Global warming, water scarcity, depleting natural resources, and extinction of animal species – they all sound like exponential problems. It is very natural to feel that what can me, a single do, to better these situations. However like every drop in the ocean, each and every one of us can make a small contribution; in order to eventually affect a large change.
In fact, there are tonnes of small changes that you and I can make in our daily home and office routines in order to consume less and conserve the environment. We can all begin by first taking responsibility for ourselves, then our family and later, friends and neighbours. With a grave future ahead of us, the least we can do is minimize our consumption.
Don’t get dissuaded yet! We are not speaking of major earth shattering moves. We are actually speaking of starting with small changes in your lifestyle that aren’t hard to implement at all. Listed below are a few pointers that you may start with.
- Take a bath instead of showering – We aren’t asking you to give up bathing. All we are suggesting is that you use 1 or 2 buckets of water to bathe, as per your requirement. Using a shower usually utilizes several buckets of water. All this extra wasted water adds nothing to our bathing experience, except a little bit of convenience. Adopting this one change in your routine alone will help save tonnes of litres of water.
- Carry cloth bags – Plastic takes years and years to degenerate, and is extremely harmful to domestic animals as well as marine life. Burning plastic produces toxic fumes. Please carry a small foldable cloth bag in your handbag or car at all times, so that you can minimize the use of plastic bags when shopping.
- Think twice about leftovers – As soon as you think of trashing those last 2 slices of pizza or the leftover gravy, think of the millions who sleep hungry every night. Please doggy bag or refrigerate leftover food that is fit for consumption. If you want no more of it, please pass it on to someone who needs it.
- Plant a seed – Try to produce as much green life around you as possible. Not all of us have huge spaces to plant trees; but I’m sure most of us can make space for a few flower beds or some pots of herb. Doing this won’t just beautify your living space, but also bring you rewards in the form of fragrance, food or shade.
- Ditch your car – If the public transport in your city is well-connected, try to switch to it instead of driving to work. Or find co-workers or travellers in your locality to carpool. Try to walk or cycle to run small errands that are located at short distances
- Save electricity – Do not multitask with multiple gadgets switched on at once – your laptop, mobile phone and television are the usual suspects. Whenever you leave a room, ensure that you switch off all lights and fans. By doing this, you’ll not even save energy, but also cut down on hefty electricity bills
- Do not hoard – With the excessive consumerism culture that has now erupted, people tend to buy much more than they need. Too many clothes, too many bags, too many shoes etc, have become commonplace in everyone’s wardrobe. Try to downsize the stuff you own to only what you need and maybe a little more. Give away the excess to charity. Now resolve to only buy a new item when you are done with an old item.
- Use energy efficient lighting – Switch to CFL bulbs and tubes in your home in place of the regular ones. These bulbs last longer and are much more energy efficient. A leaner electricity bill will just be a happy side effect.
- Use DIY beauty products – With the plethora of information available on the Internet, it has become easier than ever to make your own cleansers, scrubs, face packs, lip balms and soaps at home. These homemade products are chemical free and very effective. Making your own products also helps to avoid the waste pile of all the plastic that would have otherwise gone into packaging store bought products.
- Cut down on paper – With everything going online, it has become very easy to cut down the use of paper as far as possible. You can save tonnes of paper, and in turn trees; by adopting simple changes such as paying your bills online, opting for email alerts rather than actual mail and sending e-cards and e-invites as opposed to paper.
These were our top ten tips for maintaining a sustainable lifestyle. Try to follow as many tips as you can in order to conserve our Mother Earth. After all, small changes will eventually bring about a wave of positive change for the environment.