While the society waits for better government policies geared towards environmental sustainability, the individual can take baby steps that can amount to long strides over time if done with consistency. To some extent, the society is a reflection of the individuals in it. This implies that people with healthy living habits makes for a better society.
Below are some simple things you can do to care of your immediate environment.
Turn your lights off! This one seems like a no-brainer but people often forget to switch off the light when they walk out of a room. Turn off lights when you aren’t using them and you will help save the environment and save on your electricity bill. Try to have an hour every day where you don’t use lights. Use energy-efficient light bulbs instead of regular bulbs. They last longer and in turn saves you a bit of money. Be sure to turn off lights, the TV, and other appliances when you are not using them. Lower your air conditioning when it is not necessary.
40% of electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off! So unplug that phone charger, better still the extension cord.
Don’t Drive If You Don’t Have To
Can you ride a bike to work, walk or take a taxi? If there is a way to reduce your car use, try to do it every day. The first two makes you healthier, and if you take the taxi, you can read or check your emails and/or newspaper while you commute.
It is safe to assume that everyone has a garbage can. You can have a second bin for your trash as well: compost. Gardeners love compost, since it creates a rich, natural soil to grow flowers and vegetables in. It also saves dumps from dealing with extra garbage. If something can decompose, try composting it!
Don’t Forget To Reuse And Re-purpose
Simple efforts like reusing plastic bags or re-purposing an old shoe-box can save tons of waste from the dump. Plus, re-purposing items around the house is a great way to nurture your own creativity. How many ways can you reuse an old milk tin…?
BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag)
It is very common to see plastic bags in surplus quantities in our homes. It is also common to see them littered all around us in the most uncomfortable ways. Yet, every time we go to the market or shops, we leave lots at home only to bring more back with us. If a million Nigerians can go to the market with a plastic bag from their homes every week, that means there will be, at the very least, one million less bags produced. This will help protect our environment and conserve resources.
The truth is that we create LOTS of trash. Just think about how much stuff you bring home from the market or stores that ends up in the trash can, and I’m not even talking about the food itself, just the packaging. Consider how you can reduce the amount of garbage you create on your own.
Plant Trees And Native Plants
Have you planted a tree before?
Green living areas in our cities and suburbs are vital. Industrialization and suburban sprawl have taken away the trees – our main source of unadulterated oxygen. They’re also beautiful, and they do their part to keep our environment clean.
By planting a tree today, you can make green space and unadulterated oxygen a reality for the next generation. The same goes for landscaping with native plants. Not only are they low maintenance, they conserve water, reduce carbon pollution, and support the health of local wildlife. If you don’t have your own lawn you can spread the word and tell a friend.
Fall In Love With Mother Nature
“There is mounting research that supports the idea that children [and adults] who spend regular time playing and learning in the natural world are happier, healthier, smarter, more creative and better problem solvers,” shares Janice Swaisgood, Children & Nature Network’s National Coordinator of Nature Clubs for Families.
Essentially if we want to be inspired to protect our natural resources, we must fall in love with nature. Go out, swim in a lake, and walk or play on the beach. Put down your phone and go outside to see what kind of birds and butterflies are fluttering about your yard. When you find a bird nest and observe (not interfere) with the hatching, growing, and finally flying away… you develop an intrinsic vested interest or ownership in the natural world.
So there you have it folks! Start changing the world with what is right in front of you. The power to make the world a better place is in our hands, not the hands of politicians nor anyone else. We have a duty to care for the planet and it is our daily decisions to make a difference that can change everything. Regardless of whether global warming exists or not, we’re still responsible to be good stewards of nature.
Imagine what might happen if everyone decided to get serious about this one.