Sustainable living tips for saving the planet

The Earth’s not doing too well. According to a new report on climate change, if we don’t make sustainability a priority, we could soon be living in a far hotter world!

The good news is that it’s not too late to prevent some of the calamitous environmental events scientists are warning about. But it does mean being more environmentally conscious, conserving resources and making serious changes.

Here are a few things you can put into practice right now to save Mother Earth for future generations:

Conserve water

You’ve heard it said countless times, but playing your part in protecting the Earth’s resources can be as simple as turning off the tap when brushing your teeth. 

There’s no denying water is a precious commodity. But what you may not realise is that pumping and filtering water into homes requires energy. So less water use means less energy expended and thus, less pollution. Double bonus!

Also, you might want to cut down on drinking bottled water. Not only is it not necessarily healthier, but there’s also the problem of all those plastic bottles ending up in landfills.

Turn off the lights 

There are countless love songs promising to leave the light on to help guide a loved one back. 

And no doubt, you would have heard people advise to not turn off the lights because it takes more energy to turn them back on? Well, don’t do that

Yes, there’s a small surge when fluorescent lights are turned on. But it’s negligible. And true, lightbulbs aren’t all created equal, and the lifespans of fluorescent, incandescent, compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and LED lights differ greatly. But as a general rule of thumb: if you’re leaving a room for more than 15 minutes, turn off the lights. 

Oh, and do unplug appliances that aren’t in use because some of them — like televisions and microwave ovens — draw a significant amount of power even when not in use.

Recycle

If it feels like separating your trash into different bins is a pointless effort, be rest assured that it isn’t.

In fact, one United States government report on sustainability highlighted how 7,000 workers recycling office paper for a year is equivalent to taking 400 cars off the roads.

That’s an astounding figure, no doubt. But think about it: recycling means fewer natural resources are being extracted and produced into new stuff, and fewer items ending up in landfills.

Do away with disposables

Tonnes of disposable cutlery and food storage containers get thrown out each day, resulting in a gigantic waste problem.

But there’s an easy solution out of the crisis — switch to reusable products, like reusable water bottles or cloth rags in the kitchen instead of paper towels, and try using beeswax wrappers instead of cling wraps.

And here’s another tip: whenever making any purchase, always consider how long the item can be used for before needing to be thrown out. Also, try this golden rule: Ask yourself if you really, really, really need it.

Grow your own food

Yes, you may not know a thing about farming. But you don’t need to know a lot about agriculture to plant herbs in a small pot on the windowsill or a corner of your porch.

Current agricultural practices have resulted in major damage to the environment. And we can all help by growing and consuming our own food

Plus, consider this — an added benefit of having your own patch of edible plants is that not only will they be free of industrial pesticides, you’ll also save a tonne of money!

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