It is becoming more and more important to be eco-friendly or environmentally friendly. This term is being used in almost everything- from vacation homes, house listings to job ads and even dating profiles. Exactly what then is being eco-friendly?
This term is often used to explain the act of living with intent. The intent, in this scenario, is focused on not creating or causing harm to the environment but protecting the environment from harm through our interactions with it. Being eco-friendly is more than an idea but an actual practice that is more than capable of influencing and changing the ways we, our communities, schools and businesses conduct ourselves.
A writer once said that being eco-friendly goes beyond just turning off lights in the house when leaving for work or separating the garbage for recycling. It is about changing our lifestyle- the purpose of how we live.
Researchers explain that being environmentally friendly, nature- friendly, eco-friendly or going green involves goods, services, laws, guidelines, and policies that inflict reduced, minimal, or no harm at all, upon ecosystems or the environment. This means every single thing we do, no matter how small, is a step towards making this planet a better place for generations to come.
To make things easier for us, here’s a 7-step plan that details exactly how to become eco-friendly.
Step 1: Conserve Water and Electricity
Producing fresh water and electricity takes energy. So, let’s start simple by turning off lights when not in use, using maximum daylight, fixing leakages, insulating the house and electric gadgets properly and purchasing energy efficient gadgets. Change as many incandescent light bulbs as possible to energy- saving compact fluorescent or even LED bulbs. Doing these can help to conserve electricity and water, thereby reducing your daily energy consumption.
Step 2: Get Going With The 3Rs
Work with the 3 Rs of waste hierarchy. These 3 Rs can reduce the amount of waste generated and can also improve waste management processes. So, reducing what is consumed and what is produced can reduce the amount of waste that is produced. Reusing items for different purposes instead of disposing them will also help. Then, recycle items like plastic, paper, aluminum cans or glass that can be reshaped into a new item. Doing these will lead you to Step 3;
Step 3: Drive Less, Walk More
This is a simple and very effective way to becoming eco-friendly. You can either use public transportation for your daily commuting needs. Or you could try pooling in with your office colleagues to save fuel and reduce your carbon footprint. Especially if your office is not so far from your home, you can try walking on foot or riding a bicycle but make sure you start at least half an hour early. You don’t want to be late for work.
Step 4: Be A Guardian
Sounds odd, I know. But, you should be a guardian or protector of local water sources. Hazardous waste materials like oil, ammonia, paint and other strong chemical solutions seep into the groundwater when disposed on the ground or in local water sources. This means that a lot of people get poisoned gradually when they drink from affected water sources. So, you can join local water conservation groups and fight against water polluters who dump industrial waste in rivers. Even if there’s no such group in your community, start one.
Step 5: Please Prevent Littering
Littering has a big, often bad, impact on the environment. Everywhere we go we often meet litter or are the sources of litter ourselves. Litter originates from pedestrians, moving vehicles, construction sites, uncovered trucks, industries, demolition sites, and many others. Being a responsible citizen is not just by paying taxes but by keeping our homes, streets and roads litter-free.
Step 6: Plant A Tree…Or At Least Some Plants
Trees give us oxygen, control floods, provide shelter to wildlife, give us timber, fruits, and prevent soil erosion. These reasons are more than enough to plant a tree or at least some plants. Help the environment by making your home more eco-friendly. While you may be thinking that there’s no space in your home’s backyard to plant a tree, you could get some flowerpots and grow some plants.
Step 7: Get Composting
This may sound gross to some of you but your kitchen waste should not go to waste. Literally. For those of us easily irritated by dirt…I understand but your kitchen waste can be turned to manure to help that tree or those plants and flowers in your backyard grow beautifully. All you need to make compost is an old plastic trash can with a lid- roll it on the ground every day to mix the compost. Two weeks later, you can use it to fortify your blooming plants or flowers. By the way, if you are growing a garden, then composting is the way to go because your vegetables grow healthy and strong without any chemical additives.
It may be faster to dry your clothes in a clothes dryer but you have to go eco-friendly in everything and in every way possible. It pays to save the planet…if not for us at least for the generations to come. So follow this 7-step plan to becoming eco-friendly and make this world a better place.