As our needs grow and resources become more scarce, we need to pay attention to how we are using what we have so we don’t end up exploiting and polluting the Earth. Here are six simple things you can start doing right away that will go a long way toward protecting the environment.
1. Get a reusable water bottle
According to estimates, a single plastic bottle will break down into 10,000 microplastic pieces over time. As such, these bottles will end up polluting oceans and land considerably. To prevent this, get a reusable water bottle. Take it with you wherever you go and refill it as you need. If you have the habit of buying a bottle and throwing it away during the weekly jogging session, switching to a reusable bottle will essentially ensure that 4 to 5 plastic ones do not end up polluting the environment every month.
2. Opt for organic shampoo
When you use shampoo or conditioner for your hair, remember that all the stuff you wash off goes down the drain and ends up in the oceans or underground water. This includes toxic stuff that is often added to these products to improve the shine or quality of hair. When such toxins from millions of homes end up in the oceans, they will inevitably harm the marine ecosystem. A good alternative would be to completely avoid the use of shampoos that use chemicals. Instead, opt for all-organic shampoos that are produced from natural oils. You can do the same with soap.
3. Use eco-friendly toilet paper
Most toilet paper is manufactured from trees. “It requires at least 17 trees and 90,921 liters of water for a tonne of paper rolls. As the average person uses 100 rolls in a year, using regular toilet paper is not a sustainable habit. Consumers could use eco-friendly toilet paper made out of bamboo. As bamboo grows 39 inches within a 24-hour period, toilet paper made out of bamboo is a much more sustainable option compared to regular toilet paper,” according to Greenmatch.
4. Drink sustainable alcohol
If you drink, try to limit your consumption of alcohol manufactured by companies that use a lot of resources like water, electricity, and so on. “Research the various producers and find out about their sustainability practices… Buy local wherever possible to reduce food miles… Opt for cans over bottles as they’re easier to recycle and cheaper to freight,” according to ABC Life.
5. Support eco-friendly companies
Similar to alcohol, it is advisable that you do a brief check on companies that follow pro-environment policies and buy their products instead of other brands. This action alone, when done on a large scale, will force businesses to change their manufacturing standards and practices to adhere to eco-friendly guidelines. Some businesses might shift to less-energy intensive production methods, some might implement better waste management systems, some may contribute a part of their revenues for environmental causes, and so on. As long as companies are engaged in such endeavors, they should always be supported.
6. Cut out long showers
If you have the habit of taking long, relaxing showers, say 20 minutes or more, it would be wise to switch to a low-flow showerhead. A standard showerhead puts out about 5 liters of water per minute, while a low-flow showerhead emits about 3.5 liters per minute, so you would be saving 15 liters of water for every 10 minutes you spend in the shower. You could also try to cut down the time you spend in the shower by setting a timer for yourself. As a reward, use the extra time to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and to engage in some other activity you find relaxing.