As the ecological balance of the environment is degrading day by day, we need to switch to sustainable living. Adopting this kind of lifestyle does not really demand drastic changes in your living.
Carbon footprint increasing at an alarming rate! Government urges citizens to observe one hour blackout to save fuel! Fuel prices increase, yet again! Such type of news bytes have become a common feature in recent times. Can't we do anything to take care of this alarming situation? Of course we can.
The ecological balance of our environment has been disturbed due to our ever-increasing dependence on natural resources. Due to this dependence, the resources are depleting at a fast rate, and we are about to face an alarming situation if we fail to find suitable substitutes for the same.
Sustainable living is an attempt to reduce this dependence on natural resources. Most of us often correlate the words, Go Green and Being Sustainable. Green living is nothing but a catchy term that has been devised for business purposes. Sustainable living means to make a lesser negative impact on the environment.
The simple alterations mentioned below will help improve the Earth's condition.
Turn off the lights and all gadgets when you are not in the room.
A home is the place where we carry out most of our daily activities, and the chances of energy wastage in the comfort zone of our home is higher than anywhere else.
Water wastage is very common. Leaky faucets, toilets and pipes lead to substantial loss of water. According to a popular survey, the average household water usage is;
Also, it is common that the average size of a home is mostly more than what is needed. Most of us want to live in a lavish apartment, but bigger the house, higher is the footprint.
Installing water meters at home and check them regularly to see that water is not wasted. Waste water treatments can be used effectively to treat waste water and make it usable again. Installing a dishwasher with a water control option, using a sprinkler for gardening purposes, and installing dual flush toilet tanks can reduce water wastage to a big extent.
Try to find a place where the entire family can live comfortably without feeling cramped, but at the same time, ensure that the place is not unnecessarily big. Smaller homes will reduce footprints, as lesser area of earth is bulldozed and fewer trees are cut. Also, a smaller home means less overall expenses.
Make your own compost to keep soil healthy.
'Oil' is the largest used non-renewable source today. All vehicles make use of this resource, and due to this, oil deposits are declining rapidly. Manufacturers are trying to reduce the dependency on oil by building hybrid or eco-friendly cars. Air traveling is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emission.
We can make use of public transport like trains or buses for traveling. If car pooling is an option, then it must be considered, so that fuel use and expenses are reduced considerably. We can walk to nearby places or make use of a bicycle.
To reduce fuel dependency, we must try to use petroleum products in an optimum manner. Fuel-efficiency can be achieved if regular servicing of vehicles is done. As far as possible, make use of technologies like teleconferences and video-conferences instead of traveling to the customer locations via airplanes.
Though agriculture and plantation of trees in itself are ideas for sustainable living, but the usage of chemicals to get higher agricultural output are harmful to the environment.
Today, there is a lot of usage of pesticides and fertilizers to increase agriculture yield. This has led to soil erosion, land degradation, chemical run-off, etc. This yield is transported to different parts of the world, thus increasing transportation-related emissions.
Industrial meat production also increases carbon footprint by making use of water and natural gas. Due to climatic changes, rotting of plantations are on the rise. To reduce this, chemical preservatives are used, which in turn adds to the emission count.
Instead of using chemicals, natural methods of increasing yield need to be adopted. Organic agriculture techniques like crop rotation, pest control, green manure, and compost should be adopted. These methods not only increase yield but also enhance soil quality.
Reduction in meat consumption can help reduce the amount of water that is used in its production. Home-grown vegetables and fruits are answers to many emission problems. There are no transportation costs involved, and also preservation of vegetables is easier. A lot of methods for preservation like dehydration, canning, freezing, etc., can be adopted.
Plant trees and set up a small garden in/near your house.
In today's world, there are hardly any daily use appliances that do not need electricity. Due to this, the dependency on fossil fuels is increasing everyday.
There is a lot of dependence on electric-run devices for carrying out basic household activities. Even for the easiest kitchen activity like cutting vegetables, an electric cutter is used.
The other problem with electricity usage is that most of us 'forget' to switch off appliances after using them. The electricity that is generated by using non-renewable sources, is thus wasted.
Alternate sources of electricity like wind, bio-thermal, tidal energy, and hydro energy need to be explored. Their setup costs may be on the higher side, but the long-term benefits of these sources are huge.
Making minimal use of electrical appliances for kitchen-related activities, and unplugging the appliances when not in use, will help the cause. We can install programmable timers for all electrical appliances, so that they will automatically switch off even if we forget to do so.
Yes, you read it correctly, Green Wedding. It does not mean to wed in a forest or in a garden, but instead, it insists on making proper use of sustainable ideas while planning a wedding.
Instead of calling up every single relative or friend or sending an e-mail to each one of them (this is a huge wastage of time as well), you can create a website with a common invitation for all your near and dear ones.
This will reduce the amount of paper that is wasted for printing the wedding invitations. Choose a venue that is close-by so that your guests do not have to drive a lot. Nowadays, pre-used wedding dresses are available, which will reduce the usage of cloth and money as well.
Many companies are offering work-from-home options to its employees. This reduces the usage of fuel and time that is wasted while commuting. You can adjust the lighting and cooling as per your need, which will reduce air-conditioning costs. You can position your workstation in a manner such that you receive natural light while working.
Use recycled paper instead of the regular ones, and reuse the paper if you haven't scribbled a great deal on them. Do not unnecessarily print information if you are going to refer to it only a couple of times. Store your work files on a hard disk, and switch off the computer after you are done.
Use a bicycle for commuting short distances.
Recycle, reuse, and recycle products to reduce waste.
The best method to reduce wastage and emissions is to reuse stuff. You can reuse the gift wrapping paper or use cloth for wrapping purposes.
Be innovative and reuse plastic bottles, glass bowls, cardboard, packaging paper, etc. There are many recycling centers in all parts of the world that recycle everything, from paper to metal. Find your local recycling center and contribute in carbon emission reduction.
Try to buy stuff that you really need and not things that you simply want.
Reduce wastage in all aspects of living.
Unplug all appliances when not in use.
Naturally air-dry clothes instead of using dryer sheets.
Take shorter showers and reduce water wastage.
Buy and use lesser non-disposable products like plastic bags, plastic cups, one-time-use pens, etc.
This kind of living has become a necessity more than just a type of lifestyle. To maintain the ecological balance, all of us should at least attempt to follow sustainable living.
Adopting a sustainable lifestyle can help us stall the menace of environmental problems such as pollution, global warming, etc., if not completely, then at least to a substantial extent, and if not for us, then at least for the generations to come.