You’d love to do your bit for the environment – but by the time you are done with work, you are too tired to change anything! Though this is a common situation, have no reason to despair. Sustainable or green living in everyday lives can be made possible by some simple steps.
You know what could be even better? When your family gets actively involved too. Here is how:-
1. Green Food
The amount of green house gas that is created for getting your daily food from farm to table (by roads, air or sea) is quite alarming. That is why many advocates of green living ask us to buy from local sources when possible. Shopping directly from farmers or at markets supports our local economy and ensures we get the freshest produce possible. The best way to have fresh vegetable is of course by growing them on your own.
Green living doesn’t always mean giving up on your favourite meat-pies. It would be great through if you can include more vegetarian options in your meal planning. It is definitely healthier and is known to cut the risk of heart disease.
2. Less Plastic
If you look for the source for all those flimsy plastic bags in your household, you would know that most are from daily shopping. Next time you decide to go for shopping, carry cloth bags or one of those sturdy big bags.
Plastic products designed for children are flooding the markets these days and the level of toxicity in them usually goes unchecked. In all respects, it would be better to have non-plastic or wood based toys. Also make sure you have high Food Grade plastic or steel containers for carrying lunch.
Simple steps like these can considerably reduce plastics in your home, and thus contribute to a cleaner environment.
3. Greener Dinner Parties
Think twice before using those muffin wrappers and fancy paper napkins. The reason has much to do with your family’s health than to the environment. According to recent studies most paper products (plates, cups etc) have chlorine in them (used for bleaching) and this can easily contaminate food and beverages.
Instead use eco-friendly alternatives like biodegradable paper plates, or consider buying washable plastic-wares that are both lightweight and can be used again for your picnics and get-togethers.
4. Paper Lovers
Trees are being felled for our everyday paper products. Sometimes it is a necessity, but most of the times, we can avoid the use of paper and thus help reverse this process.
At office you can reduce the use of paper by using recycled paper products. Encourage everyone in the family to use both sides of a plain paper, or use old calendars or magazine prints for your child’s project, or get creative and chic earrings out of quilling old newspaper. There are so many ways in which we can reuse paper!
5. Fueling Change
Due to rise in gas prices, using as little fuel as possible is a major concern these days. Finding ways to save on fuel will not only reduce the pinch on your wallet, but will give sustainable green living a better shot. Take the bus, carpool with a friend, buy an electric bike or car, or cycle to work; fuel change around you.
6. Clean without Chemicals
Thanks to the internet we can find a whole host of eco-friendly do-it-yourself household cleaning options for home. In case of shopping for cleaners, you can make sure that you keep toxic chemicals away from your family by paying close attention to product labels.
Avoid products with toxic butyl cellosolve, bleach or phosphate in them. Instead look out for products that have “grain alcohol”, “borax” or “petroleum free” ingredients in them. Or simply buy natural vinegar; you can use it with water to clean floors and bathroom tiles.
7. Recycle Mantra
India generates 5.6 million metric tons of plastic waste annually, according to a report from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The good news is that about 60 percent of the total — or 9,205 metric tons per day — is recycled. You too can make your loved ones be more aware of the process. Have bins that segregate waste, if your society doesn’t have that already. Make it fun for children – use recycled plastic bag or material to help design small portable bags or mini-parachutes!
A big part of green living is the use of energy, and how you use electricity is undoubtedly integral. Since no one likes to be advised these days on turning the lights off, here is something you can do. Schedule a “no technology ( no lights, computer, mobile or TV) break time” at home and make it a fun time by playing board games, singing songs or by having dinner by the candlelight. Sustainable living can be a lot of fun too you know.