The impending climate crisis is often used in conjunction with lofty figures, making the task of saving the planet feel like a mammoth one. However, if you are looking to save the planet, no small step goes ignored. While we can’t reinvent the wheel overnight, what we can do is take responsibility for our carbon footprint and ensure that our everyday activities aren’t contributing to the problem. You know that small changes made at home in our daily lives can make a big difference. Let us see exactly how:
1. Swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one
Nearly 150 million plastic toothbrushes are discarded every month in India and they form one of the largest contributors to plastic waste. It’s high time we go plastic-free before we drown in our own waste. Not only is a bamboo toothbrush an attractive bathroom mantelpiece accessory, but it can also be composted.
2. Carry your own cloth bags
Cloth bags are beneficial for two main reasons: Firstly, they can be reused, thus reducing the waste generated by single-use products. Secondly, they minimise the pollution caused by plastic. Discarded plastic bags take 10 years to 1000 years to decompose. A cloth bag can be used 170 times and it justifies its manufacture.
3. Switch to copper bottles
80% of plastic bottles end up in landfills leaking microplastics into the soil that can contaminate the landfills and groundwater. Drinking water from plastic bottles can release toxic elements in our bodies. On the other hand, the copper containers used since ancient times have innumerable health benefits like boosting immunity and improving bone strength. This should convince you to swap your plastic bottle for a copper one.
4. Get reusable coffee cups
Most of us need a coffee fix to function productively. But using disposable plastic or paper cups can negate your resolve for sustainable living. Fact check: the production and transport of a single paper cup releases 0.11kgs of CO2 in the atmosphere. Drinking from a reusable coffee cup can reduce pollution drastically.
5. Opt for reusable straws
Are you one of those people who likes to grab drinks on the go? It pays to invest in a reusable metal, glass or silicone straw to reduce single-use plastic straws. The fact that carelessly thrown straws are polluting oceans and killing marine life should make you convince you to switch over to reusable straws.
6. Change over to reusable travel cutlery
Plastic cutlery takes centuries to break down and is termed as extremely deadly to marine life. Use-and-throw plastic cutlery is, more often than not, disposed of in an irresponsible manner from where it can find its way to water bodies. This should serve as a wake-up call for us to eliminate wastage and opt for steel or bamboo cutlery. Bamboo is, in fact, one of the most sustainable materials on the planet, while also being lightweight and easily portable.
Along with all these steps, ladies can use menstrual cups instead of pads or tampons. The sheer numbers are astounding when you consider that each woman contributes 40 years of garbage to a landfill. So opt for menstrual cups or if that is not practical, choose biodegradable pads or tampons.
Practising green living does not take a herculean effort and these small baby steps could start a community’s journey towards a cleaner and safer planet.