Our ancestors lived a life one with nature, while our modern lifestyles are at war with nature. Is it possible to live the modern life where we do not leave our footprints for future generations to regret? Our chemicals laden products going down the drain are killing the marine life. We use soaps laden with palm oil, which destroy habitats of precious wild life like Orangutans. We mine precious metals and ores destroying millions of acres of habitat, home to vulnerable species.
Are we the most intelligent or the most destructive species on earth. Why do our most intelligent minds not grasp the fact that our splurging lifestyle is costing a specie a year? How do we control this extravagant existence? The answer is in looking towards nature for our everyday needs. When we use natural products, they do not harm the environment in their creation and disposal. Here are some pointers to a guilt free living –
Conserve potable tap water: Yes, abundance of water is one of the main problems staring at mankind today. But less than 1% of water on earth’s surface is drinkable water. We need to conserve it, not only for future humankind but also for diverse animal kingdom. Best thing that we can do is ‘reduce’ water consumption on commercial and personal level. When water was scarce, previous generation ported it with great difficulty from local rivers, lakes and wells, and they knew the real value of this magic potion.
Use less energy: Energy is costly not in terms of out of pocket costs but for earth too. Depending on where the electricity is being converted from, it can be devastating or not so disastrous for the environment. Coal and petroleum products are the worst of the lots and on the other side of spectrum is solar & wind energy. So, if you can, pls switch over to renewable energy, even at slight pinch on your pocket, your future generations will thank you for it.
Use natural personal products: All the chemicals in our personal products like creams, shampoos, detergents get washed away in the drains which open in natural water resources like rivers and lakes. It is obviously harmful for marine life. Simply, switch to natural products. You can talk to your grandma for beauty & cleaning products out of kitchen, she is a treasure trove. There is no dearth of natural options in retail with equally stunning results on your face and everywhere else.
Use products with minimum or no packaging: Packaging is a waste of resources. It does not contribute anything to the product but takes away so much from the environment. Use nude products. Apples in 3 layers of plastics will taste the same as apples in a reusable cloth bag. So, why not? That’s what grandmas did, bought everything in reusable bags.
Always buy local & seasonal: Things transported from millions of kms away use unnecessary energy in transportation and warehousing. Ships and trucks run on evil oil, that is, today the biggest cause of pollution and environment degradation. When you buy local, not only you support the local economy, but also the global environment. A few decades back, it was unthinkable and unnecessary to want to devour exotic foods and products thousands of kms away.
Re-use stuff: ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’. Notice the ‘reuse’ in the statement. Like our grandmothers used to find a utility in every waste, that came out of first hand items, we should start reusing things around our household. It is not downmarket to use old clothing as rags or toothbrushes for scrubbing the bathroom.
No fast fashion: How many of women look into their closets and see a pile of never worn cloths clustering. They were bought fondly as it was the ‘in’ thing at that time. Manufacturing fashion clothing is a big business but very environmentally unfriendly. We should look towards our grandmas who had few but good outfits and wore it for ages until they were literally in tatters and shatters. Though it is quite impractical to expect repeat dresses in social and professional settings. How about create a clothing swap group with friends and family? You can pass on outfits that you are bored-with in exchange of new-for-you dresses from someone close. Good for you and mother nature.
Stop contamination of natural resources in name of religious practices: Religious practices which are environmentally unfriendly should not be practiced. Throwing religious offerings in rivers, sacrificing innocent animals, burning woods for religious ceremonies, using up land for commemorating dead etc are not one with nature and were never intended to be this way. We as a community should discourage such practices and develop new rituals in tune with nature and earth.
Turn vegetarian: This is the single most effective thing you can do to conserve environment. Meat industry is equal, if not more, energy intensive, than the notorious Oil & Gas industry. If every person on the earth turned vegetarian today, we can benefit earth to such an extent that it can reverse environmental changes happened in last century. Just Imagine!!
Think before disposing waste: Out of sight is not always out of mind. Everything that goes in your bin, ends up somewhere. If it goes in the landfill, it will spit dangerous greenhouse methane gas into the environment forever. If it goes in the recycle facility, it has the possibility of being reborn again as something useful. If it goes down your drain, it will most definitely end up in water resources, killing fishes. Choice is yours!!
Wish all of us a very healthy and happy earth for generations to come.