In recent years, more awareness and emphasis have been made on the importance of practicing a greener lifestyle.
The basic rule to greener living is – reduce, reuse and recycle (3Rs). In other words, to reduce waste, repurpose goods and recycle materials that can be reprocessed into other handy items.
Though, is that all that we can do when it comes to loving planet Earth? Or the bigger question is – “Is that sufficient?”
Well, to tell you the truth, to reduce, reuse and recycle is one step to preserving the health of planet Earth but we need to do more than that if we would like to protect the land that we and our future generation are and will be living on in years to come.
So, it’s not just about implementing the 3Rs in your daily life. It’s also about changing your mindset permanently, to make it a practice to remember our planet before making personal decisions that may seem small but could leave a harmful effect that’ll last for generations.
One example is using plastic straws. It’s cheap, easily available and its disposable which makes it convenient to drink a beverage. So, why even bother carrying a reusable straw around when a disposable plastic straw makes life ‘easier’? Believe it or not, the answer is simple. It’s to protect the planet we live in.
To encourage you to take your first step to doing more for the environment and to get the ball rolling, here are five conscious habits (on top of the 3Rs) that you can practice daily. Your future generation and Mother Nature will thank you!
Pick safer chemicals
All chemicals washed down our pipes and drains end up in streams and eventually the ocean. These chemicals can be found in many cleaning products and help us with our everyday lives such as from keeping our bodies clean and odour-free to our house looking spick and span. However, did you know that its purpose takes a total turn in once it reaches the drains by harming marine life and other living things?
Create a greener household by being more conscious about each product that you use. Before purchasing them, ask yourself, “Will this harm the environment? Is there a greener option?” There are many products available on supermarket shelves that are environmentally friendly. All you’ll need to do is to take an extra minute to read the label of the product that will indicate if it’s safe for the environment.
Purchasing a pack of organic and consciously produced vegetables from across the globe may seem like no harm. After all, it’s ‘environmentally friendly’ isn’t it? Well, we hate to break it to you but the carbon footprint of the product flown into the country makes your choice no better when it comes to preserving the environment.
There’s a huge variety of local produce and goods that’re available on supermarket shelves. Every section of the supermarket has local products including those that were produced with a conscience. So, try and go local instead. Plus, going local also gives you the opportunity to support the local economy while getting your hands on the freshest produce!
Pull them back
Imagine waking up to the sight of natural sunlight shining through your windows and lighting up your room perfectly.
If you live in a home with lots of windows, pull your curtains back and enjoy the gift of natural lighting. Using sunlight to illuminate your home does not only benefit the environment. It also improves your health as you enjoy a healthy dose of vitamin D daily and it also keeps dust mites at bay.
On the other hand, if you’re in the midst of planning on a house renovation plan, be sure to take advantage of the sunlight and fill your house with amazing windows. Plus, it also gives your house a more modern look!
Practice green habits in all areas of your life including at work. Be the game changer and inspire your colleagues too. There are many steps that you can take to encourage to go green together as a professional organisation.
Besides printing on both sides of the paper and sharing soft copies of documents instead of hard copies, there are also many other areas that needs to be addressed. This includes eliminating the use of plastic cutleries, plates and bowls. Instead, bring your own cutlery set as well as reusable containers. Besides that, you could also stop the use of individually packaged food items such as premixed coffee and biscuits at the office pantry. Instead, put in a suggestion to purchase a whole pack and place the snacks in air-tight glass containers. These steps are not only environmentally friendly but economical too!
Take the next bold step
When it comes to preserving the environment, you must know that there is no end. This may feel tiring but let’s look on the brighter side, your actions are fulfilling and you’re able to preserve and enjoy the beauty of our planet. Plus, once it’s part of your routine, it’ll feel more of a joy than a chore.
So, take a good look at your current lifestyle and identify the next step to take. For example, if you’ve been segregating your household waste, perhaps it’s time to look into not only segregating your waste but also find solutions on how to reduce it.
Same goes for using plastic items. Kudos if you’ve eliminated plastic cutleries in your life! So, now, perhaps it’s time to look into other areas on how you can reduce your use of plastic. For example, instead of purchasing perfectly packed vegetables, you should consider heading to the local market to purchase loose bundles of fresh vegetables and pack them in your personal reusable bags.
Each selfish decision we make ends up in a vicious cycle. So, put a stop to bad habits and start creating a healthier life cycle by taking green living to the next step.
Sidebox: Not all types of plastic are recyclable
There are seven types of plastic and did you know that not all of them can be recycled? Hence, they end up polluting the earth. Here are the types of plastic that can and can’t be recycled.
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Used for water bottles and some packaging, PET is recyclable.
- High- Density Polyethylene (HDPE) This is the stiff plastic used for detergents, milk and some toys, this type of plastic is reusable and recyclable.
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Soft and flexible, PVC is used to produce cling wraps, cooking oil bottles, pipes and garden hose. PVC can be repurposed but cannot be recycled.
- Low -Density Polyethylene (LDPE) Used for plastic bags, laundry bags as well as squeezable bottles, not all items made by LPDE can be recycled.
- Polypropylene (PP) Tough and lightweight, PP is used to manufacture pails, disposable diapers, food containers, straws, cellophane tape and potato chip bags. PP is considered safe to be reused and only a very small percentage can possibly be recycled.
- Polystyrene (PS) A common name for disposable food containers, PS is most often used to make Styrofoam. Recycling PS products is not widely available but it can be reused.
- Others Plastic that fall under this category include BPA and Polycarbonate. Plastics under this category are not to be reused nor can it be recycled unless made by a new generation of plastic that makes the product compostable.