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World Environment Day ’16: Make small changes for a bigger impact

World Environment Day
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The world environment day reminds us of the importance of environment. What’s most important is to be compassionate towards the environment, assess the impact of your activities and do as much as you can for the environment.

Don’t worry, it’s not a big deal after all. Rather than relying on government policies, if you just hold yourself back that one bit extra, you would be doing a great favor to mother nature.

Let’s consider some simple changes that can go a long way if followed regularly by individuals:

For the lives that surround us

  1. Quit smoking! It pollutes you from the inside, and spoils the lives of others around you.
  2. Know that plants and animals are living species as well. They breathe and obtain food. Rather than running them over blindly, wait a moment and think.
  3. Don’t buy, promote or advocate products made from animal leather – or other means of obtaining byproducts by torturing animals.

    Electricity

  4. Conserve electricity – don’t keep the switch on if it’s not needed. In fact, unplug devices. Energy is getting guzzled up even when the devices are on standby.
  5. Minimize the use of air conditioners. Carbon dioxide released by air conditioners is also responsible for the greenhouse effect and climate change. Consider AC pooling – sharing substantial spaces with AC in your house with your friends and neighbors sometimes. Sleeping on the roof isn’t a bad option either.
  6. Dry your clothes in the sun instead of an electronic drier.

    Being one with nature

  7. Plant trees and plants around your home. Saves your home from heat and wind.
  8. Stress on natural ways for your cardio workout. Take a walk and run around the city
  9. Adapt to your climate. Cover yourself well in the winter instead of relying too much on heaters.
  10. Get up early, live the day life and sleep early. Yes, you can have the occasional night party; but completing your chores in the daylight saves a lot of energy as artificial lighting is not consumed during the night time.

    Water

  11. Save water. Use a bucket and fill it only with enough amounts to provide a hygienic bath.
  12. Don’t keep water running while brushing your teeth. Turn on the faucet only when needed.
  13. The same goes for gardening and car wash. Don’t overdo it.

    Transportation

  14. Use less of car and more of public transport. Walking and cycling are a boon.
  15. Maintain your car – it will actually save some burden on the environment.
  16. Go for a car with a 3-way catalytic converter.
  17. Drive slow. Saves on pollution.
  18. Use solar or hybrid cars. Saves money as well as the air.
  19. Avoid commuting by airplane unless necessary. The carbon footprint of even a one-hour domestic flight is overwhelming. Consider flying economy class-more people and relatively less facilities save resources and burden on the environment.  
  20. Consider carpooling and ride-sharing.

    Managing resources

  21. Use paints that are environmentally safe.
  22. Dispose of chemicals, electronic waste and hazardous waste properly.
  23. Avoid using disposable items. They are used and thrown after their first use, which calls for over production and wastage of end products. Go for reusable utensils, water bottles and bags. Carry a mug to your office.
  24. Use reusable items for parties as well. Try using high quality utensils and Tupperware. It is a one-time investment which would save money as well as the environment.
  25. Turn junk into jewels. The items in your home-which you feel might have become redundant-might still be useful. If not for you, then someone else certainly. Donate.
  26. Avoid buying products with excess packing. A lot of paper is wasted in unnecessary packaging.
  27. Use rechargeable batteries.
  28. Use only as much toilet paper and paper napkins as necessary. Use washable cloths for wiping, as much as possible. Cloth diapers must also be used.
  29. Don’t overbuy. Remember that to produce the smallest items and products, a lot of energy and resources are exploited, which also results in a huge carbon footprint.
  30. Do not use washing powders or detergents with high phosphate levels.
  31. Do not use face wash or other cosmetic products with micro-beads. These micro-beads go into the ocean and are ingested by sea-life, which often results in their death.

    The food we eat

  32. Buy locally grown and seasonal food, it has several advantages, such as guarantee of freshness, less use of chemicals for preservation and saving on the transportation costs and fuel overheads.
  33. Eat less meat, if not giving it up at all. Meat production is not only fatal for the poor animals, a lot of energy is consumed and released in production processes.
  34. Do not waste food at all. Reuse leftover food or donate it to the needy ones.

    A place called home

  35. Install LED lights, solar tubes and skylights.
  36. Insulate your walls and seal all infiltration points.
  37. Choose biodegradable materials where possible, right from your pet litter to your coffin.

    Back to the roots

  38. Plant your own garden. Support yourself as well as some wildlife around you.
  39. Optimize your lawn space.
  40. Go for natural farming and forego chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers.
  41. Make a compost and increase the fertility of your soil.
  42. Increase environmental awareness. Use social media and the power of the internet. More than that, come out and do some  work

This environment day, take a pledge not to sit back and criticize others. You might have your own innovative ways of saving the environment – let others know by posting comments for this article. See what you can do, and fire on all cylinders.

 

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