For those who sow the wind, will reap the whirlwind, goes the saying. Climate change in India and worldwide is happening at a pace faster than we can think of. Our regular use of plastic, burning fuel, non-recyclable products are leading to increased carbon footprint in the country.
Environment is the core for any country and its degradation would affect the health of the nation. As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) report in 2014-15, 51.4 million tonnes of solid waste was generated in the country, out of which 91% was collected, and 27% was treated and remaining 73% was disposed of at dump sites in India. As per reports, if plastic pollution continues to rise then oceans will have more plastics than fish by 2050.
Sustainability is no longer merely an option but a necessity. It is fundamental to adopt corrective measures to improve the environmental situation with immediate effect.
Adopt these five lifestyle changes and make the world a better place for yourself.
1. No plastic bottles: When you are travelling without carrying a water bottle, the first instinct it to reach out for plastic bottled water. Your love for the environment is not enough if you are adding to the environmental woes by discarding plastic. Carrying a travel ready water bottle (non-plastic), will lead to an eco-conscious investment, both to the environment and to your health
2. No Plastic bags: Replacing plastic bags with sturdier bags made out of natural materials like jute, hemp, potato, corn starch etc, is a smart way to keep the environment free of plastic while ensuring that your shopping bag does not get mixed up with somebody else’s. Starting from sandwich bag, bottle bag, storage bag etc. there are number of environment friendly alternatives available for plastic bags
3. No littering: While the government is making efforts to clean the country with campaigns like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, there is a need for behavioural change within. Throwing packets of chips, plastic materials and bottles on the streets is a common sight in India and has become a socially acceptable norm. This material is generally burnt to clear the nuisance. Assuming that if we dispose them off properly, our surroundings will be cleaner and environment will remain healthy, reducing carbon footprint. Laws pertaining to cleanliness should be stricter and there should awareness in every possible way asking people not to litter.
4. Creating home compost: By now, it is universally accepted that composting reduces garbage and the dependence on chemical fertilizers that are harmful for both plants and humans. It can contribute to your budget, wherein, it eliminates the need to purchase quality soil. Your garbage turns into ‘Good Garbage’ which nourishes the soil and consequently helps produce vegetables and plants which are fresher and healthier. Create your own home garden with fresh veggies, beautiful flowers, greenery for your kids with the wet waste in your own kitchen. Too good to be true… Isn’t it?
5. Avoid packaged snacks: buy fresh or in bulk: Keeping in mind the packaging of food is another very important aspect essential for both health and environment. Eating unhealthy snacks is not only harmful for your gut but the plastic packets/ plates/ boxes in which snacks are packaged is equally harmful for the environment.
There are a lot of ways you can buy in bulk which saves both money and packaging. Snack on number of healthy options available from local produce which you can even buy in bulk. Think about the health benefits one can get by making fresh soup, pizza, salads, pickles etc. at home, rather than opting for pre-packaged products. Perks that come along are healthy and sufficient food in the kitchen without burning a big hole in the pocket.