With the Californian wildfires, hurricanes and flooding in the east and numerous other natural calamities increasing in numbers and intensity, climate change is becoming a dire reality that needs acknowledgment.
And, just like we are forced to mend our habits to suit changes in our health, it is high time that we mend our lifestyle to protect the world we live in. Let’s look at some simple steps that we all can take to lead more socially and environmentally conscious lives.
7 Tips for Leading Socially and Environmentally Conscious Lives
We have made great advancements in technology and have succeeded in making our lives easier with gadgets and such, but consider the increase in pollution because of these conveniences.
Though we have disrupted our ecosystem with chemicals, plastics and other pollutants, it might not be too late to start rectifying our actions. Being conscious of our environment, both in the big picture and the local ecosystem, is the starting point of becoming socially and environmentally conscious.
Here are seven tips to transform your lifestyle to accommodate more conscious choices into everyday activities:
1. Make changes to your daily commute
While cities like New York and countries like Singapore can boast a well-connected public transportation system, there are many other places around the world where driving is the only option. Many cities have introduced car-free days when drivers are encouraged to use alternate modes of transportation and it was noticed that even a big city like Paris could reduce pollution by 28 to 35 percent with one car-free day. If there are no alternative options, try to carpool to reduce the number of cars on the road.
2. Shop and eat more mindfully
This holds true for all consumers, but it might apply more to those who regularly consume poultry, meat and dairy. If we become more conscious of the source of these products, thinking twice about how the animals are raised and making our voices heard to improve the conditions under which farms are run, it will help improve living conditions and reduce practices like the high-usage of antibiotics in cattle and poultry. It might also help to shop locally to support local growers and save on the fuel used for transporting produce and meats.
3. Switch to a plant-based diet
While it might be difficult to suddenly become vegetarian, it could help the environment and your health to incorporate more plant-based foods. Studies show that meat industries around the world are responsible for one-fifth of all the greenhouse gas emissions that pollute the environment. Meat production also requires a lot of water, so the less meat required, the lower the water consumption too.
4. Conserve water
Save up to seven gallons of water by cutting an eight-minute shower to a five-minute one. Water conservation experts recommend playing a song or a podcast that’s five-minutes long to make sure you get out of the shower on time. You can practice turning the shower off while applying soap or shampoo, not letting the water run when brushing your teeth and washing the dishes, and using bigger appliances like dishwashers only with a full load.
5. Use more reusable bags and bottles
Did you know that in the U.S. alone, we use 100 billion plastic bags every year? That’s a huge number, especially when you consider that these bags take anywhere between 15 to 1,000 years to decompose. We also cut about 14 million trees to make paper bags, which is not good for the environment either. So, consider using reusable bags, bottles and lunch boxes to help save the planet and some money.
6. Wear eco-friendly clothing
We don’t usually link the clothing industry with pollution, but studies show that the fashion industry may be creating more carbon emissions than even some airline companies. It might, thus, help to use more environmentally-friendly fabrics like cotton and hemp. You could also recycle old clothes and fashion accessories instead of throwing them away.
7. Make your home greener
Try and use LED light bulbs, which are nearly 80 percent more efficient than regular bulbs, shop for eco-friendly sheets, mattresses and paints and hook up energy-efficient appliances to help save electricity and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from your home.
You could also open all your windows and doors to let in fresh air and abundant light, use cold water for your laundry, turn off the lights when not required, go paperless and try to spend more time with nature and your family for a greener, happier life.
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