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Everything we do in our daily life has an impact on the planet- yes everything! From the food you eat to the car you drive. This doesn’t have to mean you should only eat vegetables and start riding a bike everywhere- there are many ways in which each one of us can live sustainably. And you need not follow all the tips- start small and build yourself to be a sustainability superstar!
It’s mostly small changes that can lessen your environmental impact and help you do your bit. Ready? Here are some cool ways to live sustainably:
By using less energy, you can help to reduce carbon emissions. There are a number of ways you can save energy at home, including switching off standby appliances, turning your heating down and hanging clothes to dry instead of using a drier.
Eat Less Meat
Here’s one which will upset the non vegetarians! The production of meat is one of the biggest contributors to climate change and the pollution of landscapes and waterways. By eating less of it, you can help to reduce the impact the meat industry has on the world.
Use Sustainable Alternatives
Single-use products, particularly plastic ones, tend to end up in landfills and the ocean, causing harm to wildlife and the environment. You can prevent this easily by choosing to use reusable and eco-friendly alternatives instead. This can range from a toothbrush to a diaper to a tea cup to even stationery.
Plastic never goes away. Today billions of pounds of it can be found in swirling convergences making up about 40 percent of the world’s ocean surfaces. You can start cutting down on your plastic waste in a few simple steps like using reusable bags when you shop, ditching single-use water bottles, bags, and straws and avoiding products made from or packaged in plastic whenever possible.
Use Less Paper
To avoid wasting paper, choose to receive letters over email and only print documents if absolutely necessary. You could also ask shops to email you your receipt instead of printing it. For your own use, recycled paper and tree- free paper is a great option- explore it!
Recycle and Reuse
Make sure you’re recycling by putting your waste in the correct bins. Also, try to reuse products and items as many times as possible before binning them to reduce waste. Simple segregation of waste can go a long way…..
“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” may feel retro, but it’s just as important today as when the phrase was first coined. Every product we purchase has an environmental footprint, from the materials used to create it to the pollution emitted during manufacturing to the packaging that ends up in landfills. So before you buy, ask yourself if you really need it. If you do, consider buying gently used instead of new, and look for minimal packaging and shipping.
Donate Unused Items
If you don’t use a product or wear a piece of clothing anymore, give it to a charity shop or someone you know would make use of it to help reduce waste. Another excellent choice would be to purchase ethical clothing or what is now commonly known as slow fashion.
You can save water in and around your home by making a number of small changes. Use all water very carefully- there are many people around the world and even in our country who are struggling for it.
Yes, public transport may not be great where you live, but you can always try what you can. Walk or ride a bike to your destination instead of driving if it’s close enough – it’s better for the environment and your health. Using public transport is another good way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Don’t Waste Food
If you have leftovers, don’t throw them away. Save them for your lunch or tea the next day, or even freeze them. However, if they do go off, use them to create compost for you garden.
Wear Sustainable Clothing
The fashion industry is one of the main polluting industries in the world. To lessen the impact this industry has on the planet, you could buy more of your clothes from charity shops and sustainable clothing outlets. There are a lot of options available for you to check out.
Use Eco-friendly Cleaning Products
Some cleaning products contain chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. By committing to using green/eco-friendly cleaning products, you can help to prevent these chemicals from having a negative impact on the planet. Eco-friendly cleaning products can be easily purchased and are as good as the common ones.
Pay Attention to Labels
From coffee to fruit to clothing, the number of options out there can get overwhelming — but there are some clear leaders when it comes to minimizing your impact on wildlife and the planet. If you’re a coffee drinker, look for “shade-grown” coffee, which is grown while keeping forest habitats intact for migratory birds and other species. Choose Fair Trade certified goods when possible to support companies dedicated to sustainable production and paying laborers a fair wage. Buy organic food whenever possible; it may cost a little more, but it keeps harmful pesticides out of our land and water, protecting farm workers, wildlife and your family.
Green Your Home
Just as keeping your car in shape improves your fuel efficiency, keeping your home in shape improves your energy efficiency. Make sure your home has adequate insulation and energy-saving windows, and use a programmable thermostat for more efficient heating and cooling — and, of course, energy-saving lightbulbs for more efficient lighting.
These are just some of the many things you can do- there is a whole lot more! Take a small step today and gradually progress. You cannot do all of it together, but try to pick up 2-3 ideas out of these 13 and make a difference. To look at some eco-friendly alternatives to your everyday items, click here.