World Environmental Day is a very important day not only for the United Nations, but for each of us who cares for the planet at the least. This day shows up as a hanging sword over our necks every year reminding us of all the things we are doing wrong. You already know that endangered species, global warming and climate change are not hoaxes and that the UN and the government are not solely responsible for the conservation and protection of the planet. Each of us has a part to play here. We all have a contribution to make to the Earth we live in and call home. Now that you have reached this far, which is great, you clearly want to do something for the cause. But don’t know where to start. Why not start living a green life. Yeah, adopt a few green practices to your everyday life and do your part. So here is a guide to help you Go Green at your home. To start with, go ahead and plant a few native trees.
In the Kitchen
- Doing the dishes: If you are in for saving energy, then dishwashers are a complete no. Soak the dishes before you wash them. If you have a kitchen garden, use this water to water them. Connect your sink with the garden. Go for drip irrigation if you can.
- Go for bio-degradable, natural and non-toxic soaps
- Use green cleaning products not only for the dishes but also for the kitchen, like vinegar and baking soda
- Use washable plates and utensils and not disposables
- Kitchen waste: Install a compost pit for all your kitchen waste and use that for your kitchen garden. If you don’t have a kitchen garden, set one up. You are blessed if you have a huge backyard (most of us don’t). But even if you live in a tiny apartment, there are different ways to set up a vegetable garden. Look it up. There is no better key to healthy and happy living than eating the harvest from your own garden
During Grocery shopping
- Make a list of what you want to buy and stick to the list. Reuse single side printed paper for making that list
- Always shop in bulk
- Buy local and organic produce and opt for what’s in season
- Buy food with no or least packing
- Stock up only on those you are sure to consume and ensure that nothing goes to waste.
- Brace yourself with reusable grocery totes and cloth storage bags for the grains, vegetables and fruits (Do not forget to tare the scale). Do not accept bags from the store
For laundry and cleaning
- Don’t wash your clothes daily or on a regular basis. Use the washing machine at full capacity
- Use cold water to save energy
- Check if your detergent is eco-friendly. If not, switch to those that are biodegradable and non-toxic
In the bathroom
- If you have the habit of day dreaming and planning your future in the shower, shut the shower and save for the future of the planet.
- Same goes while you brush your teeth.
- Check for leaks and fix them promptly
For the office
- Cancel all junk mails and sign up for electronic bills and statements
- Use single side printed papers for making notes, making the grocery list etc or better yet, switch to digital organizers and grocery lists
- Donate old books and magazines that you don’t require anymore to other people or to a library. Again switch to digital platforms- email newsletters, e-books etc
- Donate and buy used electronics like computer , cell phones, laptops etc
- Reuse and recycle paper
For the home
- Invest on appliances that consume least resources
- Switch off the lights and fans whenever and wherever not necessary and go for natural lighting and ventilation whenever you can. So go on, open up the windows
- Unplug once you are done charging your mobile phones, laptops and other electronics
- Before you leave your house, carry your water in a reusable water bottle and don’t buy those throw away mineral water bottles on the way.
- Turn the indoors into a little garden by adding a few indoor plants to the decor
But above all, making this conscious choice of leading a sustainable lifestyle and inspiring your kids to do the same is most important. And if you are doing that, great job buddy. Way to go.
What did I miss? What are the things you do to make your home and life green. Some of the things in the list above you’ll be able to do without much effort; some will require a little effort. Make that effort. Remember little things you do matter the most and makes a great impact, even eating ice cream in a wafer cone than a cup.