Being ‘environmentally friendly’ involves having a lifestyle that is better for the environment: preventing as much harm from occurring to the environment through interactions with it.
Saving the environment seems like a small part of life, but in reality, it is integral to our living. Although the concept of eco-friendly or being environmentally friendly has progressed around the world, a number of Nigerians are hardly conscious of their environment and unaware of reasons to join the movement To some even, it is just one of those “global trends” white people are kicking up a fuss over. There is however, a surprising number of people that understand the essence of being environmentally friendly and would like to do more to conserve and protect the environment, but they don’t know where to begin or how to make a difference.
A good way to start with eco-friendly decision-making and behavior would be to start at home. If you can make subtle changes in your day-to-day actions at home that are more environmentally-friendly, you will not only help the environment, you will also benefit financially, physically and mentally as well. The changes are also easy to make. Here are five ways to start:
Reduce the use of paper products
The paper towel with the petals nicely printed on them would look great in your kitchen, and it seems easier to have paper napkins and paper plates, so you do not have to wash them. Also, paper bags seem like a cheaper option to put the kids’ lunch, but too much use and discarding of paper is not helping the environment.
With global warming and excessive CO2 polluting the environment it is safer to go paperless. Going paperless reduces deforestation and pollution, leaving more trees to do the dirty work of absorbing carbon dioxide (and slowing down global climate change). Try reusable fabric alternatives, like rags instead of paper towels, cloth hankies instead of tissues; digitalize your documents, pay bills online, e.t.c. These small changes quickly add up to reduce the overall use of paper in your home.
Use food waste as compost
The normal practice is to dispose food scraps by wrapping them up in plastic bags and tossing into the bin, along with other kinds of trash. The thing about food waste is that it attracts bad odour and flies among other bugs, if not properly discarded. This may lead to a measure of pollution in the environment. Rather than discard them, an alternative would be to convert the food waste to compost, so that it affects the environment positively instead. Making composite is among the best waste management solutions for households as it caters for a more worthy cause.
The end results of composting, usually, are nutrient-rich soil additives that increase the water retention and drainage of soil. Composting food waste can be as simple as burying the food scraps in the dirt or using a 3-stage composting bin or tumbler. Whichever method you choose, the benefits far outweigh simple waste reduction.
Buy house plants and Plant trees
Rather than placing large sculptures around your house or placing ceramic and glass antiques around your home as part of interior décor, try houseplants, flowers, and trees. With houseplants, you can tastefully decorate the interior of your home, while also improving your indoor air quality and humidity. There’s a variety of houseplant species to select from too. On the outside of your house, you could also plant trees and shrubs around to improve the environment. Plants are a good way to decorate your home and be environmentally friendly as well.
Opt for Solar panels
The norm is to rely on PHCN (NEPA) to supply power and use generators to supply electricity when the power is out. While these seem convenient and easy, a better alternative would be solar panels. Solar panels are a great way to create electricity or produce heat without generating carbon as a byproduct, like the generators do. They are much more environmentally friendly, can reduce your heating and electricity bills, and are even safer for your appliances. They may be expensive to install at the initial point, but they eventually prove to be a sustainable, cost-effective win.
Consider tap water over sachet/bottled water
Maybe when you open the tap to fetch some water, a baby frog unexpectedly jumps out of the faucet along with the water; or maybe the water looks and smells funny and you do not trust the quality of water in your area…there are ways you can purify the water from the source and make it drinkable straight from the tap. Choosing tap water over sachet or bottled water in your home is a great way to stay eco-friendly. You do not have to dispose of any bottles or plastic. The fact that the water came in a sachet or bottle, does not mean it is pure, either. However, if you are in an area where the water is untreatable, you may want to stick to bottled water, but ensure you buy large bottles so you have less to dispose of.
Remember, there are little ways you can help the environment. Turn off lights when you leave a room, recycle plastic bottles and bags. Don’t use paper when you don’t have to. Reuse gift bags and wrapping paper.
Let’s save the earth, together.
Photo Credit: Andrey Popov | Dreamstime.com