What can I do?! Climate change. Global Warming. Rising water levels. Deforestation. Melting of the ice caps. We hear these buzzwords all over the news. We know the reality of the struggles that face us and the future of our planet. Sometimes making changes seems impossible when the odds are stacked against us. Sometimes it appears as though we as individuals cannot do anything of substance to make an actual impact. At The Earth Reserve, we believe in giving back to earth and try to endorse a natural way of life.
Let us understand what sustainable living means. Sustainable living represents a lifestyle that aims to minimize the use of the Earth's natural resources and personal resources by an individual or community. It is also referred to as "earth harmony living" or "net zero living". The aim is also to reduce the ecological footprint (including carbon footprint) by modifying their means of travel, energy consumption and/or diet. It is about leading lives in ways that are compatible with biodiversity, naturally balanced and mindful of human relationships with Earth's natural ecosystem.
How can we make changes in our own small ways to adopt a sustainable lifestyle? We would like to introduce to possible steps you can take to live a natural, sustainable way of life.
Pause on plastics – Wherever possible, use less plastic. Carry your own reusable cloth bags while shopping for groceries. Say no to single use plastics such as straws and cutlery when you can afford to. You can use metal silverware or bamboo-based utensils when possible or even banana leaf or areca leaf dishes when you would like something that is disposable! Home ordering food on Swiggy or Zomato? – Check the “I don’t require cutlery” tick-box.
- Local foods – Globalization has introduced us to an array of foods from all over. We have packaged or frozen foods for almost anything we want. However, this comes at the cost of carbon output etc. Buying food locally and seasonally is a viable means of procuring food. Food from local farmers reduces carbon output and stimulates the local economy.
Local, small-scale farming also typically uses more sustainable farming methods than conventional industrial farming systems such as reduced tillage, nutrient cycling, biodiversity-enhancing and reduced chemical pesticides and fertilizer applications. Embracing a local, seasonal diet is more sustainable as it involves purchasing less energy and resource-intensive products and consuming that which is naturally grow within the area.
Vegetables and fruits that are grown in the vicinity are also harvested during the appropriate seasons and are not artificially produced. As a result, seasonal food supply does not require resource-intensive greenhouse manufacturing, extensive irrigation, plastic bags and long-distance transport from imports of non-regional food and other ecological stressors. Local, periodic produce is typically fresher, unprocessed, and more nutritious and can support and sustain, local, natural small businesses.
- Urban jungles and farms – Something as simple as bringing in more plants to your home environment can have an impact within the small ecosystem of your home. Be it air purifying plants or succulents; a little bit of green goes a long way not only for your physical and mental health but also for the environment.
- Composting and Zero waste– On the regular, a large amount of our waste comes from the kitchen. Fruit peels, vegetable rinds and many more items can be put back to the earth to decompose. This will disintegrate into the soil and act as organic manure. Starting composting does not require heavy machinery or a lot of investment. Small pots with mud that can be covered will help you create your own compost dump. A little bit of neem spray to ward off any smell and you are good to go! At home composting is not difficult and if you have a little tomato plant or herb garden, you are making manure for your plants!
Try minimizing the waste within your homes in little ways. This can be through recycling or cooking just enough food as required, using leftover vegetables to make broth, or not using more water or electricity than necessary. It does not have to be boring either and can be a fun and responsible way to engage children and adults alike!
So, there you have it. Small and simple yet substantial ways in which you can make a difference in your own lives, in your community and a difference to the world at large.