We have seen the disastrous impact human activities can have on the environment, what with the pounds of plastic bags found inside whales, microbeads pollution, global warming, deforestation, forest fires… the list goes on.
This is exactly why there is a dire need for everyone to begin with small steps to conserve Mother Nature before it’s too late.
Want to contribute to helping your planet? Here are some simple things you can start doing today to save the world from destruction!
#1. Go paperless
Did you know that more than 15 billion trees are cut down every year? At the rate we’re going, the National Geographic predicts that the world’s rainforests could be completely gone in less than 100 years — a dreadful thought given that we need trees for oxygen and clean air.
While we may not be able to stop people from clearing trees for agriculture and housing, we can remove the need to cut trees for paper.
So how can you start? For starters, stop buying paper products and go digital instead! This means opting for digital books and apps over physical ones. Always be conscious of what you print and instead of buying wrapping paper for gifts, try the Japanese furoshiki method of using fabric to wrap your presents. It’s not just environmentally-friendlier but it looks prettier too!
#2. Practise the 3Rs
You’ve probably heard of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) in nearly every environmental campaign. Yet, how many people actually practise it?
Practising the 3Rs requires some mindfulness. Before you bin anything, pause for a second and think of how you can:
- Reduce: Buy items with less packaging and don’t buy excess food that will expire quickly.
- Reuse: Reuse household items such as an old toothbrush to scrub the corners of your sink or use those Starbucks plastic or paper cups as pencil holders.
- Recycle: Before you throw away your trash, take a second to see if your garbage is made of plastic, paper, glass or aluminium. If so, consider recycling them at your nearest recycling point. Some places such as the IPC recycling centre might even offer some cash in return too!
#3. Walk more or carpool
Yes, it can be tempting to go for a drive just for fun, especially if you’ve just gotten your driver’s licence. But you’re actually increasing your petrol consumption, which ultimately pollutes the environment more.
Try walking instead of driving to destinations that are less than 1km from home or college campus, whether it’s the nearby 7-Eleven or mamak. Not only will you save money on fuel and help save the environment, but you’ll also get to exercise those muscles and refresh your mind!
Additionally, if you’re going to school or college, you could also find out if anyone in your neighbourhood is heading to the same area and arrange to carpool.
#4. Start your week with Meatless Mondays
Did you know that livestock production is responsible for approximately 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which can overheat our planet? The production of livestock also requires more land space and water compared to fruits and vegetables.
So how can you reduce your environmental footprint without sacrificing your love for meat?
Start by switching to a meatless diet just once a week. This way, you can still help to manage climate change without fully giving up meat. Not only will this be better for the environment, but it will also improve your health as a less meat-heavy diet can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
#5. Be mindful of your water usage
We’re all guilty of taking long showers and letting the water run as we daydream about our lives, especially after a long day of classes. Although it feels nice to have the warm water hit your skin, this can be wasteful.
This is because clean water is limited and takes a lot of energy to produce. So the less clean water that’s used or wasted, the better it is for everyone!
Save water by taking shorter showers and switching off the tap when you’re not using the water (e.g. when you’re scrubbing dishes, brushing your teeth, massaging shampoo into your hair). You can also run full loads of laundry on your washing machine instead of several small loads.
#6. Do your shopping in bulk and bring your own bag
Cereal? Rice? Shampoo? Detergent? These are examples of household items you can purchase in large quantities. Buying in bulk can help to reduce packaging wastage and you won’t have to make too many trips to the grocer, which will also save you petrol.
Don’t forget to bring your recycling bags along when you go shopping too! Stash them in your handbag or in your car boot, so you won’t have to worry about forgetting to bring them the next time you go grocery shopping.
#7. Pay your bills online
It’s the 21st century! Unless you have no WiFi connection, it’s high time that you start checking and paying your bills online.
With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can easily settle any kind of payment — mobile, broadband, electricity, water and even your PTPTN bills, via the internet.
Not only is paying bills online more convenient but you’ll also be reducing your carbon footprint as you won’t have to drive your car everywhere to pay your bills. On top of that, paying your bills online will allow you to save digital receipts instead of wasting paper by holding onto paper receipts that will eventually be thrown away.
#8. Visit a virtual education fair!
Yes, you heard right. Instead of attending an education fair physically where you’ll have to drive (which increases petrol consumption) and receive bundles of flyers (paper waste!), why not avoid the many problems you’ll face at a conventional fair and simply visit a virtual one?
Back for a second time, the EduAdvisor Virtual Education Fair offers a convenient alternative to traditional fairs — no parking issues, unwanted flyers and using up lots of petrol to travel far distances.
Not only that, you’ll also be able to get all the information about various courses and universities from the comfort of your home. All you need to do is register now for free and have your smartphone or laptop with you this 2 – 6 December!
Are you inspired to reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to saving the Earth? It may seem like menial steps to you, but a little bit goes a long way. Imagine if everyone began practising these environment-saving habits — we’ll be able to save the world in no time!