When it comes to sustainable living people think of spending huge amounts and swapping everything with eco-friendly alternatives. When in reality it should be just the opposite. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to actually live a sustainable life. Little alterations and thoughtful actions clubbed with the right purchases is all you need to do your part in creating a better tomorrow. Here are 5 alterations that can make a big difference.
#1 Wear and Rewear your Clothes before Washing Them
Doing laundry has a significant environmental impact. The average household does almost 400 loads of laundry every year, consuming about 60,000 liters of water. This not only takes a lot of energy to run washing machines and driers but also reduces the life of the clothes. Five clothes of fifteen, washing machines use about the same amount of energy for every load. So instead of wearing something and washing it the next day, re-wear and stack clothes to run a full load later. It has been shown that by skipping one in six washing loads you can easily help cut consumer emissions by more than half.
#2 Say No to Palm Oil
This ingredient is very sneaky and found in almost everything including shampoos, ice cream, pizza, detergent even cosmetics. The next time you’re buying something look at the ingredients list and avoid palm oil where possible. It’s an edible vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of oil palm trees and is a major driver of deforestation. Harvesting palm oil is destroying the habitat of already endangered species like the Orangutan, the pygmy elephant, and the Sumatran rhino.
#3 Make your own Cleaning Spray
Store bought cleaning agents and detergents contain chemicals like bleaching agents that end up harming the marine ecosystem. Now everyone uses lemons at home, but did you know there is more you can do with it than just squeezing the juice? You can turn your scrap peels into an all-purpose cleaner. Simply place all of your used citrus peels into a jar of white vinegar and leave them in a dark place for three weeks. When it’s time, strain the liquid, add the same amount of water and decant it into a spray bottle. And voila, you have yourself a DIY surface cleaner that smells so good. No more nasty chemicals will go down your kitchen sink with this one.
#4 Prepare a Meal from Leftovers
Let’s face it, our kitchen generates the most waste at home. Look into your kitchen garbage bin and you will find peels and stocks and shells and leaves and leftover food too. While you can divert so much of this waste into a compost bin, you can also make sure not to waste food by creating fresh meals by being a little innovative with them. You can use vegetable peels to create a broth or a vegetable stock that can be used to flavor other meals. You can use left over pulses or vegetables to make parathas. You can use leftover rice to make kheer and leftover chapatti to make churma. The possibilities are endless to divert food from going to waste.
#5 Question where your Money is Going
We live in a consumerist world and cannot do without buying stuff, so let’s question what we are buying instead. If you think about the hierarchy of consumption, it is reduce, reuse, recycle, where reducing is really the key. This doesn’t mean not buying things but buying the right things. Our purchasing power has a huge impact which is why it is important to question each purchase and reduce the urge of impulse buys. In the long run you’re more likely to save money and purchase less this way.
These are some of the simplest ways in which we can take one or five steps closer to #ShapeOurFuture for the better of the planet. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task, just a mindful action. Are you ready to put yourself in charge of shaping the future of next generation? Stay thoughtful, stay inspired, be a hero every day.