It is funny, isn’t it, when people start talking about cleaner, greener world, but do nothing about it? When I bring something they do to their notice , they get quite defensive and give idiotic answers. For example, one of my friends told me of her hostelmate who had the habit of leaving the tap on while brushing her teeth. When my friend told her not to waste water, she said, “I pay the rent and I am not in the house the whole day. What’s the big deal if I keep the water running for a few minutes?” :-O This post is not about such people though, but about the environment. Here I have listed some things my family and I do for the environment and some things we do for ourselves.
- We re-use old bath towels, clothes for cleaning the kitchen counter, the floor and the scooter.
- Old handkerchiefs are used as dusters
- I do not use the paper napkins for drying my hands in the office. Instead I let them dry on their own. (My parents n hubby carry hankies, I can’t bring myself to carry a hanky coz I seem to lose them time n again)
- We wash our own clothes, wash our utensils, clean the house – all with our own bare hands . For one, it isn’t a lot and by doing it ourselves we ensure that we use as little water as possible to clean them. We save the money that would otherwise go to a maid’s pocket.
- If the clothes aren’t dirty or are used only for a short while, we use it once more n only then put it for wash – saves water
- We wash clothes once in 3 days. This way we neither tire ourselves with a load of clothes at the end of the week nor do we waste a lot of water by washing the clothes everyday.
- We put off the tap when brushing the teeth, scrubbing the utensils n rinsing the clothes
- We use fluorescent lights at home
- We use two-wheelers for commuting long distances instead of four-wheelers. We use bike for longer distances because the mileage is better than the scooter
- Our two-wheelers are tested for emission from time to time n they are under the acceptable range
- We switch off the engines at traffic signals and during traffic jams
- We don’t honk, and sound the horn only when absolutely necessary
- Earlier we used to pool our two-wheelers. For a while we used to cycle as well. These days I don’t have company to pool with.
- Vegetables, pulses n rice are cooked in the cooker
- The water used for washing rice and vegetables are used for watering the plants.
There are several small things we (hubby n I) do, which at the same time make the other follow – and that helps a lot in the long run, I think. Things such as -
- Hubby tends to keep the TV on while he is busy on the Internet. I remind him to switch it off or do it myself.
- I like hot water baths but hubby likes it warm. He mixes the hot n cold water n brings it to a warm temp for me to use later.
- We try to work from the same room mostly thereby reducing the electricity consumed (for fans, lights, … )
Some things in the pipe line which we have been planning to but were not able to till now.
- Start a garden: one, for the obvious reason – environment; two, to reduce the organic waste that goes into the garbage can – it can go back to the earth instead; three, for the joy of gardening n living amidst nature.
- Start carrying cloth bags or old plastic bags when we go out to buy grocery. It will reduce the usage of plastic.
- Upcycle old magazines and newspapers for artifacts around the house (I do this but very very rarely due to lack of time)
In addition to the above, there are a lot more things you can do in your daily life for our Earth.
- If you have a fountain in the house/office, try to use recycled water.
- If possible make use of solar energy in your homes and offices.
- In offices, put off your monitors when going out for a few minutes, shut it down when not in use.
- Try to avoid using ACs as much as possible.
- Try not to print materials unless very important.
- Try to use natural lighting in homes and offices as much as possible. Keep this in mind to consider while building new houses as well.
- Cover the utensils while cooking. As much as possible use pressure cookers. Soak the pulses for a few hours before cooking to reduce cooking time.
- Discard old, high power consuming electronics items and replace them with high efficiency (high power saver rating) items.
- Instead of throwing vegetable peels and water from washed vegetables and pulses, use it to water the plants or wash the bathroom or corridor/veranda.
- Try to walk short distances rather than use the motor vehicles.
- Try to grow plants and trees as much as possible.
Hopefully people will see that it is not difficult to do your bit for the cause you believe in. The Earth has given us a lot without any expectations from us. Feel gratitude and do your bit. We have done it, are doing it n will continue doing it. It’s not difficult at all. Try it and see for yourself .
P.S: Read somewhere that Oct 24 is International Climate Day. Not that it matters to us. For us, every day is worth doing something for the environment.
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