When we were kids, we would often hear the expression “The world is about to end.” This usually came along with a list of catastrophic events that were going to happen, such as a nuclear war, an asteroid collision, or an infection that would wipe out all of humanity. While these events are certainly scary, we always felt that it was funny how the world was about to end, yet we were all still here. The world did not come to an end. We were not destroyed. But the world is ending. Our planet is dying. And we are the cause. So what do we mean by this, and how can we fix it? This is the story of sustainability, the subject that we feel needs to be paid attention to in schools from an early age.
If we are to make a change, then we need to understand what needs to change, and why it needs to change. Sustainability is the process of taking care of the planet. We cannot just make a quick change and expect butterflies in the garden, we need to make small changes, over time. These small changes can start with the simple things we all do every day, such as not buying more than we need, washing clothes instead of sending them to the dry cleaner, and turning off lights and appliances when we are not using them. We believe that tiny changes make an enormous impact. Sustainability is about creating a better future, where we have enough for everyone, the planet is healthy, there are jobs, food, and energy, we can all live, and we can all be safe. It is all about doing the things that we as a society have not done before.
And on that note, below are the 10 habits that one should adopt effective immediately for a better and sustainable future because the truth is- sustainable living is, without a doubt, the best way to live.
10 habits to adopt for a better and sustainable life:
- Adopt a no-waste culture - Reduce, reuse and recycle. This is a must and the first step. We cannot reduce the things we produce by just throwing them away, or using them once and then discarding them. We need to reduce the amount we use and learn to reuse and recycle. Every waste has an opportunity to be a resource. Every object we use can be repurposed, reused, or recycled. This is a process, not a one-time event. The main goal of the no-waste culture (zero-waste) is that no trash be sent to landfills, incinerators or the ocean.
- Educate yourself and others - There are so many ways to learn about sustainability. You can learn by reading, watching videos, listening to shows addressing the topic of ‘sustainability’, and having conversations with friends and family. There are also many books, documentaries, and blogs that can help you learn more. The more you know, the better decisions you can make and the better you can take care of the planet and yourself. You can also share your knowledge of sustainability with others. Let them know that change is needed, and how they too can make a difference. You never know who must hear this message.
- Be mindful of what you buy - We live in a consumerist culture. We are taught to buy things in order to make ourselves happy. We buy things to impress others. We buy things to feel better about ourselves. But our decisions to buy or not buy have a big impact on the environment. It is important to be mindful of what you buy, and we can also support the brands which are making additional efforts towards making a positive impact on the environment. You can start by reading fashion blogs, and watching videos that highlight sustainable and eco-friendly products or companies.
Choose energy-efficient appliances - This is a huge step that you can take. Every appliance you own can be an energy-efficient appliance. Energy-efficient appliances use less energy and therefore produce less waste. At the same time, they also save your money over time. Energy-efficient appliances include light bulbs, refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, kitchen stoves, etc.
- Go Green - It should be a no-brainer to make a change in your life and go green. We all have the ability to make a change in our lives and go green. You can start by making your own homemade shampoo and soap, or you can use reusable grocery bags or biodegradable sanitary pads (saathipads.com). As you begin to make these simple changes, you will realize that going green is not as hard as you thought it would be. You will also be inspired to learn more and do more. You will be amazed at how much you can accomplish when you have an intention to go green.
- Use your car wisely - It is so easy to use our cars for any reason. But not many people think about the impact that their car has on the environment. Cars use a lot of gas, pollute the air and contribute to greenhouse gasses that make the planet hotter. Using a car less often is better for the environment, and it also saves you money over time. If you want to make a change, you can start by making your car more fuel-efficient, and taking public transportation or walking whenever you can.
- Go local - Local businesses are the heart and soul of our communities. They help to create a sense of community, bringing the people together and most importantly, giving the opportunity of livelihood which contributes to our economy. By shopping locally, you help your community become more sustainable and eco-friendly, and in the process, you help the environment.
- Conserve water - This is one of the biggest and most important changes you can make. It is important to save as much water as you can because water is a limited resource. The more you can save, the better. The easiest way to conserve water is to not take a long shower or bath or to wash your car every time you go out. You can also install water-efficient appliances, and use less water when you do laundry.
- Repair vs. Replace - So many things in our lives are replaceable. We replace our cell phones, computers, appliances, and clothing, but do we ever think about replacing our self by replacing our bad habits and bad influences in our life with good ones? The truth is that our lives are constantly being affected by the people and things around us. Reaching a place where we can repair our things instead of replacing them is a big step towards creating a sustainable and eco-friendly future.
- Say NO to plastic - Today, more than ever before, we are surrounded by plastic. We are even using plastic as a building material. The reality is that plastic takes hundreds of years to break down, and it never really decomposes. It breaks down into microplastics, which are released into the environment and are affecting the health and well-being of many creatures. Some people think that plastic is the only option for them, but that is simply not true. We can use other kinds of materials, which usually are much more eco friendly and last much longer.
To conclude, becoming more sustainable is not as hard as we sometimes make it seem. In reality, it is just a matter of making a few simple changes, and committing yourself to live a more eco-friendly and sustainable life. You may be amazed by how much you can accomplish when you have a desire to make a difference. Don’t let your desire to become more sustainable be hindered by your circumstances. If you really want to make a difference, you can make it happen. All it takes is to get started and stay dedicated. And think of it this way: you’re doing something for yourself, your environment, and the future generations. What’s not to love about that? It’s like winning the lottery with no strings attached.
About Saathi :
Saathi, an award-winning social venture has patented technology to convert agri-waste into absorbent materials. It is known for its 100% biodegradable and compostable sanitary pads made from banana and bamboo fibres. Saathi pads are better for the body🩸, community 🌎 and environment 🌱. We are on a mission to make products sustainably and responsibly.
We are recognized by the UNESCO Green Citizens project, University of St. Andrews, Solar Impulse Foundation, and Global Cleantech Innovation Program among others for our innovative, social impact, and sustainable work. We are working towards 8 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).