We’re being bombarded with scary stories about the environment and how the climate is changing. The scariest part is––they are not just stories. They are based on facts that we personally see and experience. We all are witnesses to the beginning of the deterioration of our environment (massive wildfires spreading, heavy typhoons, etc.) So aside from donating to disaster-relief organizations, what can we actually do to help? We can start by caring for the environment, at home in our small ways. After all, small efforts when combined can create a huge impact. Here are some efforts we can do to live a more eco-friendly life.
1. Avoid purchasing one-use items
Diapers, disposable razors, plastic wares are just some of the items you can only use once. Search for alternatives that you can use for a longer period. For example, ditch diapers for your baby and use cloth diapers. Avoid using plastic spoon and fork when you dine in (and even on take outs) and just use your good old silverwares and bring your tumbler with you! This way, you’ll help the environment by ditching the plastic cup while you’re being reminded to drink more.
2. Repurpose items
Did you declutter your closet today? Why not use your old shirts as cleaning rags? Cotton shirts are also better than a towel for drying your hair. If you think they are still in good condition, donate them to those in need or even sell them! You know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
3. Grow your own food
Since everybody’s becoming a plantita/plantito these days by taking care of ZZ plants, monstera, or a snake plant, why not also grow and propagate herbs and vegetables? This way, you will not only spend less when preparing food, but you’ll also enhance your gardening skills!
4. Subscribe to paperless billing then pay online
Reducing paper consumption is a great way to help the environment. So if your utilities and billers have the option for a paperless billing, subscribe to it. At the same time, pay them online. Thermal papers (paper usually used when printing receipts) are very hard to recycle because they are chemically-treated. It is also much more convenient to just pay online–because there’s no need to go out and line up. Online payments are usually posted in an instant or within 24 hours. So why not just make the switch?
5. Don’t buy things you don’t need
We’ve all been tempted to purchase things that we don’t really need. Especially with the (almost) monthly sales of the biggest online shopping platforms, their flash deals, their online catalog that’s just so good and satisfying to look at, they just make us want to add everything to our cart! But the question is: do we really need them? Do you really need a new toothbrush holder? Or that new mug? Aside from the fact that it clutters our homes, the parcels we receive are also wrapped in single-use packaging. E-commerce companies produce 300M tons of waste yearly. So if you don’t really need it––skip it. Now if you’re planning to switch to greener options (cloth pads, silicone cups, paper cloth towels, etc.), make sure you’ve used up what you currently have or recycle them before buying a new, greener option (eg. plastic toothbrush to a bamboo toothbrush). Remember, buying less is always better than buying green.