To embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle means you have to be able to sacrifice a little.
It requires you to slow down your pace of living when the world is a blur of neon lights and glitter.
It isn’t easy.
Imagine baiting a hungry rat with a bowl of peanuts laced with poison. What odds that the poor rodent will be able to resist the temptation?
It’s the same with us. Show us a bargain-priced, sleek automobile that’s birthed an Everest-sized environmental footprint during its production. How many will tuck away their conscience for that purchase?
Unfortunately, such decisions and other bad ones add up.
They’re already eating up the planet. One day it will be a shell of what it was – the most visually stunning orb in the known galaxy.
We have to act quickly to bring down our carbon footprint, and we can begin by making small changes in and around the house.
Start with simple things you can do at home
Living sustainably involves taking care of not only the environment’s health but yours too.
So, start by embracing all things biodegradable and natural.
See how creative you can get around the garden or your home. You’ll be surprised at the rainbow of options that will unravel in front of you.
With a little ingenuity and easy-to-find natural materials, you can fashion things on your own, beautiful things with no added environmental footprint.
For example, you can make all-natural cleaning products with ingredients as simple as lemon, vinegar, and washing soda.
Or, instead of buying a trending hair product in a swanky plastic bottle, make a DIY Ayurvedic shampoo instead. The ingredients you’ll need are shikakai, reetha, neem, and a few other (readily available) flowers and herbs.
Not sure about the ingredients that make up a commercial mouthwash? Try a DIY Ayurvedic all-natural mouthwash, which requires spices such as cloves and cardamom, baking soda, salt, and essential oils.
Similarly, you can start an eco-friendly beauty routine and make DIY coffee scrub or skincare recipes.
The kitchen can be fun too
Nature is the world’s best and healthiest gourmet space.
You only need to know where to look.
There are a variety of beautiful flowers you can eat without any fear of what they may do to your stomach. Some of them carry health benefits, others bring flavor to your food, while the rest are terrific as food decor.
For variety, you can try exotic or relatively lesser-known superfoods such as Irish moss. Or enjoy the natural benefits of homemade fermented foods than buying the same from a store.
And switch to a plant-based diet, which is vegetable-heavy but does not require you to give up meat altogether.
What about your garden?
Just a bit of garden ecotherapy, even a little stroll around your garden, can have a positive impact on your mental and emotional health. Think about it – nature as your shrink, for free!
If you want to get more intimate with the soil, grab a hoe or shovel and plant a local flower or a small tree. Besides contributing to taking the deadly CO2 out of the atmosphere, this will also encourage the invaluable bee and other pollinators to visit the space.
Some of these plants you can bring inside your home. Acera daisy, peace lily, and pothos are plants that are incredibly effective at taking dangerous impurities out of the air. Moreover, staying off air purifiers checks your environmental footprint.
Given below are other actions which form the bedrock of sustainable living.
How to embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle
1. Buy only things you need
Every little thing you purchase has an environmental footprint. Sadly, there is no perfect green product.
So don’t buy more than you must and try to stay off products you don’t need; practice some slow fashion.
2. Buy things that do not harm the environment
Plan your big purchases carefully, such as cars, refrigerators, and other electronic products. These products that have become such necessities in our lives leave a substantial environmental footprint in their wake.
What we can do is opt for energy-efficient models. They have comparatively much less footprint than conventional models.
This hashtag is as ubiquitous as gravity, but that does make it any less relevant.
Can the world do without plastic? It’s hard to imagine living without something that offers so much convenience and is relatively cheap.
But plastic brings with it a mountain of problems. It emits greenhouse gases while sitting in the landfill, and when it makes its way to the oceans, marine life suffers gravely.
4. Stay away from products that harm nature
Reject products made from endangered plant and animal life. Not only clothing but boycotting eateries and restaurants that offer them will send a strong message.
5. Reject fossil fuel
Fossil fuels release unburnt particles into the atmosphere that can damage the lungs, liver, and kidneys.
They also contribute to air pollution and global warming by producing greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.
6. Reduce meat intake
The meat industry is an environmental problem like few others.
Almost a third of all ice-free land goes into raising livestock. That’s a lot of trees and forests razed down. Moreover, cows release a dangerous amount of the hazardous methane gas.
Why we need to embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle
That the earth is ailing is no doubt a bleak message, but one backed by scientific research.
The planet is 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than before the pre-industrial age (late 18th century).
The figure may not seem much and something that an air conditioner knob can easily fix. But to our world, it can spell disaster. This small change can lead to floods, storms, droughts, and a whole lot more.
Stop right here if you are not into apocalyptic movies.
The last decade was the warmest on record. And that has consequences.
As of today, 50 percent of all amphibians are at risk of extinction. While it’s natural for about five species to become extinct every year, scientists claim that dozens of animal and plant species disappear every day. By 2050, if things don’t change, up to half of all species found on earth will have disappeared.
Though it’s not only the heat that affects animal and marine life; the ever-expanding plastic footprint is also to blame.
Further, the rising temperatures increase the risk of heart diseases, especially for people living in urban areas. It also adversely affects the quality of the air we breathe and the health of our crops. Plus, it may lead to natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes.
Fossil fuels are among the worst offenders. They release carbon dioxide into the air, which is the primary cause of global warming. According to a WHO report, about 1.8 billion children are at health and development risk due to the air they breathe. In 2016 alone, 600,000 children died of complications brought about by the polluted air.
This is not Thanos snapping his fingers. It’s our rabid consumerism rather than a mad intergalactic alien that’s the crux of the problem.
But are we to blame?
Who doesn’t like nice things?
It’s hard to be satisfied with a simple rug when the neighbor has a magic carpet. Are you going to say no to Aladdin’s ride if you have the means?
And good stuff, at least those advertised to be good, generally leave a hefty environmental footprint.
This is a problem with the developing world where producers see a market ripe to be explored and there are few checks in place.
So, how do we beat this?
No, you don’t have to go banging on doors shouting, “It’s a Revolution!” You can simply use tools such as social media to encourage people to join the sustainability movement.
Teach them about the dangers of not doing enough to saving the environment, and how we must protect the land and the air.