel as if you have a purpose. Work gave you at least one previously; without it, however, some seniors can start to feel a bit lost in retirement.
If you make sustainability your focus, though, you can renew your focus and drive, even without reporting to an office each day. Instead, you can strive to make the world better by living as eco-friendly as possible. Your hard work will help to assure that the planet sustains life for generations to come. If you have children or grandchildren to worry about, your sustainable journey will help them in the long run.
Your green efforts will give you a great reason to get up and venture into the world each morning. Sure, you’re retired and you want to relax; however, you can find a happy medium with your sustainable lifestyle. You’ll be achieving something for the greater good and, for that, you can feel proud of yourself.
So, start considering ways to make your life as earth-friendly as possible. You’ll be better for it, as will future generations who will depend on the planet for life, just as you have.