MOST (if not all) of us are aware of the tremendous role of human activities in the global climate crisis.
Long before people, world leaders, and corporations began to accept responsibility for their contributions to environmental degradation, a lot of us denied the existence of climate change.
And that’s not too long ago either.
Back in 2012 or so, I used to find myself engaging with climate change deniers who, fortunately, accept it to be a fact today.
But I’m not here to rant about that anymore. I know that many of us are ready to take charge of our lifestyles and reduce our carbon footprints.
If you’re on the lookout for quick and easy ways to start living an eco-friendly, sustainable life, here are a couple of tips you can start practicing today.
- Have a nice full load when you do your laundry. It takes around 180 liters (40 gallons) of water to finish a load of laundry, so make it count. As much as possible, use the cold setting as doing so can help you save about 227 kilograms (500 pounds) of carbon dioxide annually.
- Use the water from your laundry to clean your exterior flooring.
- Line dry your laundry when the sun is up. If you don’t use the dryer, you can reduce your laundry carbon footprint by about 33 percent.
- If you’re shopping for new appliances, opt for Energy Star-certified products that are designed to reduce your carbon emissions and electricity bills.
- Keep using the tabo or water dipper (if you don’t use a showerhead) to prevent water wastage when taking baths.
- Ensure your home is well-insulated to keep energy consumption low, especially if you use air conditioners.
- Avoid ‘vampire power’ costs by unplugging appliances and electronic devices that are not in use; powering them off won’t cut it.
- Save as much as 90 percent of your energy costs by switching to LED lightbulbs.
- Switch to rechargeable batteries if you use devices that require these regularly.
- Reduce or eliminate the use of palm oil for cooking. Palm oil production is linked to deforestation and habitat loss.
- If you use a dishwasher, run it using the economy setting after scraping off excess food particles.
- Become a plantito or plantita. Even apartment residents can have a balcony or container garden. There are plants that are especially popular for ridding the air of toxins, like the golden pothos, snake plant, bamboo palm, ficus, peace lily, Boston fern, and azalea. You can also start your herb garden or plant a few vegetables.
- Save up to someday get your own solar panels installed. Solar energy is free and you’ll help reduce stress on the grid.
- Check your home for leaky faucets and get those fixed ASAP. A leaky faucet can waste as much as 1.36 liters of water per day.
OUTSIDE THE HOME
- Walk, bike, and use the stairs whenever possible.
- Schedule and coordinate errands to minimize the need to use your car or public transportation.
- Opt for less carbon-intensive transportation or reduce air travel when you can. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, carbon emission in the aviation sector decreased by 60 percent.
- Go ukay-ukay and avoid fast fashion. Sure, discounts and sales are tempting, but knowing that those cheap clothes are responsible for 15 million tons of textile waste annually might discourage you from purchasing any.
- Support companies or brands that are not only into sustainable business processes but also fair labor practices. But be wary of greenwashing. Don’t be content with what companies say on their website or social media accounts. Dig deeper through research so you know that what they claim is true and not just for PR purposes.
- Always take some reusable bags with you just in case; remember, a regular plastic bag can take 500 years or more to decompose.
- Refuse those plastic utensils from restaurants when you order takeout or get food deliveries.
- Buy in bulk if your budget allows reducing packaging waste.
- Avoid single-use items and opt for reusable alternatives.
- Consume less meat, especially beef. The animal agriculture industry contributes more greenhouse gases globally than the transportation sector. And yes, cows produce methane gas, too. One cow releases anywhere between 70 and 120 kilograms of methane gas per year. Methane is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of its effects as a greenhouse gas. It’s not the cow’s fault, though. It’s us.
I’ll stop here, for now.
Maybe consider this as a first installment because there are many other eco-friendly tips you can start applying today to live sustainably and do your bit for the environment.