By Patricia May P. Catan
Photos: Associated Press
IT’S high time that we start saving our home and be mindful of the way we live. Our everyday actions greatly affect our environment and the only way that we can help save our planet is to start leading a sustainable lifestyle. Today is Earth Day, and what better time to remind ourselves to reduce our environmental footprint by following these 10 easy ways to live sustainably.
Grow your own food at home.
You may not be blessed with a green thumb, but you’ve got to start somewhere eventually. Sustainable living always starts at home and there’s no better way to try your hand in going green than growing your own vegetable garden in your backyard. Not only will you have fresh food within your reach, you’re also creating a green space within your home that contributes well in balancing out carbon emissions.
Choose to be a minimalist.
There’s only so much things we can keep at home and often times, most of these things are left unused. It’s high time you practice minimalism and live life with less waste materials in your home. Minimalism doesn’t exactly mean that you should live life without anything. What it means is that you should only keep things that are useful to you and make sure you use them to their maximum purpose. This way, you will learn to recycle more and let sustainability be emphasized.
Forget about plastic.
You’re probably aware right now that plastic never goes away as it takes millions of years for it to decompose. Plastic is seen everywhere and the most heartbreaking sight is when you find them floating in the ocean’s surfaces, which greatly affects marine life. Forget about plastic and start bringing reusable bags when you shop or avoid using one-time water bottles whenever possible.
Go for energy-saving lights.
Transform your place into an energy efficient home by changing your traditional light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs. Another way to significantly reduce your demand on energy resources is to make use of skylights and natural light. Changing the lights in your home is one step towards a greener home.
Cut down on your meat intake.
According to the Center for Biological Diversity, meat production is one of the most environmentally destructive industries on the planet, responsible for massive amounts of water use, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and habitat destruction. Meat production greatly affects the environment and you can help improve the health of the planet by reducing your meat consumption and eating locally sourced fruits and vegetables.
Change your driving habits.
Changing your driving habits not only benefits the environment but it will also help improve your health. Walking, biking and car-pooling are three easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Sustainable living doesn’t require too much effort as long as you value your home and health.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
You’ve heard this phrase a million times since you were a kid and there’s a reason why this is still relevant up to this very day. When you reduce your need to buy new products, there will be less waste to recycle and reuse. Repurposing items is a practice everyone should learn and making frequent visits to recycling stations must be done often and not to the landfill.
Unplug home appliances when not in use.
Turning off electronic devices still draw electricity and to reduce your energy use, keep in mind to always pull the plug when not in use especially when you’re away from home. It will not only help you save energy but it will also reduce your monthly electricity bill.
Natural cleaners are your best option.
There are a ton of homemade products that can easily be used for natural cleaners. But before you decide to use any of them, make sure you’ve done your research well. Baking soda is one example of a product good for cleaning surfaces. Using natural cleaners will help lessen the amount of plastic packaging and emitted chemicals.
You can always do your own little ways to live more sustainably like saving water. Using a cup while you brush your teeth, double checking your faucet every after use or using your shower and bathtub occasionally are just simple yet very doable ways to conserve water and help the environment.