Like the average person, sure, I do my bit for the environment. In my efforts at going green, I segregate my waste and make sure to take used batteries to the responsible disposal centers. Yes, I also make it a point to turn off electronics when I’m not using them. And, I take care of my yard with the proper mowing, weeding, and planting flowers and bushes. I haven’t started using a bicycle to get to nearby locations. But, I intend to. Soon!
I figured I was doing what I could to preserve the future of the planet. The rest is up to government agencies and the authorities. Isn’t that what my tax dollars are supposed to do?
And then, one day, I came across this UN website and the quote,”Change starts with you. Seriously. Every human on earth—even the most indifferent, laziest person among us—is part of the solution. Fortunately, there are some super easy things we can adopt into our routines that, if we all do it, will make a big difference.”
I started reading the simple list of tips mentioned on the site. And, that’s when the idea for my bucket list came about. Starting today, I am going to make every little change possible in my day to day living and contribute to a better tomorrow. Take a look at my ideas. I am sure you can follow them too.
Cut back on the Use of Paper - Stop the Felling of Trees
Using digital devices is a great step in going green. And, recycling paper is the way to go. But, each time you need to use paper, think about some way you can avoid using it and choose alternatives. Here are some of them.
- Get all bills and bank statements in electronic form and make payments online.
- Need to make a note or shopping list? Use the memo pad on your smartphone or Android phone.
- In place of using a wad of paper napkins after dining, head for the washbasin and use soap and water to clean your hands.
Cut Back on the Use of Plastic - Stop Adding to Environmental Damage
Did you know that according to The Guardian, 269,000 tonnes of plastic are floating around in the oceans? They’re causing serious damage to the food chain and oceanic biomes. Reduce the usage of plastic as much as you can and contribute to your going green efforts.
- Choose products that come with the minimum of packaging, cling foil counts.
- Politely decline disposable cutlery with your takeout and use silverware.
- If you’re buying coffee, carry your own cup and reuse as much as possible.
- Carry your own bags when going shopping. If you can get cloth bags, that would be great. Bring your groceries in bags that you carry from home.
- Carry water from home instead of buying drinking water. You’ll cut back on the number of plastic bottles ending up in the trash.
- If you can spare a few minutes, wash off the food and grease from takeout containers. Without the grease, you can recycle them. It’s a good going green strategy.
Cut Back on Shopping and Throwing Away Things - Stop Adding to Landfills
Each time you purchase a brand new item whether electronics or small things you need around the house, somewhere a little-used product ends up in a landfill.
- Opt for refurbished laptops, Macs, PCs, smartphones, and tablets. You’ll be reducing the electronic waste.
- Try and scout second-hand stores and garage sales for the small items you need.
- Donate all the items you don’t need to schools, homeless shelters, or any other charitable organizations. Someone can always find use for the things that you can’t use. You can now also find buyers on the internet.
- Repairing and reusing is a good way of going green. If you can’t find a handyman, scout the internet for ideas.
Cut Back on the Use of Energy - Stop Carbon Emissions
Reduce the use of fuel as far as possible. In addition to reusable batteries and solar panels, there are a whole bunch of ideas you can use. It will interest you to know that you can lower the use of energy by shopping responsibly too.
- Carpool to work or school, or use public transport.
- Shop for seasonal fruits and vegetables so the non-seasonal produce does not have to travel long distances to reach you.
- Source meat, poultry, and seafood from local farms. If you can adopt a vegetarian diet, that would be a great going green move. That’s because, processing plants use loads of energy to bring you these food items. Plant-based food costs less to process. As the Metro reports, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists at PETA, the fuel cost of producing one hamburger is equivalent to running a small car over 20 miles.
- Keep your electronics and vehicles serviced and in top working condition. They’ll consume less power.
- Use electricity for cooking as far as possible. Microwaving food is faster and more energy-efficient as compared to stove cooking.
I think that’s a good start for now! But, as I go on, I intend to keep adding to this bucket list and use all the ideas possible for going green and working for a better tomorrow.
To quote James Gustave Speth in the Huffington Post, “I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation.”
I agree! Do you?