June 5 is observed as World Environment Day the world over. Since its inception 43 years ago, today, it has become more critical than ever to pay heed to this day and what it stands for.
All of us know that our environment is rapidly deteriorating, lowering not only our quality of life, but threatening our very existence. Planting trees, avoiding plastic bags, purchasing and using energy efficient devices – these are just some of the many changes we can make to save our planet. Since these changes take time and dedication to implement we often ignore them. Even if we do embrace them, we tend to go back to our old ways. What we really need to save the planet is making small, sustainable changes to our lives and make them part of our daily routine. Get started with these:
1. Turn off any device when not in use
Sounds like a no-brainer, but how many of us implement it completely? Don’t just stop at lights and fans, extend this to electronics as well. For instance, when you are going on your lunch break, don’t leave your laptop or desktop on standby. Just turn it off completely. Don’t let the old ‘oh but I have some important tabs open in my browser’ excuse stop you. Set them as startup pages in your browser and shut down your system. That one hour will make a huge difference in the amount of power your system consumes.
Ditto for your smartphones – purchase a cheap, old-fashioned alarm clock so you can turn off your phone before you hit the sack. Alternatively, you can use an old basic cell phone that will still function as an alarm clock even after it is turned off. (Learn something from that, smartphone companies!) Imagine the amount of power you will save in those seven to eight hours of sleep! Psst, this will also help in lowering your electricity bill.
2. Use the pressure cooker more often
According to TreeHugger, “pressure cookers are a great way to save energy, reducing cooking time by up to 70 percent.” Here’s how it helps: if you switch to using the pressure cooker instead of a gas stove or oven you save both, power and cooking time. It’s a known fact that the pressure cooker cooks meals faster than any other cooking device, and is also a healthier option! So guys and girls, use the pressure cooker as often as you can to cook your rice, dal, veggies or meat.
3. Use lizards as pest control
Yes, you read that right. Don’t get squeamish, it’s not like you have to keep a lizard as a pet or anything! If you spot a lizard at home, let it be. Soon you’ll notice your house is free of other small bugs. Lizards eat bugs and are one of the safest choices for eco-friendly pest control. Contrary to popular opinion, the common wall lizard that we find in our homes is not poisonous. So let them be and you will no longer need to blow money on pest control. Moreover, chemical-based pest control sprays are harmful for the environment. “Whenever you do need to invest in pest control, opt for herbal remedies instead of chemical ones. The former is safe for both you and the environment, and can be just as effective especially if you eliminate the pests as soon as you find them”, says software engineer Lubna Shaikh.
4. Buy home decor and handicrafts from Théla
What’s a house without some stunning handicrafts? Consider buying eco-friendly art from Théla. Each one of their products —keychains, wind chimes, magnets, coasters, blankets, and mats—is made by hand from recycled plastic bags and don’t worry, the products are completely hygienic and beautiful to look at. This also makes them excellent gifting items. Read more about Théla here.
5. Use solar powered gadgets
Gone are the days when solar powered gadgets were unaffordable and unfeasible. Today, there is a range of solar run devices which are efficient and easy on the pocket. From calculators, watches and water heaters to fans, power banks and keyboards, solar power has truly come a long way. All you need to do is know where to look. Again, these too save you a lot of moolah in the power department. The only downside is that they generally take slightly longer to charge than regular gadgets. Otherwise, they work just as well and offer a great payoff for health of the planet.
6. Connect with nature
This year’s theme is ‘Connecting People to Nature’, so that’s exactly what you should do! The internet is a fascinating place to be, but nothing beats the great outdoors. Take out time for a quick walk as often as you can. And if you are a pet lover, take along some grub to feed the many homeless dogs and cats you will see out in the open. Feeding them will surely earn you lots of furry love!
Fixing leaking taps (no matter how small the leak), leaving some grain and water for birds on your window sill, using petrol instead of diesel, carpooling whenever possible – these are just some more small yet significant measures you can take to ensure that our earth stays habitable and beautiful for all its creatures.
What small steps do you take to ensure the earth is greener? Share your tips in the comments below.
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