2019 was a year full of lessons on sustainable living. We witnessed some of the most gruesome environmental tragedies to ever hit our planet, but we also learnt some pretty good life(style) altering tips from them. From millenials to boomers everyone took note of the environmental damage in 2019 and is determined more than ever to make some changes at the turn of the decade.
They say it takes 21 days to form a habit and what’s better than a new decade to start afresh. 2019 was a ground breaking year with many discussions, popular personalities, disruptors, and ideologies taking centre stage and questioning the way we live. Veganism became more popular than ever with mainstream awards like Oscars endorsing the idea! Melting glaciers in Iceland made people in Africa rethink their water needs, the plastics being washed up on the beaches of South East Asia, urged people in the United States come up with vegan compostable condoms, and the burning forests of the Amazon got people all over the world to the streets asking for better environmental laws.
While the world as a united entity battles the foes of nature, here are some things each one of us can do differently in 2020 on an individual level, as a way of carrying forward the journey of sustainable living.
Make your home sustainable
Charity and sustainable living both begin at home. Your home contains all of your belongings, so make sure to fill it up with healthy, Eco-friendly and non-toxic products. 2019 saw a spike in the number of sustainable businesses in America and also around the world. Right from sustainable lingerie to to vegan cookies, there is an Eco-substitute for anything and everything. You just have to surround yourself with as many sustainable things as possible. In addition to products, here are some other things you can do:
- Set the thermostat to 78 degrees fahrenheit in summers and 68 degrees fahrenheit in winters to save energy
- Compost your food scraps
- Time your showers to reduce your water consumption
- Observe meatless Tuesdays or Thursdays or any other day you like as a way to reduce your meat intake
- When heading out, carry a reusable water bottle and fill up water from cafes, restaurants instead of using plastic
This is one advice that you’ll find on financial journals as well as sustainability blogs. Minimalism really is a single step to solve many of your problems. It obviously saves money but it also saves time, energy, and resources (both yours and the planet’s) every time you say no to buying something and instead stick to reusing, reducing, and recycling what you have.
- Recycle outfits, furniture, old bottles, and anything else you can get your hands on. Reusing is a great way to add nostalgia and value to your things.
- It’s hard being Carrie Bradshaw in a small modern apartment. Minimalism will get rid of the space crunch most of us feel in today’s times.
Nature has a solution for everything, whether it is a skin allergy, a dry scalp, the common cold or a coffee stain on your bed sheet. There is also an easy over the counter product for all of these things but this product is likely to come in plastic, be full of chemicals, and cost you extra money. The good news is that there are so many common ailments that can be solved naturally. If you go around asking your grandparents, you’ll be surprised to find natural, affordable, and safe alternatives to so many of your problems just lying in your kitchen.
- Elderberry treats common cold
- A combination of lemon-honey, lemon-honey-cinnamon, lemon-honey-ginger, turmeric-milk can be used to build immunity
- Beetroot juice can help get rid of dandruff
- Curd or egg yolk is a natural hair conditioner
- Bananas can help with a loose stomach.
- Tomatoes or aloe vera can help treat a sun-burn.
- Baking soda mixed with lemon is superb formula for stains. Baking soda + hot water is also an amazing drain cleaner.
These suggestions are general home remedies that may affect people differently depending on certain factors. It is advisable to consult a doctor or a health professional before trying any of the suggestions above.
Educate and share
Word of mouth really is the best form of communication. There is plenty of information out there on sustainable living and how to be more ethical in your choices. However, nothing beats the dinner time conversation and learning from the experiences of your family and friends. If you have tried an Eco-alternative and found value in it, share it with your colleagues, friends, and neighbors. Sometimes simple transitions can seem challenging and personal guides from friends can make things easy.
- Shop local and encourage farmer markets over imported products.
- Find out about your local area’s fresh water and sea water life. Understand how your food habits can affect the natural ecosystem around you.
- Introduce your kids to gentler lifestyle habits. It can be difficult for adults to make a transition but kids can adopt Eco-practices as a part of their lifestyle right from the start.
- Rent clothes whenever you can as opposed to buying them.
- Boycott products from companies that are polluting the world and promoting unethical work practices. It’s all in the grassroots after all!
- Government have a big role in climate change. Question your leaders, voice your concerns, and ask for better policies. It is is your right to demand a safe and healthy world.
Above everything else, don’t let the efforts of 2019 go to waste. News channels may move on from covering an environmental tragedy to the next big thing, but as people we need to remember how the world around us is changing every minute and how we too need to change with it, making amends and being conscious in our choices.