We all know the planet is in desperate need of saving. Considering the accelerating rate of climate change, pollution, endangered species, and now the terrible wildfire in the Amazon, I thought I’d do some thinking about what I’m doing to ‘help’.
It’s amazing what we could do together if everyone did a little.
Many people think that recycling is all they need to do, but we’re taught the 3 Rs in the order we learn them for a reason; it’s the order of their priority. First, we should reduce – then reuse, and then recycle. Recycling alone is not enough (not to mention the fact that we have a long way to go to get it right in this country anyway, sadly).
So here are some of the lifestyle changes that I’ve applied to do my part:
Using Bags For Life
Bags For Life are those bags that are basically shopping life savers. They’re big, sturdy, convenient, and help you to achieve 2 out of the 3 Rs – reducing and reusing. What’s even better is that if you go to the supermarket and forget to take one with you (or you’ve underestimated the size of your shopping list), you can just get another one, and then maybe keep it in your car for emergencies.
You could also get cute ones that fit into a pouch and are easier to carry around, but these tend to be less sturdy.
Using Mesh Veggie Bags
These mesh bags are another fantastic way of hitting two birds with one stone (for lack of a more appropriate expression) – reducing and reusing. It seems that most places try to shove plastic down your throat, especially in the fruit and veg section. These nifty bags are super convenient and you can buy them at most supermarkets and grocers. I got 2 sets from ValYou.
Reusing Plastic Containers
Sometimes, getting things packed in ‘single-use’ plastic containers is inevitable, but thankfully my hoarding habits finally came in handy with these.
I’ve recently decided to use these containers as sorting boxes in my fruit and veg drawers and cupboards.
I love finding ways to find a use for things instead of throwing them away, and I was actually quite proud of this small but effective trick. Not only are we reusing, but it’s also super convenient to keep our kitchen organised and clean.
Glass Bottles For Our Water
We recently shifted our drinking habits at home and got a Reverse Osmosis system, and we bought a few glass bottles to refill. I’m aware that RO systems tend to waste a lot of water, but in comparison to the insane amount of plastic bottles we were using every week, we thought that this was the better (and healthier) option.
Recycling & Separating Waste
We bought a super convenient 3-Section bin for our kitchen which makes it easy for us to separate our waste. One for organic, one for recyclables, and the other for general waste. We also have larger bins in our terrace so that if we forget to take a bag out for collection or we’ve filled the one inside sooner than usual, we can keep them in the outside bins until collection day so that they don’t smell.
Fun Fact: I did the voice overs for Wasteserv’s Sort It Out campaign. (Not the actual “sort it out” bit) So every time you recycle and sort your waste, you can now think of me. You’re welcome. 🙂
BONUS POINT: Using A Menstrual Cup
Okay so I’d be lying if I said I do this already – BUT I’ve been wanting to make the switch for years and I *promise* I will take the plunge soon.
We all know that women get periods, and we all know that they’re not the most fun and exciting thing in the world to experience – but if we can somehow make our lives a bit more convenient, less uncomfortable, and also do a helluva lot for the environment in the process (think of all the pads, liners, tampons, and plastic wrappers we’re eliminating), then it sounds like a great idea!
Apart from these, we try our best to do as many other “small” things as possible, like:
- Using LED light bulbs
- Always opting for energy efficient appliances
- Only using appliances when necessary
- Carpooling (though not nearly enough)
- Refusing junk mail
- Donating things instead of throwing them away (unless they’re completely ruined)
- Wrapping gifts in brown paper (with reusable ribbons because I like things to look pretty)
- Using a colour-catching cloth for our laundry instead of single-use ones
- Slowly working on our own home garden on our terrace
Of course, I know there’s much more that we can do, but I think this is a great start. And I really encourage everyone to try and do whatever they can to play their part too.
Let’s do whatever we can to make our environment better – not only for ourselves, but for the future generations to enjoy. 🙂
Until next time,