What is Being Eco-friendly?
Being eco-friendly simply means loving mother Earth with all her beauties and protecting the very environment in all her might where she and we thrive together. To love mother earth with integrity and positive intent to, with all our focus on stopping any further harm done towards her. To understand her sufferings and act towards it accordingly by practicing what we preach. Asking businesses, local communities, districts, individuals, and groups to work behind the idea. To bring into life, the responsible actions thought of. Starting from changing our daily habits to changing the way we live, is all being eco-friendly.
Protecting the Environment
Man-made disasters are slow-poisoning our earth and killing mother nature. Being eco-friendly means living in a way that is not harmful to the environment. We need to make sustainable re-ordering to check ourselves constantly to restore slowly, the bit done by us.
A small change by even one of us can make a difference. In various aspects of our lives, we can bring this change. We can make meaningful differences to reduce the global heat and carbon footprint. Most people are unaware of where to start from. To begin with, follow the basic steps –
- Consume items that are more environmentally friendly.
- Realize your carbon footprint and take to steps to reduce it.
- Help others socially to realize the same and ask them to help the environment.
Making Your House More Environmentally Friendly
Charity begins at home, as the famous proverb goes, to do our part for the environment, let’s begin from our homes. We should make our households more environmentally friendly. We can do this by doing the following:
Use Renewable Energy for Electricity
We can use renewable sources of energy, to begin with. All our electricity should run through solar panels. Electrical energy should be replaced partly with a renewable source of electricity. Solar panels get energy from the sun. The process transforms it into an environmentally clean source of light. Switching to the solar form of electricity, £50 on energy bills could be saved.
Opt for Biomass Boilers
Boilers heat the central heating system of the house and water supplies. Electric boilers use a lot of electricity to boil water or centrally eat the house or communities. Biomass boilers help to reduce electricity bills as they use biological products for heating purposes. This reduces the carbon footprint as the ash produced by biomass boilers is also used as compost for horticulture. A good replacement for fossil fuels, biomass boilers reduce carbon footprint and protects the environment from more harmful effects of emission.
Heat Pumps are also good heating solutions for households. The need for gas pipes and oil tanks becomes negligible if heat pumps are used. An environment-friendly product and having low-energy consumption are the plus points of a heat pump in reducing the damage to the environment.
Follow the 3R’s of Waste Management
Daily we dispose of waste material and send them to landfills. Planning to change your lifestyle should include the 3 Rs of waste management. Buying the things that are needed to be consumed, should be brought from the market, including the quantity required. The waste generated from each household will reduce due to control over the quantity bought from the consumption market. Reusing the items to be disposed of for different purposes and recycling materials or items to a new shape, is the aim.
Use Eco-Cleaning House Cleaners
Chemically harmful products are daily used to clean our household items, dresses, woolens, and the house itself. These directly or indirectly cause harm to our planet and its life. Starting from detergents, floor cleaners, preservatives to the daily needs of our house cause harm to the environment
We can change these items or replace them with naturally developed products that do not harm the ecosystem and contain no synthetic materials in them.
Conserve Water and Electricity
Large turbines are churned via electricity to produce and provide fresh water and electricity to the cities. To reduce our carbon footprints, simple tasks like switching off the fans, lights or ACs when not in use, having proper insulators installed at homes, boilers and other electrical gadgets should be changed to energy-efficient substitutes to start with.
Plant More Trees
Trees are an integral part of our sustained lives. They produce oxygen required for breathing by living organisms. Not only that, they provide shade during summers, fruits, herbs, timber, oils, control the floods by conserving soil; they are nests for a variety of flora and fauna, and shelters to many wildlife animals. As various activities legally or illegally led to the depletion of the forest resources, deforestation disturbing the bio-diversities, the forest areas and trees in the neighborhood are depleting. Even if one individual plant a single tree, that would make a lot of difference in the years to come. People need to be educated repetitively, to plant and care for greenery, as a part of their eco-friendly initiative.
Use Eco-friendly Toilet Paper and Shampoo
Near about 100 rolls of toilet paper are used by any person in a year. 17 trees and 90,921 liters of water are required to produce a tonne of toilet paper rolls. Instead of that if we use more and more bamboo-based toilet paper, it will not only be eco-friendly but also, will be saving a lot of trees. Bamboo grows faster than a normal tree.
Washing your hair with normal synthetic ingredients shampoo will ruin the ocean resources as the synthetic is toxic to nature and water from every wash eventually goes down from the drains to oceans. Non-synthetic shampoos and soap bars are a more feasible option as shampoo bottles are plastic materials and do a lot more harm to the environment when they end up in landfills.
Protect Local Water Sources
Groundwater gets polluted when we dispose of wastes or other remnants of household waste into the waterbody. Any kind of chemical, pesticide, or manures need to be handled with care and should not be disposed of on the grounds, as they generally mix with the soil and then get mixed to the nearby waterbody. This pollutes the water, hampers the river life and birds’ lives, who depend on this waterbody for food.
Recycled Gift Wrappers Should be Used
On birthdays, anniversaries, and other daily life celebrations, whether private or corporate, we all buy gifts and wrap them in colorful paper. We do not think twice before throwing away these wrappers. Many trees are fell off to produce wrappers and production of newspapers. We should, on our part, be extremely careful and buy recyclable wrappers and papers.
Try to Walk Moreor Use Environment-Friendly Cars
We all know private transport or cars are the major cause of emission other than all the rest of the transportation used for various other purposes. To make your mark towards the eco-friendly drive, you can start by walking more or using public transports more for your daily commuting. Another way is to use pool-in services and get into the same route with your neighbor, colleague, or friend. This way, the use of diesel and petrol or cars run on gas, will be less used. This will lead to fewer emissions and reduce your carbon footprints.
More and more battery-operated cars or hybrid cars are coming into the markets to deal with environmental issues. Hybrid cars run on both fuels and batteries. This reduces emissions and makes driving potions more environmentally friendly.
Electrical Goods with Energy Efficiency
Products that save energy and take up less energy while in use, usually have a 5star rating tend to be more environmentally friendly. Example- CFL bulbs, last double the times than ordinary and take up 40% less energy.
Buy from Local Producers
Local farmers and fruit and vegetable vendors who sell their products are more environmentally friendly and reduce your carbon footprints directly or indirectly. The advantages of locally produced products are, no plastic bags, as you buy from the doorstep, no carbon emission as you do not need a transport to go to the market, no packaged material, as it is hand delivery and freshness of the product is a surplus advantage.
Biodegradable Products should be Bought
Biodegradable products usually get dissolved and do not choke the drain outlets. They do not cause any harm to the environment. They usually interact with bacteria and fungi, getting dissolved or they can be recycled easily for reuse.
Littering should be Stopped
Construction materials, demolition sites, industrial waste, household garbage, open trucks carrying materials, pedestrians, or kids tend to litter the roads, sewer systems thus, having an impact on the wildlife, water bodies, impacting the environment. We have seen plenty of TV reports wherein animals are choked by disposed of plastic and plastic materials into the lakes, seas, and oceans. Birds accidentally got entangled into the strings of masks during the corona period and were unable to fly. These also posed health hazards for every living being. It would be better if we educate our kids and neighborhoods about such things regularly to stop littering and help the environment in the process.
Taking care of the environment should be a corporate initiative as well. Companies should hold regular weekend sessions on this issue. The hustle-bustle of mundane corporate life is always dealt with some activities organized by corporate houses in the lap of nature. A good relaxation, spending two good days in nature’s lap, releasing the tension, and back to work again, can substantiate the whole purpose of corporate care. But what about Eco care? What can we do to bring the change?
- Big corporate firms should join hands in building eco-guest houses in the lap of nature, wherein hydroelectric power should light up premises, organic food should be deliciously cooked and served on organic plates. Local people should be caretaking the entire area in and adjacent to the guest house, to create the ambiance.
- Employees should be asked to visit their respective guest houses and at least plant a tree each time they visit there and participate in organic farming or watering the garden area. Mandatory weekly offs should be given to employees to spend some time in the set of eco-guest houses that a company owns.
- Apart from being a good performer and meeting targets or being the best employee just can’t suffice. An award should be targeted in the eco aspect as well. Yearly performance achievements for conserving and loving Nature should also be a performance factor.
- This will not only create better and healthy competition but also, conserve our natural reserves more. Also, locals would get employment and this will generate more revenues.
- Offices require electrically poweredequipment and basic amenities. Starting from using eco-friendly toilet papers, to unplugging electrical devices before leaving the office premises, switching off the unnecessary lighting of the office buildings during the night would reduce the consumption and wastage of electricity.
- Always avoid hard copies of documents unless it is necessary. Otherwise, opt for emailed documents and digital signatures. This way a lot of printing papers are saved and the wastage of papers is not done.
Buying Water Bottles
These days, wherever we go, we don’t carry water supplies with us. Mineral water bottles are easy to access everywhere. These water bottles are generally thrown in the garbage cans or disposed of in the nearby water bodies. Tourists and local people both do the same while disposing of the bottles. This chokes and kills the water animals and other bio-diversities near the water bodies are destroyed.
Reusable bottles and easy-to-carry bottles should be used to minimize the pollution arising from these bottles. This saves money and helps reduce future purchases.
Avoid using Plastic Straws
Plastic waste is a serious environmental challenge for the UK, they have banned single-use plastic straws as a part of the 25 Year Environment Plan. The world is carrying the burden of producing and living with over 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic. A non-renewable, reusable product, plastics do not decompose and choke every possible life, water bodies, drainage systems, and kill hapless animals every year. Straws nearly take 200 years to decompose. Therefore, it is better not to use them. It is better to use bamboo straws instead.It is pocket-friendly and eco-friendly.
Avoid Eating Meat & Dairy Products
Due to an overgrowing human population worldwide, with upgraded lifestyles, shortage of time, and dietary changes, livestock production has increased its pace. Their mass-scale production is emitting greenhouse gases threatening the environment with methane and CO2.
Over 12% of the total greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere come from livestock production. This is up from 6% in 1990. An average person eating animal-based meat dishes has 3 times more GHG emissions than a vegetarian meal.
Livestock methane accounts for 57% of animal-related methane emissions, and 91% of all human-related GHG emissions from fossil fuel combustion. The same sources also attribute to climate change. An increase in the dairy industry is also one of the major causes of the massive methane emission. It accounts for 9% of all emissions. However, livestock could have an even bigger impact on global warming by emitting many more greenhouse gases than just methane.
The latest research conducted by the UN Environment Programme found that beef and dairy products could cause up to 15% of the total emissions, or 1.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e).
Immediate action is required to educate people on the facts and figures about the climatic change caused by unlimited livestock raised in unethical ways, for the human population. The use of meat in each household and eateries should be limited and legally a certain quantity should be allowed to be used.
Buy Recyclable Clothes
Most clothes are made with synthetic fibers and possess a damaging effect on the environment. Changing trends and the latest designs make people dispose of clothing faster than they used to. Decomposing them would take years, as materials used, take a lot of time to perish. Therefore, we should find alternatives to save the environment. We should give away clothing to people who need it more, or hold a backyard auction if required.
Also, one should look for companies that have pledged to reduce their emissions and water pollution from garments production.
Travel plans make people go in for more flights and trains usage. Traveling to remote places is a passion these days. This spoils the beauty, greenery, wildlife, and local lifestyle of those places. Fuel usage on such transportations ison a mass scale, disturbing the environment.
- Be very careful to switch off or unplug all the electrical supplies to your gadgets in your home before you start traveling. Households in the UK spend around £50 – £86 per yearonappliances that are left on standby mode. Empty your refrigerator or any other raw or packed food items and give them to friends or neighbors, so that they do not get spoiled in your absence, thereby, saving on food wastage.
- Choose to drive rather than cruising or taking flights. Destinations that can be traveled by trains or cars, flights should be avoided. Big vessels or ships have more GHG emissions, therefore opt for the best travel solutions to reduce your carbon footprint.
- If possible, try to stay at green certified hotels that respect the environment and pledge to protect the earth by respecting the local culture and following all environmental protection norms.
- Use eco-friendly products more, while traveling, like shampoos and soaps. Do not litter, or throw bottles in the water bodies and be careful towards the wildlife or ocean animals.
- Eating from local eateries and buying from local shops would help the community sustain themselves and help the lives of people sustain.
Schools’ Encouragement Portfolio
How to make the world a better living space, not a place, should be the motto of all schools. Yes, we share the space, we all have been provided by Nature. We have increased and spread over areas, which we didn’t own.
- Kids should be encouraged since childhood, to grow any two vegetables in their kitchen or lawn garden, entirely on their own, supervised by elders. Reading about those two vegetables, their protection from weeds and insects, manuring, etc would increase their thirst for knowledge and develop a love for the vegetables, they otherwise may have refused to eat.
- Schools providing meals for students should teach from the very beginning, not to waste food and to take the amount only they can eat. They should be taught the habit of clean eating and disposing of the trays, to reduce waste.
- Inculcating good values begins at an early age, therefore, educating about Nature and nature’s benefits, fury, and the outcome of the dearth of natural habitats should be taught at the primary level till the senior level in all schools.
- Projects, marks, regular assignments, and assessments about ecological aspects should be curriculum-based. Every child should be taught at home, as well as, schools to help sustain the ecological balance.
- Donating school dresses and personal wear should be inculcated in kids as a way of life. As children grow older, their school uniforms will undoubtedly have to be changed. Instead of throwing the clothes out, parents should consider donating the clothes back to the school or to other parents who are in need.
- Lunch for kids should be given in paper bags or reusable boxes. Environment-friendly beeswax wraps are to be used more.
- In cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, parents use cargo bikes to send their kids to eco-friendly schools. Else, if the schools are nearby, walk your kids to the school instead of using private or school transportation.
As responsible citizens, we should help the Government, run cleanliness projects, and try to be a part of sustaining and maintaining our ecological parks, wildlife sanctuaries, green jungles, and areas near our households clean. We should protect our local parks, roads, streets, use dustbins. As an aneco-friendly citizen, loving my own house and school or office is not enough. To be Eco-friendly we need to be an innate part of Nature, an integral part of Mother Earth. We should learn not only to protect but co-exist with the biodiversities.