Monday, 18 March 2013

5 Simple Tips to Go Green

Hey, guys! Saturday is the annual Earth Hour! If you don't know what it is, you should check out last year's post of mine. Although, again, this year I'm not planning anything for earth hour, I'm partially excited about it. I've been trying to be an environmentally conscious person and so should you! Over the years I have tried to get used to a more environmental-friendly lifestyle. And, you'll be surprised, this lifestyle isn't all that difficult to lead. All you have to do is make some minor changes in your life. Here are five simple steps to start out:

This is my favourite habit. That being said, I forget it most often too. The thing about tote bags is you can always collect as many as you want in whichever design that you like. Or, even better, create your own. They're also not a drag to carry around, you know. Why do you have to ALWAYS bring a tote bag? It definitely saves plastic or any kind of waste when going grocery shopping. Actually, not just GROCERY shopping but also any kinds of shopping. Although you're probably not going out to shop, you can never be too prepared. When you forget a tote bag, at least make sure that you have a big enough bag with you to fit whatever you're buying or postpone the whole shopping process until you have a tote in hand. It's definitely a better solution than paper or plastic.

This one isn't like it sounds. It doesn't literally mean that you have to walk everywhere. Take public transport instead of driving your own car everywhere. It would save a lot on gas and give out less emission. Or, if your destination is within walking distance, don't hesitate to walk the miles. Aside from it being environmentally friendly, it's also good for your health and finance. Plus, you never know what you could discover on foot rather than by car. In some countries, public transport might be a bit problematic. But there's also the alternative of bikes. Biking is definitely healthier than being cooped up in an (air-conditioned) car. Plus, you might be able to rock some bike styles in the process.

The hardest part about going green is thinking that everything isn't that bad, that we still have enough fossil fuel to last hundreds of generations or clean water won't run out or there are enough trees to make papers forever. That isn't true and you need to start accepting that. That's why, until further scientific breakthrough, all we can do right now is save. Save water, save paper, save energy. Remember, less is more! So make sure you turn off the faucet every chance you got. For instance, when washing your hand and you want to apply soap on it, make sure you turn off the water whilst doing so. Or when you brush your teeth, only turn it on when  you're ready to rinse. Also, make sure you don't waste paper. EVER. When it's still useable, use it. When not, recycle it. You don't have to do it yourself, just bring it to the nearest recycling center in your area. Piece of cake. The same goes for plastic. In Germany, when you buy plastic bottles, you need to pay a quarter buck. Then, when you have no use for it anymore, you can return the bottles and get your money back. Some companies actually recycle their bottles so you can just send the bottles to them when you're done.

This is something most people just wave off or simply forget. But this is probably the most important. Preserving energy is the whole point of going green. By preserving energy, you can minimalise the gas emission of the process of making the electricity. That's why, when you're done recharging, not using an appliance or not in a room, unplug! This goes for everything, including lights and TV. Do you know that even when it's off, an appliance still uses up electricity? That's why you need to plug it out right.  If you think that's too bothersome, go and buy plugs or sockets with switches on it. You need only to turn it off when you're not using it. Not just electrical appliances though, you should also turn off the heater in your room when you're going out. It's all about preserving energy.

In Germany, separating your trash is pretty much the law. It's the same as saving water in Australia. But in some countries, this might not be the case. Though so, it's not to say that separating your trash such a waste of effort. It makes it easier for the garbage men to categorise them later. Plus, if you pile all the organic garbage in the same place, you might be able to use it as fertilizer for your garden later on. The dividing of garbage varies in different countries. In Singapore, it's paper, plastic and can. In Germany, it's paper, plastic or synthetic materials, organic and the rest. Back home, my mom just distinguishes between the wet and the dry garbage. Whichever way you do it, it's definitely easier than just piling them up at the same place.

Aside from all those tips - this is probably a little putting it out there -, try watching An Inconvenient Truth. When I did, it was like a wake up call. I applaud Australia for having so many rules and campaigns on being more environmentally friendly. Germany also deserve a thumbs-up for having so many solar panels and wind energy for their public transport plus the unlimited choices of organic products. You don't have to start big. First of all, start small, like turning off your light for Earth Hour and go from there. It's not that hard.

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