With such issues as waste management and environmental protection now at the forefront of discourse, we are now looking for ways to embrace and encourage a more sustainable way of life. And in doing so, we need to act fast. Why? One key reason is because it has come to light that only nine percent of all plastic ever made since the 1950s has likely been recycled. Indeed since then, humanity has collectively produced 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic. And to think that only 747 million out of that 8.3 billion metric tons have been recycled over the past 6 decades is alarming. Furthermore, global greenhouse gas emissions have risen over the past three years, reaching a record high last year with an estimated 36.8 billion tons. This increase in emissions can be attributed to the continued use of fossil fuels, deforestation and a host of other factors.
So in the face of mounting environmental quagmires, how can we turn the tide? Below are some tips on embracing a sustainable lifestyle.
Reduce usage of household energy
This may sound stupidly simple, but reduced energy use can truly lead to less greenhouse gas emissions and a cleaner atmosphere. One way you can reduce your usage of household energy is to just turn off any appliances and lights you’re not using. If you continue to leave any lights or appliances on but not use them, it will obviously be a waste of energy. Instead of using air-conditioning, why not try opening a window to let a light breeze in? It can go a long way in terms of energy conservation and consequently environmental conservation. Finally, replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones, as they produce equal if not greater luminosity while requiring less energy and generating less heat.
Resell and/or donate items
Whenever you have items you no longer need, instead of just disposing them at the drop of a hat, you can either sell them or donate to someone else who needs them. Selling items you don’t need has a double benefit; not only you are helping to extend the life of a product, you also get a financial incentive from selling that particular product. However, if you’re feeling more charitable, then donation of unneeded items works just as well. Consider donating any unnecessary clothes, toys or appliances to local and/or international charities that will distribute them to those in need. By extending the life of a given product, you help reduce dependence on disposable or single-use products that end up in landfills.
Use less disposable plastic items
Prior to the plastic boom, people didn’t dream of such items as single-use razors, disposable cutlery and food containers, and plastic bags. Now, it is a certainty that you can find a plastic version of any item and immediately dispose of it after usage. Many current health issues that arise from our treatment of the environment are derived from toxins released into nature through garbage. Even garbage that is properly disposed of and treated, such as that in landfills, can still release toxins into the environment. So instead of using disposable plastic items, why not use disposable or reusable items made from natural materials, like those made from bamboo from our catalogue?
Be less dependent on your car
A car is one of the most convenient forms of transportation, yet if you drive it alone, you’ll be contributing to the 4.6 metric tons of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere per year from vehicular transport. It constitutes the majority of annual greenhouse gases emissions, which are the main culprit of global warming. You can lower your transportation footprint by using public transport such as city buses and/or the metro. Alternatively, you can either walk or go on a bicycle. Not only you won’t be releasing any emissions from walking or cycling, you’ll also be healthier due to the exercise from walking or cycling.
Be wise with water
This may sound like an obvious suggestion, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. After all, there are many parts of the world that experience fierce droughts, and pumping and heating water does require energy. You can start by shortening your showering time; you don’t need to take 15 minutes to clean yourself. A 5-minute shower is adequate time to clean and refresh yourself. You can also turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing your dishes. It’s a simple, but surprisingly effective solution to water conservation. Finally, whenever you’re doing your laundry, save up on your dirty clothes and wash a full load with your machine, since it uses less water and energy than 2 half-loads.
Now that you know what you can do to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle, you can start to decrease your carbon footprint and in doing so, you can contribute to the wider effort of conserving the environment.