Green initiatives and environmental protection are phrases that we typically link with governmental programs, developmental policies and huge renewable energy projects. With a growing realization that the ecological crisis that we have been hearing about is no longer decades but just years into the future, it is time each one of us pitch in to do what we can to ensure that we have a future at all.
Have you wondered how you, as an individual, can make a difference to the future of the planet? There are things that you can make part of your life to contribute to a greener and cooler planet. If each of us try and make these three changes to our lifestyles, we would have made a significant impact on the future of the environment.
1. Save water
We often don’t pay much attention to the ways that water wastage takes place in our daily lives. Washing machines and dishwashers should be used only when there is a full load. Use the settings on them to go for shorter cycles. Wash your car with a bucket and cloth instead of using a waterpipe to hose it down. When you are soaping up during a bath, turn the shower off. Another common way that water gets wasted is by leaving the tap on while brushing our teeth. Dripping taps can also lead to huge amounts of wastage. Get them checked and fixed. These days most toilet fixtures come with water conservation features. If you are planning on getting your toilet fixtures redone, opt for these models. Recycle used water that is not soapy or has chemicals in it to water your garden. Most new construction come with rain water harvesting features. In reality however, most of them are just for their names’ sake. Set up your own rainwater harvesting unit by getting a large drum with a tap outlet, and use it to collect rain water from all open areas of your house. You can use this water for cleaning and gardening.
2. Save Electricity
We tend to take electricity for granted and view it only in terms of the utility bills that we have to pay. What we do not realize is the immense pressure on the environment that is placed in the process of generating and transmitting electricity. This applies not only to non-renewable resources, but also on renewable sources. A very large part of power that is generated is lost in the process of distributing it through grids and transformers to your house. Make it a habit to turn the lights out when you are not in the room. Invest in energy efficient appliances with certified ratings. While this may appear to cost more initially, it will save electricity and money in the long run. Switch over from conventional light bulbs to CFL bulbs. Most of us have got used to leaving the air conditioning on even when we are not in the room. Make it a habit to turn the air conditioning off when not needed. You can save a lot of electricity by keeping the cooling a couple of degrees higher than what you normally do. Use the sleep feature of the air conditioning to automatically push the thermostat up a couple of degrees after you have fallen asleep. Don’t keep your appliances on standby if you are not going to be using them for a long time. The same applies for chargers, cellphone Turn off appliances from the main power outlet instead of keeping them on standby. With more and more devices coming with their own chargers, this is another area where you can save on power. We tend to leave chargers plugged in when the device is not being charged. Make it a habit to unplug or switch off chargers when not in use.
3. Save Gas
One of the greatest sources of global warming is emissions from transport. Consider using nonpolluting transport like a bicycle for single person transportation. Opt for mass transit or public transport wherever possible. Walk to any destination that is within walking distance. You can also save a lot of gas by studying and changing the way you drive. Here are my top tips for saving fuel by driving efficiently.
The only weapon we have to protect the future of our planet is education and change. It is foolish to expect that governments and big business will step back from their thoughtless greed and do things to save the environment. Each of us have to get into the act. We can start by understanding how our daily activities impact the ecological balance and how we can alter those behaviors. We can share information and encourage others to adopt green alternatives. No step is too small to matter. Plant more trees. Keep the three R’s of protecting the environment - reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce your consumption to only what you need. Use natural resources sparingly. Re-use things to whatever extent possible instead of throwing them out at the first sign of wear and tear or just because there is a newer upgraded version available. Recycle prudently and appropriately. Items like metal and electronics actually end up consuming more natural resources to recycle. Use your imagination to upcycle objects that you are thinking of discarding. Donate things that you do not use or want to people who may be in need of them. There are many ways that you can contribute to a cleaner and greener tomorrow. Don’t wait. Start Now.