Sustainable Living: 5 Small Starting Steps

Sustainable Living: 5 Small Starting Steps
Prasanthi Kadiyala; Indian Lifestyle Blogger
Aim for Glam; Indian Blogger
Sustainable Life Style
Aim For Glam

Our planet is undergoing major climate change. And FAST. Sometimes I can’t sleep at night thinking about the world that our children will grow up in. To completely cover this topic, I’d have to write an entire book, so I’ll try to sum it up quickly… Starting this year we have seen multiple instances, where climate crisis has been killing us. All the global warming, all the plastic pollution that we humans have created over all these years is now starting to attack us back. Let it be the Bush fires in Australia, the disastrous floods in Venice, or the overall climate 7 season change that has been impacting the entire planet.

Here in Colorado itself, we have experienced a very strange winter. We have completely skipped Fall (an entire season) and now Spring is coming earlier this year. Though the longer spring may seem like a good thing, the change to the natural rhythm of our planet could have dire consequences for all living things due to mismatching. Countless species rely on the change in temperature to determine the change in season and tell their biological clock what life event comes next — and the shift in temperature can lead to natural mismatches. ⁠It’s really time for all of us to react to it and start our baby steps towards a sustainable lifestyle. It doesn’t mean you start everything and do it all at once, which no one of us can, but it’s about making conscious decisions. The main way that we can make a difference is by cutting down on our individual carbon footprint. The carbon in the atmosphere is what is leading to the gradual rise in temperature. Although it may not feel like it, every single thing you do matters. And if we can all do small things to make a difference in our environment, then we can have a big impact. So how can we all help? These are just a few ways, and if you have more, please let us all know in the comments!

  1. Say NO to Single-Use Plastic

Plastic seems to have found its way into every single aspect of our lives. Humans have generated more than 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic since large-scale plastic production began [read more here]. If you are used to getting plastic bags every time you shop, purchasing plastic water bottles, using plastic straws and a lot more of single-use plastic, just say no to it. Invest in reusable bags, purchase water filters when at home and carry a reusable water bottle with you.

Using reusable, including your shopping bags, containers, jars. Anything that you can think of that can be used more than once. Once you have run out of ideas think of what else you can use as storage space in your pantry and fridge, there are many solutions, you may even invent your own personal collection. There are a few companies that make quality bags for shopping to replace plastic bags. When considering how to keep your food fresh in your fridge, use beeswax wrap or silicone wraps instead of cling wrap.

2. Reuse and recycle

“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” may feel retro, but it’s just as important today as when the phrase was first coined. Every product we purchase has an environmental footprint, from the materials used to create it to the pollution emitted during manufacturing to the packaging that ends up in landfills. So before you buy, ask yourself if you really need it. If you do, consider buying gently used instead of new, and look for minimal packaging and shipping.

Chances are that if you’re thinking about taking on a more eco-friendly lifestyle then you’ll already be recycling. But could you improve your recycling-ability (now a word)? You can recycle almost everything, from batteries to paper to cars. Before you throw it away, take a minute to find out if you could recycle it instead. 

3. Be a conscious shopper

Check the labels before making a purchase. From coffee to fruit to clothing, the number of options out there can get overwhelming — but there are some clear leaders when it comes to minimizing your impact on wildlife and the planet. Think twice before making a purchase on how necessary or useful the item is.

Choose Fair Trade certified goods when possible to support companies dedicated to sustainable production and paying laborers a fair wage. Buy organic food whenever possible; it may cost a little more, but it keeps harmful pesticides out of our land and water, protecting farm workers, wildlife and your family.

Change your cleaning products in your home. Using chemicals is harmful to the environment and for your family. They can also cause allergies, reactions on your skin and can create other long term health issues. A lot of cleaning products have a lot of harmful chemicals in them that aren’t environmentally friendly to create or dispose of. In fact, repeated exposure to these cleaning products can affect your health as well as the environment. Green cleaning products use more natural and organic methods of cleaning which are far less harmful. I’m actually planning a series of posts where I can share about all the steps that I’m personally taking in my household.

4. Don’t Waste Food

Waste not, want not. Did you know that 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally every year? This isn’t just a huge waste of food and money, it adds to the amount of CO2 being created in landfills [source].

Again, with the privileges, we have available today, a lot of the food we consume today is exported from various places across the world. And again there are so many people out there who still die even today by lack of enough food & nutrition needs. If you know you are going to have excess food or leftovers, there are many organizations or orphanages that can take the food. Make alternatives plans instead of throwing them in a dumpster. Also, don’t be ambitious when buying food. If you think you can only eat a slice of cake then only buy one. Don’t buy more and later throw them away.

5. Turn it off

Energy conservation is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Leaving your electricals on standby needlessly uses up energy – hit the off switch and you could see huge improvements, most noticeably in your energy bills!

Don’t turn the switches-off, but also turn the taps off. A lot of us living in cities have the luxury of getting water 24 X 7, 365 days. Imagine the lives of the people, who are struggling to get their drinking water needs (forget about all the other needs). You might knowingly or unknowingly waste so much of water by letting your taps run while brushing, during the shower and when washing hands & dishes. Let’s protect our water resources, be kind and think about every drop of water you waste.

Unfortunately, with the recent COVID-19 outbreak, there’s so much panic all over the world that people are crazily shopping and accumulating more resources than they actually consuming, in the name of quarantine or safety preparations. I have seen a drastic increase in the plastic, paper and food consumption over the past few weeks that are eventually going to end up in the landfill. We might be able to stay safe by accumulating more than what we need, but what about the issues that come with this carbon footprint? If not for the fires, we might be hit back by nature with another natural calamity? How do you think we are going to deal with it? There are so many issues that we need to fight together. So let’s be kind, and act sensibly. I hope you find this post informative. If you would like to contribute your views or findings to this topic, please do reach me out and we can definitely use this platform to spread awareness.

Lots of Love,

Prasanthi

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