7 July, 2018
Often nowadays, we hear these terms like global warming, climate changes, carbon footprint, etc. While each of these is related to climate and ecological imbalances in some way or the other, they are also pointing to the lifestyles that we humans have adapted across the generations. Advance in technology, the quest for ease, comfort, and convenience, have led us to let go of many earlier day practices, which were perhaps more eco-friendly. So, we have more machines, more industries, more pollution, rampant deforestation, a whole lot of non-recyclable waste, etc. that are only compounding our problems.
In India, though we are slightly better as we have not yet let go of all of our traditional methods, many of which are eco-friendly and sustainable and hence, our carbon footprint is slightly on the lesser side. With around 70% of our population living in rural areas, frugal practices like consumption on a need basis only, organic farming, homemade daily use products, handloom weaving, and worshipping and thus protecting nature around is a part of life. So, what can people living in cities do to acquire and maintain an eco-friendly lifestyle?
So, fresh fruits and vegetables are part of every family’s daily needs. There are two ways in which a family can sustain this. One is to grow at least a part of the fresh vegetables that are needed. Doing terrace or balcony farming with even less space is possible. And if you have more space and a yard, then you could consider doing a full vegetable and fruit garden. This will also lead to another eco-friendly way of disposing of waste as you may need compost for the garden and recycle your wet waste that way. The second option is to find some organic vendors from the local area, who supply such foods. Also, treasure the generation to generation, passed on knowledge about natural food preservation techniques like sun drying, salted and pickled vegetables, etc. Grain storage can be done in indigenous, natural ways using neem leaves and other such natural disinfectants.
Try not to use your vehicles for short distances and instead learn to walk or even cycle. This will have an added benefit of health and ensure that the pollution is reduced. Wherever possible, try to use public transport, rather than taking your own vehicle out.
Avoid using ACs to the extent possible and use coolers if that helps. Clothes should be sun-dried rather than using a dryer and use earthen matkas for storing cold water during summers. Even dishes being hand washed instead of using a dishwasher, helps in saving electricity as well as the water, and reducing the carbon footprint. Remember to put off all appliances when not in use and use homemade or traditional appliances, when and where possible, especially in the kitchen, say for blending etc.
There is also the option of using solar power and solar water heaters available nowadays. The governments also provide some subsidies on such schemes as they want to promote such eco –friendly and sustainable practices.
Water consumption should be of utmost importance in any household. Use water sparsely, thinking that it is a precious resource and that a day might come, when we may not have it anymore. After all, we cannot create water and have to rely on nature. Wherever possible, rainwater harvesting should be done. Bathe using buckets instead of showers, and use only such washing machines that use less water. These may cost a little higher but will serve a bigger purpose.
Ensure recycling of wet waste to the extent possible by making compost for gardening, or dispose of it responsibly. If you have other waste, dispose of it with such vendors, who will ensure that it’s recycled. Also, recycle old things by providing it to the needy, rather than throwing or disposing of them for a meager amount.
Planting trees and creating awareness about greenery and the importance of preserving nature for the generations to come is very important. It is our solemn duty to leave this world at least, the way we found it, if not better. We owe it to ourselves and our next generations.
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