Who doesn’t wish to be environment friendly?
Well, there indeed might be a few jerks who don’t, but you get the drift.
In spite of intentions, few of us actually end up being eco-friendly. The reason? Many of the eco-friendly products and solutions are not so friendly when it comes to our way of life.
Well, as you know, many of us would rather die than change – and many actually die!
So it is indeed a question that is asked by many folks on what eco-friendly products or solutions they can start using without making any significant changes to their lifestyles – or put another way, without making their lives miserable!
The operative word here is SIMPLE – simple products that are easy to use, and need little or no changes to the lifestyle you are used to.
Here’s a brief list I can think of eco-friendly products and practices that almost anyone can adopt, right away:
- Use bicycles for short trips – Local errands, visiting friends or neighbours close by, all these can be easily done on a bicycle instead of in a car. If you think this is not easy, just try it. Unless you are unlucky enough to be living in a very congested zone, or your climate is prohibitive, riding on a bicycle for a couple of kilometers at a leisurely pace is actually quite enjoyable.
- Check out for eco-friendly household chemicals – These are today available in many retail outlets and shopping malls. Not only are these good for the environment, many of these are healthier choices for you and your family. This is a fairly simple switch, requiring just choosing a different brand at your supermarket!
- Use a composting bin – This will require a bit of learning, but not too hard to use especially if you have a garden. And you get free fertilizer at the end. Once again, not very difficult – in fact, once you set up the composting bins, you will see that this is a fairly easy habit to adopt. (here’s a post on why composting is not that difficult)
- Use intelligent lighting or AC controls – There are smart thermostats today that can optimise your air conditioning energy use without compromising your comfort. Similarly there are simple solutions available using which you can switch lights/fans on or off depending on room occupancy. Many of you possibly already use it – and that it is because it is so easy to use, requiring little changes in our behaviour.
- Cut down on paper use – Through use of smartphones or tablets for storing information, you can take store such information on your phone or tablet. In fact, this is a change that has already come over most of us, as doing it electronically instead of moving pieces of paper requires less work – perfectly aligned to a world full of lazy jerks.
- Use of LED – While you might not want to fully replace all your lights with LEDs right away, some spaces/rooms in your house can pretty well be lit by LED without compromising on the “light quality” you are used to. (see also: Why is the world going ga-ga about LED?)
- Use Skype and other mobile communications to cut unnecessary travel – Be it work or personal travel, especially when such travel involves long distances. (See also: How can mobile technologies contribute to cleantech?)
- Water conservation products – There are simple widgets that you can fit to your taps and showers that can significantly reduce the amount of water you use without reducing the comfort. These cost next to nothing. Try some of these simple fixtures and you will start conserving water, something that’s becoming precious the world over.
- Use of shopping bags – One again, an example of an easy switch but big impact on the environment. Pollution from plastic carry bags is considered to be one of the most concerning aspects of plastic pollution, and carrying your own, permanent shopping bags cuts this down pollution down to a significant extent. (see also: Effective avenues to reduce plastic pollution, Can all plastics be recycled?)
- Reusable water bottles – I agree that this is not as easy as many others listed here, especially if you are travelling to other cities. But I have found that one can easily use as permanent water bottle both at their tables in offices and while moving around within their city. While on water bottles, there’s another really easy switch people can make – and this is at airports. I still cannot for the life of me understand why people actually buy expensive water bottles at airports while there are drinking water taps available at many airports – at least in India, all airports have many locations where free drinking water is available.
- Other reduce & reuse – For those who have been brought up in more difficult circumstances, these two Rs (reduce and reuse) are practices they have been used from right from their birth. Even otherwise, eliminating some of the unnecessary purchases, and reusing a good many household items and accessories such as garments, are not difficult. It just takes a little bit of practice.
How many of the above are actually super difficult to do, or necessitate significant changes in your lifestyle?
While, in my opinion at least, none of the above is really difficult (that is the whole point of this post), it still is wise idea to start trying a couple of them to begin with – start small is the mantra. Once you see how easy it is to make the shift, you will be surprised at the speed at which you implement the rest.
Other than the ones listed above, I will be glad to hear from you on other eco-friendly products we can start using easily – I mean, products even the real jerks among us can start using right away. You can drop in your suggestions in the comments section below. Thanks!
Here are some interesting links on the topic of being practically green. While the Internet is full of suggestions, I have picked up and listed only those web pages that I felt were providing suggestions that were quite practical. Here we go
- Practically Green – Your Guide to Eco-friendly Decision-making – a well received book – Link at Amazon.
- 70 Easy Ways to be a Just a Little Bit Greener – Link
- 50 Cost Effective Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-friendly – Link