These days, one can witness a positive growth for all things eco-friendly in every aspect of life as treading the ‘green’ environmentally friendly path and embracing ways a sustainable lifestyle is the new way to be. From cutting down on food waste and energy consumption to implementing ways to reduce carbon footprint and using local produce — an eco-friendly lifestyle not only aims at healing the planet but also gives an overall positive vibe to your mind and soul. By Priyanka Lamba.
Sustainable living involves conserving natural resources and avoiding the use of products that harm the environment. With climate change being a raging concern, recent times have made us more aware of our surroundings and have emphasised the need to connect better with nature.
Being mindful, switching to renewable energy and consciously opting to go the cleaner and ethical way leads to reduced carbon dioxide emissions while making our own living extremely energy efficient.
In today’s era, when less is indeed more, there are various easy and simple steps you can take to make sustainable living the new mantra.
Here’s what you can do to live an eco-friendly life
Say yes to saving water and electricity
Who else is guilty of leaving the tap running while brushing their teeth or washing utensils? But is wasting so much water worth saving a few seconds by turning the tap off? In a world where many aren’t fortunate enough to have clean drinking water at their disposal, it’s only wise that we save whatever we can, whenever we can.
Did you know that some of our daily habits unknowingly contribute to water pollution and have a deeper environmental impact? Avoid releasing detergents and toxins into the water supply systems and using bottled water to reduce pollution. On the other hand, washing clothes in cold water while limiting the use of hot water and using energy-efficient appliances for water heating are some of the numerous ways to be environmentally conscious.
Similarly, switching off the electricity and unplugging your gadgets when not in use is taking a step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Shifting to energy-efficient CFL and LED light bulbs helps you to bring down the energy bills and go the eco-friendly way.
Bid adieu to plastic
Look around and you’ll find heaps of plastic products — an undeniable part of our ‘convenient’ lifestyle. From unfathomable amounts of plastic bottles to polythene carry bags, plastic has got us wrapped in every way that makes it seem like an indispensable part of our lives. However, the price of this lifestyle has to be paid by the planet. Plastic’s non-biodegradable nature makes it extremely toxic to the environment.
In a bid to switch over to an eco-friendly lifestyle, one can use sustainable alternatives like copper tumblers or glass jugs and canvas bags instead of plastic water bottles and plastic bags. In fact, the next time you visit the market, carry your own bags to avoid buying plastic ones.
Walk whenever you can
Nothing gets better than conserving energy, giving back to nature and staying fit. Walking lets you do all these and ensures to keep your body and mind physically active — something that is another need of the hour in this digital era.
This will drastically reduce your energy consumption. Next time, instead of driving everywhere, save fuel and consider walking or travelling via public transportation to your destination. Similarly, once in a while, ditch the elevator and take the stairs. You will not only save energy and resources but also burn some calories while lessening your carbon footprint. A win-win situation!
Reduce food waste and compost if you can
An important sustainable living mantra which we must all try to follow — don’t be a hoarder.
If you buy only what you will end up consuming instead of stocking up needlessly, not only will it be sustainable in the long run, but your pocket will thank you, too. Start by using loose leaf tea instead of tea bags which are made of plastic and give the paper towels a miss and use reusable cloth wipes in the kitchen.
You can also consciously reduce food waste and lead a healthy and sustainable lifestyle by recycling and composting. Wondering how to start? If you are fond of gardening, then instead of dumping food scraps in the bin, start composting. Use the leftovers and kitchen peels to provide nutrition to your plants and take a step further to an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Eat less meat, go the local and seasonal way
This one might be tough to swallow for non-vegetarians, but avoiding meat and switching to a plant-based diet is one of the easiest ways to reduce the overall carbon footprint and introduce sustainable living.
Consuming locally grown, seasonal food from the local farmer’s market has many benefits. Purchasing it lends support to the local economy and cuts down on long carbon-intensive supply chains used to transport out-of-season produce. Moreover, seasonal fruits and vegetables are high in taste and have health benefits.
Reuse, recycle, repurpose
Curb overconsumption and adopt a zero-waste approach. Sustainable living in no way means that you discard your not-so-friendly products and purchase eco-friendly ones, it simply means making the best use of what you already have. Donating clothes, upcycling old furniture, swapping books, creating decor items from your own containers and jars and buying second-hand stuff are a few things you can do.
Let your creative impulse take flight when it comes to being eco-friendly. Turn plastic bottles into quirky planters or use plastic wraps and other junk to make showpieces; wastage of paper, too, can be turned into paper mache items.
Exit from the fast-fashion world
Exploitation of labour, excessive use of water, deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions and releasing innumerable toxins during the manufacturing process are a few things that define fast fashion. What’s in today will be out tomorrow. That’s how fast fashion works, churning out trends at lighting speed.
Clothes that fall under this category are produced in large quantities and discarded in even larger numbers. So, opt for organic textiles and brands that care about the planet. Try using recycled and organic cotton, organic bamboo, linen and hemp. These are great options when it comes to sustainable fashion. In fact, in an attempt to become more eco-friendly, big fashion houses like Gucci and Stella McCartney have vowed to take the ethical route and say no to fast fashion.
(Main and feature image: Courtesy CDC/ @cdc/ Unsplash)
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