Yesterday, we were too busy and ignorant to learn about others. Today, when we are aware, we are too busy to care about others. Tomorrow, we will, probably, be too lazy to care about our self. Welcome to the 21st century, where mindless consumerism is aided and closely watched by technology. Let’s be honest, we all understand that there are several issues plaguing the world right now, and one of the gravestone is the evident environmental disaster in the not so distant future. The process has already been offset and is visible in the erratic weather patterns all over the world. The time for formulating policies is far over, and what we need, immediately is output-driven action. But what can you, as an individual hope to do? Surely, you have certain roles and responsibilities that you’re supposed to deliver. Who has the time, energy and money to become ‘sustainable’? Well, that’s where you’re mistaken. Adopting a ‘greener’ or ‘sustainable’ lifestyle doesn’t require you to give up your present lifestyle, but smartly and sensibly, altering the same for a better tomorrow. We bring you 20 super-easy and easily applicable practices, which require no money or energy from your side, but a conscious promise, which brings out the best in you. What’s more, you need not quit your job, or get out on the streets to protest, but simply make the following tweaks in your life, in the following spheres:
- Leaky faucets and pipelines are the biggest contributors of wastage of water. So call the plumber you’ve been thinking of calling for ages TODAY, and get every leak fixed!
- Collect the ‘waste’ water from air conditioners, coolers and water purifiers and use them to water plants.
- In an age old advice, utilize the daylight to its potential and tune the air conditioners to a pleasant 24 degrees. This way, you save a lot on your bills as well!
- Prefer appliances that have inbuilt energy saving mechanisms. Sure, they’ll cost you a fraction more than their counterparts, but will save you a lot of money in the long run.
- Move over CFLs! Switch to LED lighting, which at the same price as CFLs, has no implications for the health.
- Turn off your computer system, table lamps, and other electronic devices when leaving. DO NOT leave the job to be done by someone else. This implies for coffee and lunch breaks as well.
- Carpool as much as possible. Even if you have to go out of your way, this will make a significant reduction in your petrol bills as you’ll be using your car only half the time. Or else take the public transport.
- Do not waste stationery items like paper, post-its, pens, folders, etc. Re-use them as much as possible. Sure, the company’s ‘paying’ for it, but just think about the bigger picture, and who will ‘pay’ for it in the end.
- Take the stairs as much as possible. Not only will this benefit your health, but also save energy.
- Carry your utensils, like mugs, plates and cutlery to work, rather than using plastic and foam based disposable utensils every day.
- Make it a point to switch off the fans and lights after the last class/lecture. This simple step will save innumerable hours of energy. You might think it wouldn’t make a lot of difference, but, when you consider the quantity of the entire school, it counts.
- Notice a broken tap in the washroom? Go ahead, and report it. Your college authorities will only thank you for it.
- Pass on your books and notes to juniors, rather than selling them at nominal costs, or worse, letting them gather dust on your shelf.
- Going to the laboratory for experiments? Do not waste chemicals, water and electricity, and use only the amount you require. Check for taps to be tightly shut, before leaving.
- Join the Environment society/ group in your institute. Learn about the initiatives they’ve taken, and contribute!
- Heading out for a fun weekend? Use the public transport or, if you insist on taking your car, turn off the engine on the signals that are longer than 30 seconds, and save some fuel, and money.
- Before you head out, ensure that lights and appliances like air conditioners and laptops are not left running.
- Dispose of plastic wrappers and other waste materials judiciously. Can’t find a dustbin? Stuff it in your bag, and throw it when you locate one. The dangers of plastic choking drains are only second to stray animals like cows, and dogs, mistakenly consuming them.
- Carry your water bottles: Buying water in plastic bottles, that will never decompose, is only supporting the big corporations that promote consumerism. What’s more, drinking from plastic bottles has been proven to be dangerous to health.
- Consciously shop for products that are locally produced/based, or are not made violating any environmental norm. Be a smart consumer, and do not but edible products that mention ingredients that are unheard of.
What started as a mad rush to become the most ‘technologically advanced’ and ‘modern’ country in the world during the Industrial Revolution, has spelt doom for the current, and surely for the future, times. With a population of over 7 billion humans, it takes no genius to figure out that the resources of our planet are under great stress, and are pegged to exhaust in the next few decades. Humanity has never faced a greater peril, which has the power to wipe our existence off of Earth. Every potential crisis is an opportunity to learn, grow and unite. But with the power dynamics of the global state of affairs in tatters, where is the chance to take a united stand against the impending environmental disaster that is staring at us with the eyes? You’d be surprised to find out, that the power to change lies with you, and no one else. Your role, as a citizen, a student, a consumer, a homemaker and an employee will determine your future, our future.