“We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to.”
– Terry Swearingen
Every technological advancement comes with its share of environmental impact which you might not see at first due to your excitement over the latest invention. From plastics to fuels to electronics and various factories that emit harmful waste, our Earth is always changing as a result.
There’s a popular African proverb that says “If many little people, in many little places, do many little things, they can change the face of the earth.” Everyone can make a difference so ask yourself- what can I do better?
Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to live a more sustainable life.
Step 1: Refuse
There are many things we use often which we can actually do without. Think about the last time you came back from the supermarket & finished unpacking. There were probably dozens of shopping bags which probably ended up in the bin. Why not plan ahead & get some reusable bags ahead of your next shopping trip.
Step 2: Rethink
Before you buy something, think about it. Do you really need it? Do you have similar things that you haven’t even used in over a year? As a conscious consumer, think carefully before you buy & make wiser decisions.
Step 3: Reduce
Sometimes we need a nice long shower after a stressful day but there are many other ways to deal with stress. Try limiting your shower to 5-10mins or have a bowl and a bucket of about 10 – 15 litres which will help you keep track of how much water you’re using. This also means the pumping machine runs less frequently thereby saving energy and reducing your electricity bill. Turning off lights when you’re leaving a room for over 10 minutes or TV’s and other devices when you’re not using them is another way to live more sustainably.
Step 4: Reuse
If you’ve gone through steps 1-3 and still find that you have items you’re thinking of throwing away, see if you can come up with a new way to reuse that item around the house or office. We have some examples here. Buying second-hand electronics or furniture, and taking along your reusable bottle rather than buying bottled water, will go a long way in conserving the Earth’s resources and reducing pollution. A recent estimate shows that only 20% of plastic bottles are recycled which means that the remaining 80% ends up in landfills, gutters or oceans.
Step 5: Repair
When your car is malfunctioning you take it to the mechanic, you don’t go looking for a new car. Repairing, refurbishing or properly maintaining your possessions keeps them working longer and out of landfills.
Step 6: Recycle
Every day, millions of plastic find their way into the world’s oceans polluting our waters and endangering marine life. Out of all living organisms found on earth, did you know that 94% is marine life? By products of marine life are beneficial to medicine and oceans produce 70% of the oxygen we breathe. Imagine what happens when they are contaminated. With Arami Earth, our goal is to encourage a habit of recycling our plastic containers rather than throwing them away. This helps keep plastic useful and out of the oceans.
Step 7: Plant Something
A tree can absorb up to 22 kilograms of carbon dioxide a year so go out and plant something. Start a little garden in your home. Paper is an undeniable tool for most of our activities so this is your own way to give back to the environment. By planting more we reduce the devastating effects of deforestation which are caused by construction, agricultural expansion and mining.
Step 8: Donate
At the end of every year, get into the habit of giving away clothes, household furniture, electronics etc that you haven’t you used that year. Organise them by type and take them to the nearest donation centre, give them to your neighbours or even sell them. You’ll sleep better knowing you’re making an impact.