LIVING

6 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Ecological Footprint

1. Eat natural
Ever hear the saying ‘You are what you eat?‘. Eating fresh, seasonal, real and organic foods is like consuming premium fuel for your body. Not only does it taste better, it can also improve your body’s immunity leading to a longer, healthier life. Choosing organic produce supports organic agriculture and responsible land use. Buying local supports the community, and reduces overall emission footprint of excess packaging, processing and transportation. Going fresh also translates to using less preservatives, benefiting digestion and living. For example, the next time you buy longans, look out for Thai organic longans instead. They are sweeter, crunchier, juicer and more translucent in form. A big difference and I can vouch for it!

2. Leave the car behind

If you can walk it, ride it or catch the public transport, do so. It will reduce (or eliminate) carbon dioxide emission, and contribute to the slowing down of global warming. In recent years, radical weather and climate change patterns have led to headlines that shaped history. These catastrophic events include Asian Tsunami (2004), Hurricane Katrina (2005), Ocean’s Dead Zones Spreading Wider (2008), Real Inflation on Global Food Supply (2009), World Debt Crisis (2010), Haiti Earthquake (2010) and Japan Earthquake, Tsunami & Nuclear Crisis (2011). The next time you head down to the neighborhood grocery store to pick up dinner, leave your car behind and opt for a relaxing stroll instead. Good for your heart. Good for your environment.

3. Make good use of the blue bins

Remember this: Nothing is ever really ‘thrown away’. It all has to go somewhere. While it may be out of sight and physically out of your home, you have not actually gotten rid of it. Instead of making it your problem, you have essentially made it the environment’s problem. Which ultimately comes back to negatively affect you in the long run. The big blue bins are a global iconic symbol of recycling. They are there for a specific reason. To recycle. Recycling helps to reduce the amount of waste sitting on massive landfills. A place where even bio-degradable have trouble breaking down due to the lack of oxygen and sunlight. Recycling also helps to save energy use to turn virgin materials into new products. The next time you locate the nearest blue bin in your area, mentally picture the exhaustive landfills, and you will find making use of the blue bins is a lot easier than you expected.

4. Support Fair Trade
Fair Trade is an organized social movement that helps producers in developing countries to make better trading conditions and promote sustainability. It refers to the way products are grown, manufactured and sold. The movement focuses primarily on exports from under-developed, and developing countries to developed countries. Some fair trade practices include:

  • setting a minimum market price for commodities so that farmers (and producers) are paid their fair value to sustain their livelihood and avoid industry undercutting;
  • having a system of pre-payment from buyers to farmers (and producers) for their products;
  • recognizing, promoting and protecting the cultural and traditional skills of small producers reflected in their products;
  • ensuring that people (children, men and women) are not forced into abusive labor practices.

If the above are not good enough reasons to support fair trade products, I have only one word for you to consider: Karma.

5. Plug To Charge. Otherwise, Unplug
Did you know that even when you are not charging your mobile phone, your charger is using electricity? This creates more, and unnecessary, energy consumption, which adds stress to our environment. Not to mention, your electricty bill too. Lithium-based batteries, such as those used in Apple iPhones, do not need to be fully charged. High voltage stresses the battery performance which hinders battery life. According to some literature, charging your cellphone between 70% to 100% optimizes the battery’s lifespan. Moreover, lithium batteries cannot absorb overcharge, so why do it? More importantly, why waste hard-earned money?

6. Stop Free Flowing Water
Clean water is Earth’s most precious resource. Yet, water is not a renewable source. In fact, it is by far the most misused, mis-allocated, abused and misunderstood resource. Increasing effects of climate change and rapid population growth, makes accessibility to clean quality drinking water an ever increasing problem. We can do our part by cultivating good water habits. One way is: Remember to turn off running water when you do not need contact with it. For most instances such as brushing teeth, gargling mouth, shampooing hair and lathering bodywash, you do not need to have a gushing flow of water to accompany these activities. While it might be only for a few seconds, every drop of water counts. Turn the tap back on only when you need its contact. Develop this habit, and watch how fast your water bill drops.

These are some fast and easy ways to reduce your everyday carbon footprint on our precious planet ♥

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