How we can help the environment
Blog by Swati Thiyagarajan   |   5/12/2012 2:45:53 PM

The fact that the planet is in trouble is not something that can be disputed even if we believe or don't believe in global warming. As this is the only home we have and as our children and their children take over, it becomes a greater cause for concern.

There is no point in waiting for a magic bullet solution to the problems; nothing will really change unless we make the effort to change as well.

Here are a a few things we can put in place in our own homes; the more the number of people who do this, the greater the change

1.    Whether you live in an apartment or house you can plant a herb garden. This way you can keep your environment green, grow your own herbs and it's always good to have a reminder around of where our food originates so we waste less.

2.     Switch all your light-bulbs to CFLs (or at least switch a few).

3.    Create a homemade compost bin. this can naturally fertilise your herb garden or whatever other plants you have.

4.    Switch all or at least one appliance to an energy efficient model. in India look for BEE 5 STAR rated appliances, this will help reduce your annual electricity bill

5.    Switch to a solar geyser (remember that even in winter with just one hour of sun the water will get hot enough for a bath). If you have a regular geyser, bring the setting down to 40 degrees which is more than hot enough.

6.    Stop using plastic bags. Get re-usable bags that you can take with you for your shopping.

7.    Buy  glass bottles and keep your water in them as it is much healthier and better for the environment than plastic bottles

8.    Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.

9.    Turn off lights and all appliances when not in use. Even on stand-by all electronic equipment draw energy.

10.    Do not use lights in the house while you can still get natural light.

11.    Try to either combine all your errands into one trip by car and do try and carpool your kids.

12.    In areas where you can, walk or cycle for shorter trips.

13.    Try and buy as much as local food as possible at local suppliers eliminating expensive packaging and food that has been flown around the world.

14.    Use both sides of any paper whether you are writing or printing.

15.    Reuse scrap paper.  Print on two sides, even clean pages from various notebooks can be ripped out and bound into new notebooks

16.    Before buying anything new see if it is available second hand. By the same token give away your things to people who don't have them yet so they can be re-used instead of throwing it away.

17.    Follow old traditions of line drying laundry instead of using a dryer.

18.    Install rain water harvesting and grey water systems.

19.    Switch to cloth diapers - or at least do a combination with disposables. Even one cloth diaper per day means 365 fewer disposables in the landfill each year.

20.    Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen. Be frugal, and make these rags out of old towels and t-shirts.

21.     Use cloth napkins daily instead of paper when you eat.

22.    Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage, especially in the kitchen.

And if you do all of this with your kids , they too will learn the importance of reducing re-using and recycling for after all they are the future custodians of this planet.


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