Simple, Eco-Friendly Practices For A Better Environment
We continue to take the world and environment we live in for granted. We all need to be proactive about adopting cleaner living practices in order to safeguard the environment and preserve the earth for our children and future generations. We are all consumers of products, whether it be petrol, food, apparel, motor vehicles, household goods, water, toys, technology, trinkets, or other items. We’re not telling you to stop consuming, but rather, make conscious decisions every time you purchase something, for the sake of the environment. While this may appear as a daunting task, switching to an environmentally friendly lifestyle is not excessively expensive, complicated or unpleasant. You might feel that making changes on the individual level is insignificant, but imagine how cleaner the environment would be if everyone pulled their weight?
The biggest catalyst on the environment is the simple act of reducing consumption. Reducing, reusing, and recycling are the three "R's" that receive the most attention, yet the most significant and underutilised "R" is refuse. Saying “no" isn’t always easy, especially when there are giveaways at events, discounted merchandise, the newest toys for kids, or the newest technology that claims to make your life better — these aren’t essential. The items typically wind up in the dustbin or stored away in your home, and eventually forgotten. The next time you're tempted to buy or accept something that is not necessary, consider whether you actually need it and whether it would improve your life. It’s okay to say NO and not be pressured to purchase unwanted products.
P/S: You can save money and cut the clutter in your home by refusing to accept things that you don't need.
Composting, don’t waste
Rot is another "R" that goes unnoticed, and has damaging ramifications on the environment. To put things simply, compost your food waste and yard waste instead of throwing it in the bin. The benefits of composting your food scraps and yard waste are twofold: it prevents a staggering quantity of rubbish from entering the waste stream and creates free, rich soil for your garden. In certain countries and cities, organic garbage is now collected alongside conventional trash and recycling. If this service isn't available in your area, don't worry, you can create your very own low-maintenance compost pile in your backyard or balcony.
It’s shocking when you observe the number of individuals who consume drinks from disposable cups or bottles, sipping on drinks from plastic straws carrying grocery bags made of disposable materials, dining from disposable plates or containers, or using plastic forks and spoons. All this single-use plastic ends up somewhere and has adverse consequences on our soil, oceans and marine life (which you’ve probably seen through videos). There are alternatives that are more environmentally friendly for everything mentioned above and more. Make the switch to reusable goods like metal straws and containers and resolve to use them as frequently as you can. Making these small changes will contribute significantly to environmental protection and you’ll see a reduction in the amount of rubbish piled up at your curb.
When something outlives its designed purpose, we tend to just toss it away. Harness your inner creativity to upcycle unwanted items and repurposing trash as treasure. One of the best ways to conserve the environment is by creating something new, such as jewellery, toys, or works of art. It can also save you from buying brand-new items, which need a lot of resources to make and money too. Get your children involved in the process to not only educate them, but as an outlet to create. So before taking them to the craft store, have them look around the recycling bin and let their imaginations run wild!
Recycle the right way
When all other "R"s have been exhausted, including refusal, rot, reduction, upcycling, and reuse, recycling is the only remaining option. Learn what can and cannot be recycled at home and keep that information handy, because if the improper things are thrown in the recycle bin, the entire load may be rejected and sent back to landfills. Additionally, it is simple to learn how to recycle unique products like electronics, batteries, and appliances. Make an effort to get your stuff to the appropriate disposal locations by checking with your local municipality for drop-off locations.
There are many thrift stores that have popped up over the years. There are actually plenty of gems you can find at a bundle or thrift store. Here’s an appalling fact — did you know that to produce enough cotton to make just one basic t-shirt, nearly 700 gallons of water are required? So, imagine how much water wastage is involved in the process. Without squandering the priceless resources required to create new apparel, you can give the existing wardrobe a fresh new look. Shopping secondhand also extends to various categories such as shoes, furniture, appliances, cars, games and toys for kids, and more.
On the topic of shopping, it’s crucial to consider the means in which your parcel takes to reach you. It probably didn’t occur to us before this, but the environmental impact of all that packaging and the fuel required for delivery is significant. While we understand the notion that ordering groceries makes life more convenient, you can consider visiting the neighbourhood pasar pagi or farmer’s market for fresh, plastic-free produce. You can also go the extra mile by dining at a farm-to-table establishment, and purchase from local artists, retailers and merchants.
Reduce the use of chemicals
You desire to save the environment. You can strive to achieve this by employing lesser harmful chemicals. It's difficult to predict the potential long-term harm that chemicals may cause to our bodies and the environment, so it’s safer to stay away as best you can. Choose organic food, chemical-free household cleaners, all-natural cosmetics and personal care products, and chemical-free lawn and garden maintenance. The planet will appreciate it!
Don’t waste water
If you’re one who frequently leaves the tap on when you brush your teeth, it’s time to change your ways. One of the simplest methods to conserve the environment is at home. Consider all the times you use water inside and outside of your home, and then make any necessary improvements. For example:
- Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth.
- Fix leaky taps.
- Aerating faucets, utilising sprinklers that limit runoff, installing low-flow toilets, and using water-saving shower heads can all help you use less water.
- Collect rainwater and use it to water plants.
- Shorten your shower
- Only run your washing machine when it's full
These are some of the fundamental changes you can make, but there are various inventive ways you can conserve water.
Use your purchasing power for good
Being a consumer, we’re given the power to choose how and where we decide to spend our money. Use this purchasing power for good and spend it wisely on products, services, and experiences with a lower carbon footprint. Make conscious effort to work with organisations that promote sustainability, employ renewable energy sources and actually practise environmental protection. A demand for sustainable behaviours will emerge if enough individuals use their purchasing power for the sake of the planet. Businesses will have to adapt or risk falling behind.
The less electricity used, the better it is for the planet. Read on for some simple techniques to save energy at home:
- Switch out incandescent bulbs for more energy-efficient CFLs or LEDs.
- Use smart power strips to automatically cut off the electricity to electronics when not in use. Unhook any power cords from the wall when not in use.
- Use a programmable or smart air condition control.
- Maintain your ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
- When purchasing a new appliance, go for a model that has earned the Energy Star certification.
- Seal air leaks around doors and windows.
- Use ceiling fans to circulate warm and cool air on sweltering and rainy days.