Living a healthy, earth-friendly lifestyle is good not just for the Earth but for our well-being. Here are some things you can incorporate into your daily life to help preserve our natural resources and solve the climate crisis. Let's do our part and work together to protect our planet.
Most single-use plastic items end up in our oceans. They also take thousands of years to decompose and are not biodegradable. When they decompose, they turn into micro plastics that pollute the soil and the ocean.
What can you do to lessen plastic waste? Stop using single-use plastic items like plastic cups, utensils, straws, and plastic bags. Instead opt for re-usable items like metal or glass products. For example, when dining out or ordering take-out, opt for real utensils, bring your own water bottle and do not use plastic straws. When shopping or doing groceries, make sure you bring your own shopping bag.
Are there local organisations in your community that help the environment? Sign-up and give some of your time to making the world a better place. Maybe there is a beach-clean up coming up or a recycling center that needs help. Take some time to research what your local community has to offer. If there are none in your local community or country, there are also international organisations you can volunteer for like earthday.org. If you don't have too much time to volunteer, you can also donate to causes instead.
Though some countries do experience famine, other countries with more abundant resources experience the opposite, which is food waste. You can start by buying only food that you can consume, therefore lowering demand and subsequently wastage. You can also help by composting all the leftover food you have or donating excess food to the homeless or to shelters.
Planting trees is always a good idea, however trees take decades to grow. To ensure that we don't increase the already alarming rate of deforestation, let's also take action to save trees.
A simple step is to try going paperless. Unsubscribe to physical catalogs, opt for online billing instead of paper, or use recyclable bags instead of paper bags when shopping.
Something which may be a little bit more difficult to do, but still very impactful, is to ensure that you buy and promote wooden furniture that is ethically sourced. If we stop the demand for certain wood products, we can stop giant companies from mass or illegal deforestation.
Did you know that second to oil, the clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world. With the rise of fast fashion and the need for OOTDs (Outfit of the Day) on social media, the demand for new fashion is so high it has lead to dismal working conditions for garment makers, and a lot of textile waste ending up in landfills.
You can also watch some documentaries about fast fashion here with some available on Netflix. To help save the planet, and the people who make our clothes, look out for designers, brands, and global initiatives that are making the case for sustainable fashion.
One of the simplest things we can do to conserve non-renewable resources is to conserve the electricity we use. Make sure that your appliances, light bulbs, and tools you use are energy conserving. Turn off lights when not in use and do not leave unused appliances plugged in. This helps to conserve energy, and also lessen our electricity bills!
Another non-renewable resource we have is groundwater, where we get our supply of drinking water, or water we get from our taps. With global warming causing draughts, water shortages are becoming more and more common. To do our part in conserving the water sources in our communities, start by taking shorter showers or turning the water off while brushing your teeth.
We should all enjoy the wonder and beauty of nature but we must always make sure to leave it as pristine as when we arrived for other people to enjoy. With the availability of low cost flights, people have been travelling more which has also caused destruction to natural destinations like beaches and mountains.
Always remember that when we travel, we must not leave anything behind. Clean up after yourself and take home any rubbish you brought with you. Do not take or destroy corals, plants, or even wildlife. Let's respect nature and preserve it for future generations.
Recycling should start at home. Make sure that your family members know the 3 Rs of recycling - Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Set up different trash bins as well for different types of trash. For starters, make sure that your biodegradable trash is separate from your non-biodegradable trash. A step further would be to also segregate organic waste, paper and cartons, plastic, metals, and glass.
It is also advisable to separate electronic waste like broken chargers, batteries, etc. Afterwards, you can send certain items to respective recycling centers and the rest can be picked up by the garbage collector. By segregating our trash at home, we are helping garbage collectors and those who operate land fills to segregate the trash as well.
Whenever you need to buy fresh produce, groceries, or just go shopping, make sure to check if it is available in your local community first. Aside from supporting the economy of your community and local business, it takes much less energy and resources to buy from your community than to have it outsourced. Furthermore, we lessen the chances of any kind of waste since products are continuously moving.
Green products are eco-friendly products that are biodegradable and have no harsh toxic chemicals in them. Aside from ensuring clean air and surfaces for your family (no more strong bleach smells) you are also releasing less chemicals into the atmosphere that can contribute to the greenhouse effect. Try purchasing green products in your local grocery or if none are available, you can make some at home using vinegar, water, and baking soda. Add a lemon or essential oils to make it more fragrant. Using green products is safer for your family, the planet, and it will cost much less as well if you can make it yourself.
Do you feel like your community can do more to respond to the climate crisis? Contact your local government and ask them about their environmental policies. If they have none, or are only reaching the bare minimum, ask for policy changes. Create a petition and have your neighbours sign them. Organise meetings and hearings to help create better and more sustainable environment policies for your community.
Last but not least, spread the word. Tell your family and friends about better ways and little changes they can make to help the environment. Like and share posts on social media about climate change. Follow activists and see what they are up to and share what they are doing. If you are not familiar with any activists, you can check out our blog on 15 Climate Activists Facing the Climate Emergency. Your voice is much louder than you think. You just have to let it be heard.
Want more action tips? Here are some resources you can check out to see what else you can do for our environment.
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