Best Known Practices for a Greener Earth: An Individual’s Responsibility   

Written By Nirbhay Lumde

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22 to demonstrate support for the environmental care and protection. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. It’s 46 year old movement and celebrated across hundreds of countries every year. The Earth Day Network states that, “Earth Day is more than just a single day — April 22, 2016. It’s bigger than attending a rally and taking a stand. This Earth Day and beyond, let’s make big stuff happen. Let’s plant 7.8 billion trees for the Earth. Let’s divest from fossil fuels and make cities 100% renewable.”

Nirbhay LumdeThe present article suggests five simple practices that every individual can adopt and practice in their daily life to make the earth greener. These practices can be adopted without the direct intervention of experts or professionals support. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure ecosystem is intact and does not threaten life on the planet earth for our own wrong doing.

These suggested Best Known Practices (BKPs) are not new nor created from thin air or invented overnight. These are practiced across the globe and have significant impact in making the difference to our planet’s well-being. The author is merely trying to aggregate some of these available BKPs everyone’s attention and maximum adoption.

Adoption of Waste Segregation

One of the biggest challenges every Indian city facing is appropriate waste disposal systems and managing landfill. Appropriate waste segregation at source is simplest action in taking control of sustainable environment – keep separate containers for dry and wet waste in the kitchen. The practice from single home has to be extrapolated to the building, apartment and to the larger locality. It reduces considerable amount of waste reaching to the landfills.

It is equally important to note that recycling of waste also adds to the air and water pollution. It helps dry waste directed for recycling and wet waste for composting. The segregation also helps individual to assess to accept or discard materials right at the source. The consciousness to adopt such meticulous practices comes over years of patience and care.

Appropriate Handling of eWaste

E-WasteThe technology advancement and growing economy has considerably reduced shelf life of electronic gadget in our hands, at our homes and over the office spaces. Therefore, one of the best practices is to identify and locate eWaste disposal facility and handover for appropriate action.

The practice may sound trivial but the storage of discarded electronic gadgets without appropriate treatment has high chances of radiation. An individual has a choice to control over the storage and disposal of eWaste by not to letting it to be a toy in a child’s hand.

Tips to Reduce Plastic Waste

It may not be easy to break-up with plastic immediately and altogether. However here are few simple practices that can make a big difference in reducing the amount of disposable plastic in individual’s life.

  • Bring own shopping bag or move to reusable produce bags – store an extra jute bag
  • Say no to straws at food joints and restaurants – simplest form of saying ‘no’ to plastic
  • Pack lunch in reusable containers and bags – more safer than plastic
  • Shift to glass use – alternate ways to food storage
  • Stop buying bottled water – move to refillable water containers

Save Energy to Save Environment

It is ironical that most of the domestic electrical appliances are plugged and seamlessly connected with power at any time of the day or night. It is important to pull that plug when not in use. It is also interesting observe that cellphones and power storage devices are on constant charge mode. It is a good practice to keep them off the hook while running on their battery mode when fully charges. It will also increase their effective life span.

Save energy to save money by moving to energy efficient lighting. It could be done with installation of Light-Emitting Diodes bulbs (LED) or Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL). It’s a good idea to explore adoption of partial solar power systems for domestic consumption.

It is essential to save fuel by burning less fuel. It may not be difficult to evaluate walking or cycling to shop or work. It is critical to note that switching-off your vehicle at the red sign at the traffic signal does help in burning less fuel, save fuel and reduce cost.

Save water to save money and waste. Water filter consume heavy doses of water in the process of cleaning the water. It is good idea to recycle the waste water from the Reverse Osmosis (RO) water filter. It is safe to use for cleaning, washing and gardening. It is also important to collect and use rainwater for other appropriate purposes.

Go Digital with e-Subscription

Go digital with a simple click of mouse by e-subscription of newsletters, bank statements, investment portfolios, annual reports, telephone bills and receipts. These help in reducing printing and paper consumption. These would save tons of paper and reduce cutting of thousands of trees and water consumption in the process.

Environmental degradation is rampant and it’s time that individuals take personal responsibility in countering the damages. On the occasion of Earth Day, one could take pledge to adopt one of these simple things to help reduce your environmental impact, save money and be happier.

About the Author: Nirbhay Lumde is Corporate Social Responsibility professional and writes on current social, economic and environmental issues and trends. He can be reached at @NirbhayLumde.