NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover may have recently descended to the Red Planet, but human civilization is far from leaving its only home planet; and this World Wildlife Day, it’s important to remember to take care of it and all creatures that dwell in it. This may sound like a huge responsibility to take, but there are endless ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle in your own small ways, at your own pace.
NGOs provide avenues for people to spread environmental awareness, as well as participate in ecosystem rehabilitation.
The World Wildlife Day was conceived by the United Nations in 2013, to celebrate and raise awareness on the world’s wild animals and plants. This year, it is celebrated under the theme, “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet” which aligns with the recently identified UN Sustainable Development Goals committed to the sustainable use of resources and land conservation.
In line with this, big moves such as coastal cleanups and other NGO-related activities come to mind quickly. However, the global pandemic has limited, if not completely stopped, all outdoor environmental activities. On the brighter side, this phenomenon has compelled us to reflect on daily and personal activities that affect the environment and the climate as a whole. How much waste has been reduced just by cutting down on usual activities like eating at restaurants or watching movies at the cinemas? Did you reduce carbon footprint by cancelling all travel plans?
Self-reflection should also come with steps, moving forward. Below are simple and easy ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, and help protect mother earth even in the comforts of your own home.
10 practices to a better, simpler, and eco-friendly lifestyle
1. Unplug unused gadgets and appliances before leaving a room.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that approximately 10 percent of the average household electric bill is due to phantom energy. Phantom energy is a term used to describe the energy or power still being consumed by an unused appliance while it’s plugged in. Thus, unplugging electronics before leaving a room can save, not only energy, but also money.
2. Boost your eco-friendly lifestyle by lessening food waste and composting at home.
One-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tonnes per year. With this, it’s time to stop aimlessly grocery shopping and stocking on foods that may expire when unconsumed immediately. Instead, list down ingredients you are sure to use for the day or the week, and visit your local market frequently. However, if food waste is unavoidable, you can easily turn this into something productive by making your own compost. There are many benefits to composting, and it’s quite easy to do.
3. Only buy when you can’t reuse, recycle, or upcycle what you already have at home.
Know that these three terms are completely different. If you look around your house, there are surely more than a handful of things you can keep using for years. If they have worn out, you can take this opportunity to redesign or repaint things to make them look new. You may also count things that no longer serve their purpose yet can still be used for something else, with creativity and resourcefulness. For example, an empty mason jar can be repurposed as an additional kitchen glass, an organizer for your art materials, or a container for your homemade candle.
4. Switch to organic toiletries, cleaning agents, and other home products.
You may be shocked to see that the typical cleaning agents and sanitary products you buy are filled with carcinogens and other harmful chemicals for you and the environment. For babies and toddlers especially, it’s much safer to purchase organic products that won’t harm their sensitive skin and senses. Organic products are also usually packaged using sustainable or biodegradable materials, unlike plastics that never decompose. Imagine the landfill of plastics that just stay there forever, literally.
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5. Less driving, and more walking outdoors or just around your house.
Now that we live in a world grappled by a global pandemic, it really is much safer not to travel at all. However, if it’s unavoidable, walk while you can or opt for public transportation. Riddled with wanderlust? Instead of compromising your safety, immerse yourself in online tours. Otherwise, you’re just adding to traffic, air pollution, and increasing your carbon footprint.
6. Grow plants in your backyard to foster an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Whether it’s bushes, flowers, succulents, or trees, incorporating plants into your home will only benefit you and the environment. Studies show that plants improve air quality indoors and outdoors as well. Naturally, trees provide food, protection, and homes for various birds and mammals, improving the ecosystem of the area. If you own a vast luxury property, plant trees all around and watch the land flourish and invite animals you didn’t expect. This newfound hobby is also going to be very relaxing and good for your mental health.
7. Invest in products for long-term use instead of instant gratification.
Cheap but environmentally impactful items such as plastic bottles may seem harmless, but these end up in landfills and add up to cost way more than a metal water jug. Other things you may invest in are durable basic clothes instead of delicate statement pieces, one metal straw to replace hundreds of single-use plastic straws you consume in a year, strong grocery bags to rid of plastic bags, and microwavable tupperware as a more functional alternative to disposable plastic containers. Now that you’re staying at home, there’s really no reason why you should get one-time use products anyway. Quality may come at a higher cost, but quantity comes with a price that affects the world.
8. Shift to a paperless lifestyle and optimize digital platforms in the comforts of your home.
With the rise of social media and digital platforms in the New Normal, it’s so much more convenient to download apps you can use anytime, anywhere. The weight on your shoulders will literally be lifted when you digitize all your books, notebooks, and journals. Your mobile phone and/or tablet can carry all of these, with added functionality – from sharing, to syncing, to live updating. Get with the times and save trees!
9. Choose your ingredients and prepare home-cooked meals to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Ordering from restaurants doesn’t give you the liberty of choosing your ingredients, and having food delivered isn’t a healthy or eco-friendly option either. Taking the time to cook up recipes you’ve always wanted to try is not just a rewarding self-development activity, but also a healthy and eco-friendly way to nourish yourself. Always incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet, but opt for the ones without packaging. Eat less meat because the meat and dairy industries are definitely guilty of exploiting resources and animals. Avoid junk food as well, because that usually comes with plastics and loads of chemicals or preservatives that are bad for you and the environment.
10. Spread the word to increase environmental awareness for a more sustainable community.
Last, and definitely not the least, read more on ways you can lessen your impact on the environment. These are just simple steps with small results, so imagine how big of a change you can make when a community collectively takes measures to rehabilitate a place or develop a movement dedicated to this advocacy. It’s important to gain knowledge, but this knowledge won’t yield positive results without the help of each other.
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Embracing the environment starts with these 10 practices you get to implement in your household. Learn to live an eco-friendly lifestyle in a luxury community that encourages homeowners to live sustainably. The Brittany Corporation is a property developer that definitely embodies sustainability in all its developments. Reminiscent of charming locations in the Western hemisphere, nature is also given importance, with sprawling masterplanned landscapes and well-maintained gardens surrounding every luxury house and lot. Each development is embraced by lush greenery, and vast spaces intended for sanctuaries either for birds or for plants. Brittany Corporation, as a brand, believes in the preservation of all forms of life, as well as the beautiful ecosystems that can be formed. Discover luxury homes for sale in Brittany’s eco-friendly communities.