Yes, an eco-friendly lifestyle is kinder to the environment, but it’s also more than just that. By acknowledging the impact of our consumption choices on future generations’ ability to survive, we are finally stepping into our role as a custodian of the planet that we call home. There is no dearth of facts, studies and statistics about the toll that heedless consumption is exacting from the earth, so instead of reiterating the problem, here’s a helpful look at how you can be a part of the solution by living an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Reduce your consumption
The easiest and most obvious way to minimise the ecological impact of your purchases is to cull out whatever isn’t strictly necessary. To get started, observe a 7-day spend analysis by noting down every single purchase, big or small. At the end of the week, review your purchases to see if anything can be cut out. Before buying fresh groceries, would it help to do a review of the fridge and use existing ones instead before they get spoiled? It helps to pause a moment before making any purchase and ask yourself if you already have something at home that will serve the same purpose. This simple practice will help you significantly cut back on your consumption — and expenditure too!
Turn into a paperless household
A study from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2017 discovered that paper contributes to 25% of municipal waste. While one solution would be to ensure adequate recycling, another answer would be to cut back on paper altogether. Request e-invoices instead of paper bills that will clutter the bottom of your handbag, or pocket and eventually get chucked in the trash bin. Likewise, look to digital storage for office documents and switch to an e-reader to go paperless at home.
Recycle wherever possible
While it isn’t possible to completely dial back the generation of waste, ensuring that you recycle your household items could ensure a major win for the environment. Start by introducing dedicated recycling bins for your household to segregate biodegradable waste. Extend the same consciousness to your neighbourhood and workplace with dedicated recycling bins that can encourage more people to join in the good work.
Replace disposable items
Do a quick check of every single item you use and weed out any single-use items with reusable alternatives. In the kitchen, switch the paper napkins and cutlery with reusable options. The bathroom can also serve as a storehouse for single-use wipes, earbuds and toiletries. Make the switch to a natural toothbrush, look for reusable menstrual products and replace single-use razors with a hair epilator that will last longer, or an eco-friendly razor that will help the environment.
Make your cleaning routine sustainable
Cleaning supplies aren’t exempt from the list of culprits either. Most cleaning products and disinfectants are loaded with harmful chemicals that can be toxic for health with repeated use. Furthermore, when the run-off reaches local water bodies, it can pose a severe threat to marine life. Phosphates, a common component in detergents, have caused the Bellandur Lake in Bengaluru to foam up every single year causing oxygen deprivation for aquatic life. It pays to make the switch to eco-friendly cleaning products or make your own using common household items, like vinegar and lemon juice.
Make the transition to an energy-efficient household
It is a known fact that electricity is a major contributor to the emission of greenhouse gases. The first step to reducing your carbon footprint would be to make the switch to LED lights. Energy-efficient electricity has come a long way, and LED lights today offer the same illumination as their incandescent counterparts while consuming a fraction of the energy. It also pays to unplug devices when not in use as electrical appliances can consume energy even in standby mode.
Look for secondhand products
It might be tempting to purchase the latest trends, but the short life cycle of fast fashion means that your purchases will be out of style before you know it. Instead of buying and discarding temporary trends, adopt a more sustainable approach for your wardrobe and other household items by browsing through secondhand websites. You can also choose to sell your old possessions that are in working condition to prevent them from ending up as landfill fodder.
The road to eco-friendly living might seem long, but once you take the first step, the second one becomes easier and the third one even more so, until you’ve managed to adapt to a completely sustainable lifestyle that won’t exact a toll on the environment. Are you ready to take this journey with us?