Happy World Environment Day everyone 🙂
I’m glad that you are interested to make your lifestyle more sustainable and thank you for that.! Each one of us are responsible to make sure our harmful impact on this planet is reduced and to help make the Earth a better place to live in.
So here are some top 10 tips which we can incorporate in our daily lives:
- Reduce Plastic – The obvious one
Before the plastic took over our market few decades back, we were taking baskets to bring veggies and our own cutlery to bring other things. So we were already quite used-to and comfortable with no-plastic alternatives.
The climate change is now so rapidly affecting the environment that it is time for us to go back to our roots. Let us try to follow few methods given below:
- Reusable cloth bag – Take one with you always for groceries or any shopping.
- Refuse plastic bottles – In weddings, during flights, hotels and other places when they offer just because its free. Take a reusable bottle with you instead.
- Do not ask for straws – I’m sure drinking directly from a glass or tender coconut is not that hard if we can just upskill ourselves for the coconut one.
- Take your own cutlery when going to bring food from the hotel.
2. Think before you buy
This will apply to even the smallest of purchase you are making, but just pause for a few seconds and think for the below scenarios before you buy them:
- Do you really need that item right now and there is no existing alternative for it?
- Is it useful in the long run?
- Can it be re-used or re-cycled?
- Is it harmful for the environment in future – If yes then try to find a greener alternative for it
Not necessary to think all the above things but at least one will cause your mind to divert in case you are purchasing it out of momentary impulse.
3. Do not ask for receipts
Nowadays online transactions are increasing and so are the receipts we get for the same when we do any purchase. In majority of cases these receipts are of no use to us since all the transactions will be recorded online and we can get a mail copy of the same.
Hence it is best to avoid taking unnecessary receipts to avoid wastage of paper.
4. Use natural products
This applies in various cases like house cleaning, beauty products, etc,. It is widely observed that naturally available materials are effective than the expensive products listed on shops. For example, Vinegar and baking soda combination can clean most surfaces thus reduce buying expensive cleaners with more harmful chemicals and extensive plastic packaging.
A simple turmeric + curd face pack (or any other home remedies) is effective than the branded products which are illegally tried and tested on poor animals which no one will reveal to common people.
5. Shop from small business
Let us take the case of beauty products where majority of big brands are used to testing their products on poor rabbits, monkeys and other helpless animals before releasing it for humans. These animals may die or they suffer from various diseases during the trial phase. Many such practices take place in the cover of these big names and buying from them is to indirectly encourage more cruelty.
Shopping from your friends or anyone who own small businesses has more advantages like:
- They are eco-friendly and sustainable since majority of the time they use simple available sources
- Made with a lot of love and individual product attention
- Finding a copy of it is difficult since each product is unique in its own way
- Affordable in most cases
- Encourages Make in India and gives opportunity for community growth
Here are some of the Instagram IDs of small business products I have bought and used which are also eco-friendly:
- @theecotrunk – Everything related to sustainable products and Vegan alternatives
- @scentora – They Zero-Waste, Handmade, Vegan Personal Care Products
- @gloriouslyhandmade – Makes amazing handmade soaps
- @disguisecosmetics – Vegan cosmetic products – Their lipsticks are amazing!
- @boondhcups – For eco-friendly menstrual products
6. Reduce packaged food
Love having maggi on the mountains? Any idea how the waste management for these used maggi packets takes place? Mountains do not have advanced waste disposal like in the cities and hence they often end up piling up landfills, polluting rivers or burning plastic which releases even more harmful chemicals to the environment. So next time do consider buying local food like paranthas which are much more sustainable.
As for our daily lifestyle, reduce buying packed food which is mostly in plastic and even if you do, make sure you dispose of them correctly enabling them to be recycled. Do not buy vegetables in supermarkets where they are unnecessarily covered in plastic, buy loose vegetables from your local shops instead. Avoid buying small sachets if you know it has long term use – buy big ones instead.
7. Reduce buying in name of being more sustainable
The whole concept of sustainability is to reduce our waste impact and more often than not we already have all the things we already need. Do not throw your perfectly fine plastic toothbrush because you bought a bamboo one. Instead, wait for the toothbrush to naturally wear out at its own time and make sure you do not buy another plastic one next.
Try to reuse your plastic containers as pots to grow plants instead of purchasing new pots. Try to reduce and reuse the existing things as much as possible.
8. Make Eco-bricks at your home
This might be a new concept to most of you. Basically to create an eco-brick we just have to stuff our regular plastic waste into an existing plastic bottle. Make sure to clean the wrappers thoroughly before putting it in. Now we have to stuff all these plastic very tightly starting from the very beginning and make sure no/minimal air gap is present.
If we follow this regularly it may take weeks or months to fill this bottle up to the brim. This bottle will ideally now be as hard as a brick. In many rural areas 100’s of these bottle bricks are already tried and tested – several chairs, desks have been made out of it. It acts similar to a brick and this is the most sustainable idea for recycling single use plastics. Do give it a try once.
PS. All the pic credits below belongs to its owner, as I have googled these just for display how an eco-brick looks and works like.
9. Make use of daylight
Try to keep the windows open during daytime by which you can get fresh air and sunlight minimizing the use for external energy sources like tube-light and fan.
10. Plant more trees
Not to say this had to be the 1st one in the list but as this thing has been taught to us since childhood, I chose to include some newer ones above. As compared to villages, the cities have very less greenery and we cannot plant trees wherever we want to. So the solution for us is to partake in various activities undertaken by our fellow green warriors – there are many plantation drives which happen and make sure you volunteer as often as possible.
Raise your voice when you see someone wanting to cut trees around for unnecessary reasons – raising voice does not mean you directly go and argue but better try and understand the situation, try to make the person understand why to preserve the tree and so on. It is usually difficult but we as a community can stop these things from happening and have more power than we realize.
** Bonus tip – This one is a daily reminder for the ladies to try out menstrual cups as 1 cup itself lasts 5 years and can reduce the plastic waste of thousands of pads.
Also the boys to read about it and encourage the girls you know in your life to try it out or just research more on it. Click here – This post of mine has all the details you will need on menstrual cups.
Another important tip is please dispose your waste correctly:
- Segregate dry and wet waste at your homes.
- Dispose all your e-waste separately as they should not be disposed off with regular waste. Please google to find more on who can pickup e-waste in your area.
I have tried to include all the tips that I’ve come across during my research all these years. Please drop a like if you liked the tips and share.
Also let us know of any more tips in the comments below 🙂