World Environment Day is commemorated every year on the 5th of June and is the United Nation’s principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our environment. This year’s theme for World Environment Day is beat plastic pollution.
In order to make everyday World Environment Day, I wanted to share a few simple lifestyle changes that can have a big impact in the long run and help us all to play part in protecting the environment.
Say No to Plastic Bags
Every year, more than 1 million seabirds and more than 100,000 sea mammals die due to plastic debris. Source: www.unesco.org
Avoiding plastic bags whenever possible and switching to eco-friendly reusable bags made of biodegradable material, such as jute instead is such a simple way to avoid unnecessary usage of plastic bags on a daily basis. Every time I go to the store to purchase a single or a few items, I refuse to take plastic bags at the time of check out. If all of us take this simple step and use reusable bags, imagine how much plastic we will manage to save from accumulating into our oceans and help save a vast number of sea birds and sea mammals.
Carry a Water Bottle
Disposable plastic water bottles result in heaps of waste that doesn’t go away. Every single piece of plastic ever created still exists somewhere on this planet! Source: www.lessplastic.co.uk
Another simple way to avoid plastic pollution is to carry reusable water bottles instead of buying disposable water bottles on the go every time. Reusable water bottles can easily be filled at home with drinking water. Not only does this help prevent plastic filling up our oceans, harming marine life and eventually leeching into our food chain but this simple practice also helps us to save money.
Stainless Steel Straws are really popular these days and carrying them along with regular utensils for having food and beverages on the go is another simple way to prevent plastic pollution. They can be easily stored in a box and kept in a handbag, backpack or car to be used whenever needed.
Practice the 3 R’s
“The three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle – all help to cut down on the amount of waste we throw away. They conserve natural resources, landfill space and energy. Plus, the three R’s save land and money communities must use to dispose of waste in landfills. Siting a new landfill has become difficult and more expensive due to environmental regulations and public opposition.” Source: www.conserve-energy-future.com
“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rogers
I make it a point to only buy things that I need. I question myself multiple times before I make a purchase to ensure that I do not end up buying things unnecessarily. I make sure I give away things that I no longer use to somebody else such as old clothes, bags, books, etc. I also try to recycle whenever I can which can be challenging since recycling facilities are not as common here in Pakistan.
However, there are individuals that are running recycling facilities here, such as Gul Bahao. I’ve had the opportunity to interview the founder of Gul Bahao, Nargis Latif for my college thesis and I’ve been inspired by her work ever since. Here’s a story covered by Saima Mohsin highlighting the wonderful work that is being done by Gul Bahao.
Having electricity 24/7 or on most days is a blessing especially since there’s a shortage of electricity in Pakistan and load-shedding is not unheard of here.
There are very simple ways to save electricity, some of which include:
1. Utilizing the daytime and natural light;
2. Replacing regular bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs;
3. Switching off lights and appliances when not in use;
4. Switching to newer appliances that are energy conserving and
5. Reducing the overall dependency on electrical appliances.
We’ve heard this over and over again but the water crisis is very real, especially for someone like me who’s in Pakistan and water resources is depleting here at an alarming rate.
Some very simple ways to save water include:
1. Regularly checking pipes, faucets and toilets for leaks;
2. Taking shorter showers;
3. Turning off the tap while shaving or brushing;
4. Using a bucket instead of a hose for washing the car;
5. Washing only full loads of clothes/dishes in the washing machine/dishwasher.
Contributing to a better environment is really not that difficult, all it requires is a few lifestyle changes, some consciousness and a dash of willingness to bring about a change! What are some of your tips to help protect the environment? Do let me know in the comments below!
This post contains affiliate links to companies and products I recommend.
Some posts by other wonderful bloggers,