2017 has been a year of reckoning in many ways, particularly for the environment. However, a new year brings renewed hope to be better than before. This is a list of nine things we can incorporate into our lifestyles to create a more sustainable, clean, and green world in 2018 and beyond.
Make sure you are segregating your waste into at least two streams: biodegradable (wet-waste) and non-biodegradable (dry-waste). Segregation helps manage your waste properly and ensures less waste reaches landfills. Find out more through our factsheet here.
Plastic bottles, foil, plastic bags, ‘to-go’ coffee cups, are some examples of products designed using the ‘use and throw’ mentality. This generates an unsustainable and unmanageable amount of waste. Instead invest in reusable products, such as steel bottles, reusable cups and cloth bags.
Vehicles contribute significantly to air pollution. At the very least, assign one day every week to only use public transport.
Do your research and purchase from brands that use ethical and sustainable practices. This is especially true for the fashion and cosmetics industry, so make ethical choices. Put your money where your mouth is because, in today’s world, the way you buy is your endorsement and vote towards the unjust status-quo.
Think before you buy. Second- hand does not mean unusable. ‘Spoyl’ is one such application which provides a platform for this. Take a step further and try swapping clothes, shoes, bags with your friends and family. The less we buy, the less waste is generated. Also, the more you reuse, the more efficiently resources are utilized.
Use less paper, pay your bills online, turn off your lights before you leave a room, do not take long showers, switch to energy saving appliances, do not overcharge your electronics. Sustainable consumption is key to achieving sustainable development and it needs all our support.
Yes, we have to accept this now. According to the FAO, total emissions from global livestock is equivalent to 7.1 gigatons of CO2 per year. From a purely environmental perspective, eating less meat WILL reduce greenhouse emissions. For starters join the global movement of ‘Meat Free Mondays’. Try to eat locally, seasonally, and organic foods. Start small, but start soon.
Keep up to date on research and news about your environment. Start building an environmental consciousness within your community by talking to others. Community-oriented actions such as plantation drives or cleanups go a long way. Most importantly, contact your local representative and let them know that these issues matter to you, and you are monitoring their response.
A classic and timeless green resolution that helps you minimise waste and protect your environment. Find out more here.
Although we understand the world will not change drastically between December 31, 2017 and January 1, 2018, our individual actions can. If we begin to change today and hold ourselves accountable and responsible, by the end of 2018, we all may notice a difference, a step closer to leaving a better environment and better world for the future generations.
Happy New Year!
Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation working towards environmental sustainability and social justice in partnership with diverse sections of society through its various programmes. Chintan’s primary focus is on the sustainable consumption and production of materials and improved management and disposal of waste. Follow Chintan to stay updated on the latest environmental issues in India and beyond on Facebook and Twitter.