“The only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved.” – Richard Rogers
10 Easy Ways to Protect the Environment Today
1. Use products with natural ingredients
Do you how many chemicals we bring into our homes in the form of personal care products and household cleaners? If you take the time to sit down and actually list everything out, you’re sure to be shocked! This really is avoidable, considering that there are many eco-friendly alternatives for everything – baby products, cosmetics, detergents and other cleaners. Doing this ensures that you and your family are safe from chemicals and that you aren’t polluting the soil or water bodies.
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2. Buy less and reuse more
If you’ve seen those videos of landfills, you know how much waste we’re generating every year. The biggest cause of this is because we often buy things we don’t really need. So all those extra clothes, toys and gadgets end up on landfills, adding to an already burgeoning problem. The easiest solution – buy less; do you really need that extra pair of shoes? Reuse as far as possible. Turn jeans into bags, sarees into cushion covers and shawls into curtains. Donate things that are in good condition so that every item you buy gets the maximum use.
3. Dispose waste properly
It’s not enough to reduce the quantity of our waste; we need to dispose of existing garbage correctly. Have separate bins for organic waste, tins, plastic etc. so that they can be recycled appropriate. Before tossing something into the dustbin, think twice about whether there’s any way you can reuse it. Teach kids not to litter, both at home and in public spaces.
4. Reduce plastic consumption
One of the biggest banes of our world is the excessive amount of plastic we’re using and tossing. Did you know that India generates 15 thousand tonnes of plastic waste every single day? Yes, that much! As far as possible avoid bringing any plastic into your home. Buy products that come in paper bags or recyclable packaging. Carry cloth bags when you go shopping. Opt for steel or glass utensils which are safer than plastic for serving food. These days you get eco friendly lunchboxes and water bottles too, which also tend to last longer than plastic.
5. Use appliances smartly
We can’t do away with appliances altogether, but we can use them smartly to reduce the power consumption. Opt for energy efficient appliances when buying, and ensure timely maintenance so that they continue to work optimally. Switch off appliances and pull the plug to prevent power wastage. Implement smart practices like loading the washing machine only when full, not over stuffing the fridge or freezer and finishing your ironing in one go.
6. Grow plants
No, you don’t need a huge garden to grow plants; even a balcony or window sill will do. At the very least you can grow your own herbs – mint, coriander, curry leaves, chillies and even tomatoes. Not only do you add to the greenery, you get home grown, healthy produce! You can also have indoor plants that purify the air and keep allergies at bay.
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7. Cut down on using the car
There are many ways to save valuable fuel by cutting down on the instances of using your car. Walk or cycle to nearby places. Use a car pool or the company bus for work. Opt for public transport wherever applicable. A rail journey may be more efficient than a long road trip. When running errands, club everything together so that you don’t have to make multiple trips with the car.
8. Start a compost heap
Talking about growing plants, wouldn’t it be great if you could make your own compost? It’s easier than you think! Even if you live in an apartment complex, you can put together a single compost unit where all residents contribute their waste. Not only does it prevent random dumping of smelly waste by the wayside, it also prevents the breeding of annoying pests which spread diseases.
9. Buy and cook in bulk
A good way to save money and reduce the amount of packaging that comes into our homes is to buy groceries in bulk, especially dry ingredients like rice, wheat and sugar. Buying whole spices and grinding them yourself also saves money and increases flavor. This also applies to non vegetarian fare – cooking in bulk takes up less energy than firing up the stove every single time.
10. Avoid disposable options
It can be hard to stay away from disposable options – they can be very convenient! However, they all land up in the dreaded landfills, especially sanitary napkins, diapers, paper plates, plastic cutlery and Styrofoam packaging. A diaper can take about 200 years to fully decompose, so imagine how much harm we’re doing. Opt for alternative options like menstrual cups, cloth diapers and reusable cutlery and crockery. You can always use newspaper as a biodegradable packing material.
From these easy ways to protect the environment, it doesn’t seem so hard, does it? With a little bit of effort from our side, we can all make a difference – and leave our children a much healthier and happier planet.