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At the onset of the new year, you’re sure to be making a couple of new resolutions – a better diet, more exercise, achieving better work-life balance, and all such things you know are necessary to help you lead a healthier, happier life in 2019. Along with the care you will rightfully bestow upon your family and yourself this year, how about ensuring that your resolutions this year treat your home planet with the same care?
Why Eco-friendly Resolutions Are the Need of the Hour
Last year, India witnessed a flurry of natural disasters hit different parts of the country and cause mass devastation. From floods to landslides to unbelievable downpours, we’ve all seen the damage caused to lives and property in the past year. Only, this was not just restricted to India. Tsunamis, earthquakes, and wildfires were other major and frequent happenings in different parts of the world in 2018. If these don’t serve as wake-up calls to Mother Nature’s retaliation towards our treatment of Her, nothing will!
It may seem silly to think that one person choosing not to throw a plastic wrapper on the road could actually make a difference. Well, guess what? We’ve reached the point where little drops of water don’t just make the mighty ocean, they can wreak plenty of havoc upon us. So, time for each and every one of us to pick up our socks; or rather, pick up that piece of litter and dispose of it properly!
9 Green Resolutions Each One of Us Should Make This Year
Yes, a few of these may seem slightly expensive or inconvenient – which is when, on keeping each resolution, you must pat yourself on the back for having done your part in restoring the world back to health and preserving it for your kids!
1. Take a Break from Sitting in the Driver’s Seat
Everyone who stays in crowded metro cities can vouch for the fact that they spend a majority of their time in traffic. Whether it’s the morning or the evening commute to work or stepping out on a weekend, the destination you’re headed for seems much too far away nowadays! Clogging roads aside, all the exhaust fumes and fuel burnt isn’t doing the environment much good either. Instead, opt for public transport, at least once a week, or choose to carpool with people headed the same way as you. Even if it is just once a week, that’s one less car on the road – now imagine if a large chunk of people took the same decision? The possibility of clear roads doesn’t seem completely impossible now, does it?
2. Reduce the Consumption of Plastic, One Article At a Time
You don’t have to replace every plastic item in your house to keep this resolution; a more practical approach would be to purchase the sustainable alternative for an item once it’s ready to be thrown away. This way, over a period of time, your consumption of plastic products reduce, thereby cutting down on the mounds of non-biodegradable trash that pile up every day!
3. Cut Down on the Air Conditioner Usage
While this seems achievable during the winter months, come summer with its merciless heat and your resolution may just be forgotten. Remember, we’re not telling you to uninstall that AC and get rid of it for good. Simply ensure that it’s not switched on all day long, unnecessarily, especially when people are not even present in the room! Air conditioners release harmful gases like chlorofluorocarbons into the atmosphere, which damage our ozone layer – something that is required to keep away the sun’s harmful UV radiation!
4. Give Importance to Needs, Not Wants
A lot of wastage, be it food or other materials, occurs because they did not serve their users’ needs; rather, they played up to the wants of their users, and once they were done, they were discarded. Every time you pick up something to put in your shopping cart, make sure you give it a second thought – for all you know, you’re just buying it on a temporary whim. A good way to ensure that you buy just what you need is to go shopping with cash only. Having limited cash will ensure that you shop only within the budget your wallet dictates!
5. Apply the Above Principle to Gifting As Well
The gifting season has us frantically running from shop to shop or scouring sites online in search of the perfect gifts for people we love or are obliged to give a return gift too! While picking stuff for people you know at least ensures that you choose the right gifts, such may not be the case for people like your colleagues whom you have to gift for activities like Secret Santa at work. So you end up buying generic items like key-chains or photo frames, which either ends up getting re-gifted, or sit unopened forever. Instead, make an effort to find out what the person you’re gifting actually wants, so that what you give them actually gets used!
6. Switch to Vegetarian Options, As Much As Possible
Yes, non-vegetarians, we know giving up chicken isn’t going to be easiest task in the world (and getting your kids to make the switch – well, good luck with that!), but not only is a vegetarian diet more easy on the pocket, it’s also good for your health in a lot of ways. Apart from personal benefits, it helps the environment too; raising livestock generates plenty of harmful emissions, and the higher the demand for animal products, the more the environment suffers.
7. Replace Traditional Light Bulbs with LED Lights
A greener option in lighting, LED bulbs reduce energy consumption by almost 90%, as compared to regular CFL bulbs. Additionally, they light up a little faster and last for much longer than incandescent bulbs do. So while they may seem to be on the expensive side, they’re definitely going to be cost-effective!
8. Make Wealth Out of Waste
It’s not just a cute lesson your kids are taught in school, it’s an actual principle you can implement in your everyday life. Discarded vegetable scraps can be used to grow plants in your little garden, things like bottles and CDs and cutlery can be converted into decorative craft items; you get the drift. Why throw away things when there’s so much potential to them!
9. Educate Your Kids to Be Eco-friendly Too
One day, your children are going to inherit the Earth, and they must know how precious their inheritance is. Instill in them a love for nature and the need to truly care for the environment around them. Ask them to do little things that are eco-friendly in their daily lives – turn off the switches and close taps when they’re not in use, the importance of planting trees, never to waste food that’s on their plate, and so on. These lessons are going to take them far in life!
Now, if you didn’t make these resolutions on the first day of the year, that’s totally okay! Start now and make these an important part of your daily life; that’s what really counts!