‘How can I practice sustainability in daily life?’
Being an environment focused brand, we get this asked a lot.
‘But isn’t it too much work?’, ‘Organic stuff is expensive’, ‘I do not have the time to go eco-friendly’.
These are some of the most common questions we get.
To which we say, ‘It is easy’. Because it really is!
All you need is the willingness and a little help from us ????
Some time ago we ran a sustainable Sunday series on our Instagram handle @ecorightbags. This series consists of easy sustainable practices that we can follow for a healthy, happy planet. Starting from A, we are alphabetically listing simple sustainable things you can start with (or you can check them out on our Instagram handle @ecorightbags)
Avoid single-use plastics
like plastic bags, plastic straws, cutlery, and coffee cups. Just Google ‘reusable bags’ or ‘reusable straws’ and you’ll be bombarded with options. Start with replacing one item at a time. It feels good, isn’t it? That your bamboo or glass straw won’t end up in a sea turtle’s nose.
Bike to work
I know, I know, it’s a little difficult. And for late risers like me, biking to work isn’t an option when we are rushing to reach asap. Try doing it once a week. Pick a day when it’s balmy out there. Cycling to work has health benefits too! Healthy planet, healthy you!
Carry a reusable bag
Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. They end up in landfills and oceans polluting land and water. Marine creatures mistake them for food and choke on them. Plastic bags are bad for the planet. Carry a reusable bag everywhere you go. It’s easy. Just fold one and tuck it in your back pocket.
Oh hey, We made a comic on the life of a single-use plastic bag and a reusable bag.
Donate extra food and clothes
More than 15 million tons of used textile waste is generated each year in the United States and this amount has doubled over the last few years and Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year gets lost or wasted.
Donate your extra food and clothes and help those who are in need.
Eat Healthy and Local
Eating healthy feels good, isn’t it? Locally produced food tastes so much better than packaged fruits or vegetables. Local food doesn’t have to travel as far to arrive on your plate, so it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also benefits the local community and farmers.
Try buying from your local farmer’s market and notice the difference.
Fix leaking taps
I mean, do it already. Unless you want your house to flood.
Even one drip per second can add up to more than 80 liters of water down the drain in just a day. Just get a plumber and get it fixed.
Grow your own vegetables
Not like a whole organic farm. More like a small terrace garden or a small kitchen plant of easily available items like parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, mint, cilantro, etc.
There’s a long list of things you can grow on your own so that they are easily available, fresh when you need them!
Hang clothes to dry (line dry)
It takes time to dry but you can do it whenever you are not in a hurry. It is good practice to do so.
Segregate clothes you think you won’t be wearing the next day and the ones you would be wearing and line dry the ones you aren’t going to wear immediately.
Invest in energy-efficient appliances
It’s NOT easy and practically convenient to just replace every appliance we have at our home to a more sustainable one in a single go.
Instead, we all can swear by one thing: whenever there’s a need to buy a new appliance or replace an old one, we only and only buy an energy-efficient appliance.
So do your research well before buying. Make sure you pick the appliance that uses less energy and eliminates energy wastage. This way you not only save on your energy bills but also minimize the harmful greenhouse emissions.
Join a Sustainable community
Join a community online or offline that practices sustainable and waste-free living.
If you do not have one in your locality, make one with a group of people interested in living sustainably. Gather your friends on a Sunday and discuss how you can change your existing habits to make them sustainable and eco-friendly.
You can go for a beach cleanup drive or hop to a thrift store if you love retail therapy but our planet too!
Kick the Butt
Not gonna beat around the bush. You know what I am talking about.
Cigarette litter is a hazard to our environment, with trillions of cigarette butts tossed out every year worldwide.
Kick the butt. It’s good for you and the planet.
Alternatively, you can kick the butt of all those climate change deniers.
Lower your carbon footprint
It sounds like a complicated thing to do but it really isn’t so.
There are a lot of things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint like line-drying clothes, growing plants, not eating processed food and meat, giving up fast fashion, plugging off your devices when not in use, donating unneeded items, etc.
More organic, Less Chemical
Organically produced plants and vegetables are free of chemicals like pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides and free from genetic modification.
Say no to chemically processed foods and switch to organic produce. It is not only good for you but also for the planet.
No to single-use plastics
We are repeating this because honestly this can never be said enough!
Here are a few sustainable and easily available alternatives to plastic.
- Reusable produce bags
- Reusable drink bottles
- Reusable bread bags
- Reusable coffee cups
- Reusable cutlery
Opt for e-tickets
Opt for paperless transactions, books, tickets, bills:
Nearly 4 billion trees or 35 percent of the total trees cut around the world are used in paper industries on every continent.
Save a tree by switching to paperless transactions when booking travel or movie tickets and switch to phone wallets or digital money. I mean this isn’t even too much work. Just ‘PayPal’ or whatever!
Plant More Trees
If we plant 20 million trees, the earth will get with 260 million more tons of oxygen.
One acre of trees can remove up to 2.6 tons of Carbon Dioxide each year. During photosynthesis, trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.
Trees keep in cheek the air and water pollution. Trees can save us from climate change. Start with planting a sapling in your backyard, neighborhood or indoors.
Also, plants are nice to look at, they make for excellent photo backdrops and provide shade.
Question your choices
It is the little things that matter. If we just remember to question our choices every day, like do I really need a straw with that can? Am I forgetting anything for the market (hint: your own bag)? Does that waste go in wet or dry?
It’s the small questions that add up to a lot!
Have a happy questioning day ahead! It’s not much work, you can just lie down on your couch all day and think about the choices you make.
Repair not replace
We all have this habit of discarding broken items and replacing them with a new one.
Next time something tears or breaks, try and repair it rather than replacing it immediately.
Behind every simple purchase, there is a cost that our earth pays – resources used in the manufacturing, chemicals used in the processing, pollution caused during transportation…the list goes on.
If a simple repair can fix something, do that. It not only saves our environment but money too.
Shop Ethical Fashion
Would you buy a piece of clothing or accessory if you knew it is made in facilities where the workers are underpaid and exploited? No, right? Yea, we didn’t think so either!
Ethical certifications for brands mean that they follow all the social, legal and ethical regulations. This is important because it means that there is no child labor, no exploitation of workers, safe working and sanitation facilities. Next time you go shopping, check out the brand’s ethical and social certifications.
You can generally find it on their branding or on their website.
A conscious choice from your end could go a long way!
Take your own bag. Everywhere. Wherever you go.
We say this so much, we’re just gonna leave this here. Take your own bag, it’s just smarter.
Utilize solar power
Do you want to split your electricity bill with the sun? The sun is our best friend!! It is a great source of renewable energy. Utilizing solar energy to power your home is a great idea! Residential solar systems are inexpensive and easy to install and can cover 80% of your electricity costs.
Imagine saving a bomb on your electricity costs! And it is great for the environment as it doesn’t consume any fossil fuels and leaves no carbon footprint.
Volunteer for an environmental cause
Volunteering for an environmental cause is not just a moral deed but a feel-good one too! Find out a local sustainable community and volunteer to help them in your free time. It can be anything from cleaning the beach, removing trash from your local farmer’s market, to educating people about the ill effects of plastic bags.
It feels great to do something for the world we live in! Isn’t it?!
Waste no water
Everyone asks to stay hydrated but no one says ‘close the tap when not in use’. Y tho?
Water is one of the most valuable resources we have, yet every day we over-use our share. Some of the very simple things you can do to conserve water is washing your clothes less frequently (give that laundry a break, go chill!), turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, using a shower bucket, installing a rainwater tank in your background to collect rainwater, etc.
Skipping shower works best for me 😛
Little Pigeon P is saving water by not bathing.
Limit excessive use of paper and plastic
Not to be preachy or anything, but do you agree using plastic is bad for the environment? And that we shouldn’t waste paper?
Here is a list of simple things we can do to limit excessive use of paper and plastic
- Switch to e-bills, e-tickets and paperless transactions (save yourself a trip to the ATM or bank)
- Carry a reusable bag with you when shopping (saves you some extra bucks on a plastic bag)
- Buy things in bulk to save on extra packaging or carry your own containers to purchase rice, loose tea, cereals, pasta directly from the bulk bin.
Your contribution matters
Your contribution matters! Even though it isn’t visible sometimes, every small step adds up.
Imagine, that bag that you refused to take from the store could have ended up on the plate of some cute sea turtle! 🙁 You matter, your actions matter!
Taking a feather out of @mariekondo ‘s cap, let’s de-clutter our life and only keep what sparks joy!
Take it further, and don’t buy things that aren’t necessary. That t-shirt may be cheap, but a lot of energy and resources went into growing, manufacturing and transporting it all the way to you. We know a large meal upgrade is only a little more money, but you probably aren’t gonna eat it (or if you’re like us, you shouldn’t! :P) so don’t buy it and end up wasting it!
It’s the small things you do that will matter.
Go for it! Live Zero Waste!
Wishing you a year full of good conscious choices!