“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.” ―
You may have been thinking of how you can adopt a better relationship with the world you live in or by being kinder to yourself and your surroundings. There’s a lot of research and activities all over lobbying for change so that our children and their children have access to our planet and all of its bounty. Here are the things you can do now to help our planet heal:
1.Ditch the plastic: we have all seen that rather upsetting photo of the seahorse with an earbud in the ocean. The hard truth is all the plastic we are consuming from our paper bags, our disposable cutlery, our takeaway boxes and our straws are ending up in the ocean. Most fish and other aquatic animals can’t make sense of these materials until its too late. You can do your bit to help by encouraging your neighbourhood markets to ditch single-use plastic and wherever possible, carry reusable water bottles and boxes to store your food.
2.Contemplate vegetarianism: We know while the world has seen a growing trend of vegans and vegetarians in the last decade or so and the numbers seem to be growing pretty rapidly, there are a lot of merits of going #meatless. Did you know ever think about how much waste is created because of poultry+ dairy farming and production? If that’s not enough, most giants running these industries do a less than a humane job and don’t even get us started on the hormones and the antibiotics we end up consuming when we consume meat. You could start by doing #meatlessmondays and make the gradual switch to vegetarian lunches until you are eating mostly plant-based +local cuisine.
3. Rethink your beauty products: Refinery29 published an eye-opening piece about the makeup industry and just how terrible+ life-threatening the mining industry really is. It is up to us to make more conscious choices to support companies that advocate ethical practices, safe working conditions for its employees and the fact that they don’t test on animals. Not to mention, a lot of the lipsticks and makeup we see in beauty stores today have high levels of lead and other toxic chemicals that have an adverse effect on our bodies and the soil.
4. Adopt don’t shop: thousands of street dogs and cats are manhandled, beaten, run over by callous drivers every year in India. The strays live on the street with very little food and receive very little love and affection from passersby. The next time you want to get a pet home, contemplate going to shelter and adopting a puppy or an abandoned animal. Bring the pet home, tend to it and shower it with love. Do this and watch the joy you experience in your life by leaps and bounds.
5. Limit your electricity consumption: our lives have changed since the advent of the lightbulb but we are also using far more electricity than our ancestors. Turn off your phone, air conditioner, computer and all household appliances when not in use. Try and switch over to energy efficient lightbulbs. Also, make it a habit to turn off all the lights and fans whenever you or a family member leaves the room, even if it is for a few minutes. You can put reminders until it becomes second nature for everyone and we promise it’ll pay great dividends plus you’ll end up saving quite a bit on your electricity bill too.
6. Do away with the printer: We waste inordinate amounts of papers on the silliest stuff every single day from bills, receipts, contracts and air tickets. It might be tough at first to convince everyone at work to use digital signatures or to tell your grandad that he doesn’t need to print his ticket before each flight. However, we believe that with each conversation, we are doing our bit to change the way we consume and reuse paper. Oh and before we forget, please write to our bank and utility companies and tell them to cancel the monthly paper statements. #Gopaperless because it is the future and where we are headed.
7. Ride a bike: By riding a bicycle whenever possible, especially if you live in a small town, you are making an attempt to be healthier and to treat your body with the respect that it deserves. You can go a step further by encouraging the youth in your neighbourhood to learn how to ride and to encourage their peers to do the same.
8.Contemplate Carpool: let’s face it, we all did it gladly when we were growing up and yet, its something that we turn our noses up at now. we all know just how unhealthy the noxious fumes from vehicular emissions are for our bodies+environment. In fact, we published an article earlier where the WHO made a bold statement and said that ‘air pollution is the new tobacco’ claiming millions of lives every year. This pollution from cars isn’t going to go anywhere anytime soon but we can make the situation a bit better by choosing to carpool it to work and back. Why don’t you spend a few hours this week and make a group with your employees, figure out where everyone lives and coordinate to ride 3-4 in a car so you are helping yourselves (by taking turns and saving a little bit of money). We promise your wallet will be happier towards the end of the month too and you’ll enjoy the ride to work and back a lot more if you have company.
9.Rethink your water consumption: no! we aren’t telling you to drink less water but think about how many litres you waste while washing dishes, or when you take your second shower or when you do a second load of laundry in the same day. If each household does their bit to conserve water, can you think of how many million litres we would be saving every day?
10.Eat local and seasonal: It is unfortunate that the new #vegan trend on IG also means more acai berry bowls, avocados, chia seeds are flown in every day to small corners of the world to keep customers happy. The results are not pretty and the carbon footprint is huge. Think about it for a minute- India is the land of Ayurveda and we have more locally available, nutritionally dense foods than we can count. We don’t need to worry about acai berries, passionfruit, dragonfruit and imported berries. We have neem, ginger, turmeric, amla and carb sources such as buckwheat, millets to fall back on. Wherever possible, explore your local markets for stuff that is easily available and stop asking your grocer to get your vanilla beans from Madagascar. Remember when we stop demanding, the shops will stop stocking and this will help the planet a great deal, we promise!
11.Resist the urge to buy more: the fashion industry contributes a great deal to the planet’s wastes and the truth is, the more we consume, the more waste is generated. We don’t think about this activity but a lot of this stuff ends up in a landfill. How do you help this? Reuse, reinvent and wear those clothes again. Swap your outfits with a sibling or family member and when you are done, resist the urge to throw it away by donating to a charity instead. The same goes with technology, avoid the urge to buy every model of every phone that comes to the stores and only upgrade when you need to.
Yes! it might seem more than a little overwhelming and you wouldn’t know where to begin. The good news! You are here and you are reading this and if you share this article with your friends and peers and get them to adopt one habit at a time, the world we live in could be a healthier place, with your help. So what are you waiting for, let’s do this? Let’s #reduce #reuse #recycle together.