Green Your House
You've been meaning to do it - start a compost pile, buy recycled paper, start a car-pool club to go to the office, but you've never quite done it. Well, there's no better time than the present to begin turning your environmental ideals into environmental action.
Here are some ideas to help get you started. Even small changes will help the battle to preserve our planet!
|Carbon Footprint: How Big is Yours?
Carbon Footprint is a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide.
A few quick ways to reduce your personal carbon foorprint: employ eco-friendly methods of travel, eat environmentally friendly diets (vegetables and fruit are better than meat), minimize use of plastic products and save electricity and water as much as you can
More eco-friendly ideas:
Go for rainwater harvesting: This simple measure will not only save on your water bills, but will help the eco-system by recharging ground water and preventing soil erosion.
Green kitchen: Use organic and locally produced foods. They don't use harmful fertilisers and burn less fuel to reach you.
|Be thrifty with paper: Don't print out each memo or email you receive. Read and delete the ones you don't need to save and electronically file others you might refer to later. And don't forget to shut down the computer when you're not using it.
Drip Irrigation: Great systems are available in the market which water plants according to their particular need. Needless to say, they save water and the eco system, too.
Use ecopaints: They should not contain any solvents or chemicals. Though a bit costly, they are good for the earth - and your health.
|Guess How Long
Products Take to Biodegrade?
Banana Peel - 3-4 weeks
Paper Bag - 1 month
Cotton Bag - 5 months
Woolen Socks - 1 years
Leather Sgoes 40-50 years
Tin Can - 100 years
Plastic Bag - 1 million years
Styrofoam Cup - Eternity
Use certified wood for woodwork: You can buy green wood. What's that? It's a system where a tree is planted for every tree which has been felled for furniture. At least you'll compensate in the long run.
Save water on laundry: Front-loading washing machines use as much as 40% less water than top-loading ones.
Switch to CFL bulbs: Change the bulbs in your house to compact fluorescents. Each compact fluorescent bulb will keep half a ton of carbon dioxide out the air over its lifetime. More about CFL Bulbs.
More than just saving bottles, cans and newspapers. Most of the materials that go into making what we use - from petrol to paperbacks - are made of non-renewable resources that are being rapidly depleted. At today's rates of consumption, world copper reserves will be depleted in less than 100 years. The world's forests are falling quickly under loggers' saws.
Recycling saves resources, decreases use of toxic chemicals, cuts energy use and helps curb global warming. Make an effort to do it.
The Best thing that we can do for the planet is to use less of it. At the heart of the environmental crisis is our consumer society. Here are a few questions you can ask before you buy: Do I, or the person I am buying this for, really need this? Is there another product that would do the same thing but more sustainably? Will it last a long time?
Regrettably, because we live in a 'disposable society', we buy a new 'improved' item even if the one we have can be repaired. When we buy, we should buy items that re durable, and we should maintain them and have them repaired when necessary. If we do this, many things can not only last a lifetime, but can be passes on from generation to generation.
Rather than throwing an item out when neither you nor anyone else can make use of it, have it recycled. And while recycling is not perfect - it requires energy and the process of changing something into something else often produces by-products - it is better than throwing them in the garbage or having them incinerated.
Thanks to Times of India...