We live in a time when everyone is concerned about the future of the planet. There’s no denying that the planet is changing dramatically. The climate is almost always unpredictable. Unexpected rain showers, snowfalls, storms and droughts happen regularly.
Everyone’s genuinely worried if the planet is really going to be destroyed soon. But there are also a bunch of hopeful activists and environmentalists who believe that the damage may be reversible.
The only condition is – everyone must participate.
If you’re also concerned about the planet’s environmental health – as you should be – but don’t know what you can do to change it, keep reading.
What keeps most people from changing their ways is the myth that nothing will change unless you do something major. But that’s not true at all.
Even the simplest of things that you do can make a massive difference.
To start your journey towards a zero-waste lifestyle, here are 5 simple you can do right now:
1. Carry your own water bottle wherever you go
As someone who travels a lot, especially to remote locations, it’s super annoying to find a pile of single-use plastic waste at the corner of a beautiful beach or on top of a difficult-to- climb mountain. The most commonly disposed waste is plastic bottles.
Plastic bottles are expensive. And a complete nuisance to the environment. The best way to save money and also reduce your carbon footprint while doing so is to carry your own water bottle and refill it whenever possible.
If you’re concerned about hygiene and your health, buy a bottle with a filter. Or a filter you can attach to your bottle. Look it up online and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to find and buy one.
2. Buy sweets and snacks from a local vendor
If you’ve ever read the ingredient list on packed sweets and snacks, you would’ve noticed that a lot these have palm oil as a major ingredient.
Palm oil is harmful not only for your health but also for the environment. Production of palm oil has increased rapidly in the past few years, owing to the ever-increasing demand. This has resulted in water pollution, an increase in greenhouse gas emission, deforestation and damage to biodiversity hotspots amongst other things.
Palm oil is also known to be one of the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases in humans. Do you really want to consume something as controversial as this?
Buying sweets and snacks from a local vendor is great because the oil they use is definitely healthier than this. The eatables you consume are fresher than the packed ones. And it’s also lighter on the pocket because you have the option to buy only as much as you need.
You can also reduce your single-use plastic waste if you ask them to pack everything you’ve bought in your own reusable boxes. With so many benefits, why would you ever buy packed snacks again?
3. Unplug your electronic appliances when not in use
Did you know that electronic appliances still consume energy if they’re plugged in and switched off?
When not in use, it is best to unplug the appliance. This saves energy. And also reduces the risk of a short circuit. Leaving electronic appliances plugged in while switched off can raise your electricity bills by up to 15%!
Why would you want to continue wasting electricity and money when you can save it with something so simple?
4. Clean out your fridge every weekend
Supermarkets are designed in a way to tempt people to buy more than they need. We’ve all been guilty of stocking up things we don’t need. Most of these things end up in our fridge and are quickly forgotten.
Doesn’t it break your heart when you’re raiding your fridge to find something good to eat and find a chocolate bar, only to see that it’s well past its expiry date?
You, obviously, end up throwing it in the dustbin. If you’d found it sooner, you could’ve eaten it. Or given it to someone who needs it; thereby saving food and all the energy consumed in growing and packing it. If this happens with you often, clearing your fridge every weekend will definitely help. You can save money and also waste lesser food and the packaging that comes along.
5. Eat vegan food whenever possible
Did you know that a vegan saves 2000 liters of water every day?
Imagine the number of humans who’d benefit from that. But we’ve been so conditioned to believe that dairy and meat are essential for a healthy diet that many find it hard to give up.
Turning vegan forever may be difficult. But, how about eating one vegan meal every day? Sounds possible, right? Not only is this healthy for you but will also reduce your carbon footprint a great deal.
There’s a popular saying that goes like, little drops of water make a mighty ocean. When it comes to contributing towards saving the planet, there’s nothing truer than this. The earth is a beautiful place and we, as humans, should consider it our responsibility to leave it in a better state than we found it.
Following these 5 simple things won’t disrupt your life massively. But it’ll certainly make a huge difference to the planet and its fellow beings.
(Miteeksha is an environment-conscious traveler and a freelance writer. Her goal is to live a carbon-neutral lifestyle and educate and encourage others to do the same. Follow her journey on Instagram: @miteeksha)
(The views expressed in the article are the author’s own. Let Me Breathe neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)