In the current discourse words like ‘eco friendly,' ‘green,' ‘natural,' and ‘organic’ are seen everywhere from commercials, newspapers, and the internet to product packaging. But sadly, the messages are in danger of getting lost in the wake of so much misuse. In times like these, it is important to understand the true meaning of eco-friendly to become a truly eco-conscious person. It will help us to improve our planet and make it more liveable for all its inhabitants.
Eco-friendly refers to goods and services that claim to be least harmful to the ecosystem or the environment. It means that products that contribute to green living or practices that help conserve resources like forests or water are eco-friendly. Unfortunately, a significant part of the population feels that it is not their duty or responsibility to care for the environment.
You can engage in eco-friendly habits and practices by being more conscious of your surroundings. It can be as simple as picking up glass bottles from the beach; or making some holistic changes in your lifestyle. More and more people are trying to be eco-conscious in their day-to-day activities like recycling plastic bottles or using solar panels to light up their homes.
You must be aware of climate-change warriors like Greta Thunberg, and the devastating effects of global warming. Carbon emissions, deforestation, and pollution cause a severe negative impact on the environment.
How to become eco-friendly?
You can learn to become eco-friendly by becoming aware of how your choices affect the environment. You can follow these tips:
- Learn to buy products that cause little or no environmental harm.
- You need to discover the extent of your carbon footprint and act to lessen that footprint on the environment.
- Finally, strive to support others who try to live sustainably and produce eco-friendly products.
In this article, we will discuss some eco-friendly living methods which are being practiced by many people throughout the world. Read them and try to find out how many of these have you adopted so far.
Are you an avid practitioner of the 3 ‘R'? For those of you who don’t know, these are Refuse, Reuse, and Reduce.
You can reduce your consumption by living a simple life in a small home. Try to avail car-pools when possible. You can also reduce the amount of waste generated and recycle it if possible.
You can recycle items like aluminium cans, paper or plastic, and make new products out of them. You should reuse everything possible like clothes and household items. Be creative and you can make an art or craft object from old junk like glass bottles or pots.
To reduce their carbon footprint more and more people are adopting a green way of life. You can start with really simple things - like taking your own coffee mug to a cafe, rather than using a disposable one. Or, separating the garbage for recycling and, turning off lights when you leave the room.
So, you want to live an eco-friendly life but don’t know where to start. The answer is right in front of you! Yes, you can start from your home itself.
You can make your dream house out of sustainable and 100% recyclable materials like bamboo, basalt rocks, mud, and straw. Raw earth can also be a viable material to build even a two-story house. One advantage of this is that the temperature drops by 4 to 5 degrees, so there is no need for power-guzzling air-conditioners.
You can save a substantial amount of water through rainwater harvesting systems, and run the house partly on solar power. By using proper waste management systems, you can have a zero-waste home. Just ensure that all the wet waste goes for composting.
Using eco-friendly products
You can use eco friendly products that are safe both for the environment and humans, e.g., eco-friendly detergent. Another example is a recycled product that might contain glass, metal, plastic, or wood, which are reclaimed from wastes. Start consuming organic fruits and vegetables that are grown without using toxic herbicides or pesticides.
Don’t buy products that will end up in a landfill a few years from now. You can buy responsibly for your loved ones and also for the Earth. When you visit the supermarket, look out for the ‘biodegradable’ label because these items break down through natural decomposition, so are not taxing to the environment.
Opt for Reusable Products
When you go shopping, please remember to carry reusable bags to cut down on plastic waste. You can switch to reusable food wraps to help replace hundreds of non-biodegradable ones that would eventually end up in landfills and oceans. Using reusable water bottles is very easy, as all you have to do is fill it up with water once it is empty. You don’t have to waste money on buying a new one, and it will also lessen the trash of empty plastic bottles.
Reduce Energy Use
Try to reduce the consumption of water and energy. It will also help you to save money in the process. Use fans or air coolers to cool your home rather than turning on the A.C. Remember that a single A.C. has more carbon footprint than 20 fans.
Start an eco-friendly business
Be your own boss, and protect the environment at the same time! Some best examples of eco-friendly businesses include eco-tourism, biodiversity prospecting, and selective forest product extraction.
Ink-refill is an environment-conscious business. It is profitable, and by refilling old cartridges you prevent them from accumulating in landfills.
A product is made using a lot of energy and resources. A lot of people have cut out on needless buys and living a minimal lifestyle. So buy only what you need. If you buy lesser items there will be few demands for those items, and the impact on the environment will be less.
One way to buy clothes sustainably is to get one when you need it, and not dictated by fast fashion. Another admirable way is to buy second-hand clothes. Giving apparel a new life is better than buying something new. The same holds for a recycled piece of clothing, because of the amount of energy and water saved.
As we learn more about our impact on our planet, we try to be an eco-tourist when we travel. For example, while visiting a hill station you can participate in a clean-up operation along with the locals. Callous people throw up a lot of plastic waste on the mountainsides. Removing this waste can go a long way to sensitise people.
You can book a conservation tour with an eco-friendly tour operator, and stay in eco-lodges. Even if you have to pay a little bit more, it will be worth the effort.
You can consider a plant-based vegan diet. Cutting down on meat consumption will go a long way in reducing the carbon footprint. Also, try to adopt the ‘ingredients up recipes down’ approach which is the latest good food mantra now. You will have more nutritious food this way.
If you are eating apples imported from the U.S.A. or, kiwis from New Zealand, it is not sustainable. Try to eat as local produce as possible. It will support the local farmers, and will be more kind to the Earth.
Use safe cleaners
Use plant-based home care products that contain renewable ingredients and are better for the environment. The best items are cleaning concentrates that you can dilute with water in reusable bottles. This will cut down on unnecessary packaging.
It is very easy to be eco-friendly if you are a little mindful. How eco-friendly are you, can be easily found out by the eco-friendly test given below:
1. How often do you recycle?
A. Whenever I get the chance, either at home or outside.
B. Sometimes, when I remember.
C. Never. I don’t have the time.
2. What do you do with plastic containers and used glass jars?
A. I reuse them in several ways like storing food.
B. I recycle them.
C. I throw them away as they take up a lot of space.
3. Would you buy an electric car?
A. I already drive one.
B. My next car will be electric.
C. No. They are expensive.
If most of your answers are ‘A’ then congratulations! You are on the right track.
“We are the parents of our planet”. The line of this famous song is no more apt than in today’s times. How eco friendly you are is defined by the intent with which you are living. This intent is aimed to prevent as much harm as possible to the environment through your interactions with it.
1) Top-10 Things & Technologies that will be trending in the year 2021
2) Sustainable Development: A Win-Win Situation for Everyone
3) How to become Environment Friendly?
4) How does the future of Electric Vehicles look like?
5) Electric Vehicles: Is India ready for EVs?