Living in Luxury the Sustainable Way

Living the millionaire life has got to be sustainable if it’s going to last. Just like how wealth can decrease over generations if it isn’t managed well, the same is true for our relationship with the planet.

Introduction

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that we all took to heart the true value of time and appreciating this world we live in as we are living in it. This pandemic has more than humbled us down to our roots and encouraged us to look deep within ourselves to triage which things really matter and which ones may need some more re-evaluation in terms of priority.  

With little option but to live simpler lives, one thing that has benefitted from the ongoing lockdowns is this invigorated sense of appreciation for the environment. As we spend most days in isolation, the significant decrease in traffic pollution has also brought forth other ways for more sustainable ways of life.

With many luxury brands and travel companies all stepping in to better improve their sustainability efforts for the long-term, it’s also up to us consumers to be more mindful of our purchasing habits and be more eco-conscious. That’s why millionaires everywhere are inventing and investing in ways to rethink the luxury lifestyle in a way that can be enjoyed for more than just this generation. 

Making small changes to our lifestyles can go a long way in the grand scheme of things, so no small effort goes wasted. If you’re looking to live more sustainably this year without compromising on luxury, here are some tips you can follow.

Less is more

What started as a sensationalized internet trend, minimalism does in fact bring a level of consciousness to your everyday mindset. Let’s say you have $500 worth of money to spend on clothes, but with $50 you can have secure all your basic essentials that are more than enough to cover your daily outfits. 

The smart thing to do would be opting for the latter, in thinking that even if you have money to dispense doesn’t necessarily mean you have to dispense it. 

With significantly fewer items to focus on, you have a chance to consider each piece. What are the materials? How were they sourced and what is their origin story? Is this piece made to last or will it need to be replaced? Minimalism slows down that urge to consume that got us here in the first place. It’s the ultimate less is more mindset done in practice. 

Practice intentional purchasing

This might seem pretty self-explanatory, but knowing exactly what you want to buy beforehand can be a wonderful and underrated practice in mindfulness. By having a set plan beforehand and religiously sticking to it, you find you won’t be as blindsided by tempting sales or crazy discounts; because then you will know you don’t really need them. 

This also greatly decreases your carbon footprint and begs your consumerist side to not simply take everything at face value. While many high-end brands may purport to be environmentally friendly, there are many elements of the supply chain to consider in order to determine whether this is actually the case.

Don’t underestimate the power of thrifting 

For the luxury lover, the idea of ‘making do and mending’ might take some getting used to. If you can’t bear the thought of rummaging in charity shops for pre-loved garments, there are still a multitude of ways to express your creativity in shopping sustainably for clothes.

There are many online stores that specifically cater to vintage pieces from past collections or seasons, and will more than likely offer these designer pieces for less than half of their retail price. This is not limited to clothing, either, and you’ll find similar niche outlets for accessories like watches and jewellery.

With items like these, they can actually substantially increase their value over time so long as they remain generally well-maintained. Not only do you get to keep your environmental impact to a minimum by purchasing a pre-loved Rolex or pair of Cartier earrings, but you’re also making a great investment for the future.

Invest in the right pieces

If you have the means to do it, investing in heirloom-quality items and estate pieces early on can prove to be the smartest thing you could do in your twenties. The value for these investment pieces will greatly appreciate over time, and in turn, the return of investment you will have gained from allocating the funds early on. 

These particular items which have lasted this long have lasted because they were made well, with sourced material that has stood past the test of time. Heirloom pieces aren’t drowning in packaging, and no new materials went into the production of the item. Investing in heirlooms means buying less often and changing the attitude of consumption.

Avoiding food waste

In the United Kingdom alone, both producers and consumers alike waste a considerable amount of food each year, amounting to 6.7 tonnes. For £10.2 billion, we’re not just wasting food, but wasting money, too. But the good thing is that through simple lifestyle changes, this can easily be remedied. 

We all know rich people love to host and throw grand parties, filled to the brim with lavish dishes and luxurious feasts. You can still achieve this Great Gatsby-esque culinary grandeur, with significantly less food waste and maybe even a couple of zeroes off the final receipt. 

Shopping locally means you not only drastically reduce your carbon footprint, but also support independent stores such as bakers, butchers, farmers, and greengrocers. By sourcing your ingredients locally, you not only help the small business economy thrive but also have the freshest and highest quality foods at your disposal. 

Using smart energy

The topic of sustainable energy might be intimidating to start with, but it’s not that hard to understand once you have a working knowledge of its system. It’s also ridiculously easy to implement once you have the basics down, too.

Thanks to ongoing lockdowns and little to fill our time with other than logging onto our laptops or letting Netflix play in the background, many of us have been using more electricity than ever. We’ve also been cooking more at home and having to turn the heaters on constantly for the winter months, all of which rack up a hefty bill at the end of each month.

A simple way to remedy this is by simply dedicating some periods to disconnect from all the buzz, switch off the devices, and spend more time outdoors. Making the most of the good weather won’t just limit your impact but will also work wonders for your wellbeing, so instead of turning on Netflix this evening, why not head out for a walk or a picnic instead?

Conclusion

At a glance, one might think the rich life is all about connections and investments and designer bags and whatnot – and to be fair, it can be quite like that sometimes. 

But there’s also this side to wealth not as explored: the funnelling of funds to invest in eco-friendly causes, staying grounded in nature and our natural surroundings, and not necessarily having to live life in excess but learning to live by with only essentials.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.