I have listed on this blog some green ideas and initiatives I find interesting and can be done at individual level instead of only expecting the government and corporations to take all the initiatives. If there is demand, the organic goods industry will grow. If there is lack of demand, the plastics and petrochemical industry will die. Overall result will be better environment and less illness. Try also to put these thoughts into practice that will enrich the Organics Industry and kill the Synthetics Industry. You may feel that some of the suggestions are not practical but at least try to follow those which are doable.
24) One of the easiest ideas is to wear clothes which require less maintenance, like you can avoid clothes which need to be starched or have to go for dry cleaning and release high amount of pollutants in the process.
23) Wear clothes made of natural material like cotton. Better still you can also choose clothes which do not require ironing (e.g Jeans, T shirts ) hence you reduce your pollution through electricity consumption along with not having to worry about keeping your clothes ironed before getting ready for an occasion.
22) Eat more vegetarian food as the amount of meat/food generated by feeding grains to animals is not sufficient to feed the same number of people that the grains could have fed if they were given directly to humans instead of animals. Which is ultimately not favouring environment? Some people argue that feeding on animal keeps their population in check? I would remind them that the animals they eat are bread for consumption and reared on farms which were made by destroying forest land. If they stop consuming the animals maybe the farms will be abandoned or more forest will not be destroyed to create farms.
21) Avoid “use and throw” or “single use” items, instead use things they can be used multiple times. Example can be as small as using fountain pen instead of ball pens or single use pen.
20) If you like potted plants then plant them in pots made of natural or recyclable non plastic material like clay, earth, jute, steel aluminum etc. Instead of plastic pots
19) Plant trees in the locality you live and also see to it that it survives. As planting a sapling is the easiest part, the tough part is that you ensure it survives to become a tree. It’s also advisable to plant different varieties of fruit bearing trees so the fruits may feed some and attract birds too even if you don’t go to collect the fruits for your consumption.
18) Also in case of potted plants do not buy manure from market but make own manure, There are many methods of making manure. The method I follow is I keep extra pots for manure making in my balcony. I place some dry soil at the bottom and over it place a layer of degradable waste like vegetable discards, fruit peel, and pulp left after juice extraction etc, then cover it with a dry layer of soil on it but do not water it. These makes the waste loose water slowly and decay without creating bad odor or attracting insects, flies etc. I keep adding layers daily or when there is enough waste to form a layer till the pot is full and then cover the top with dry layer of soil and leave it for some weeks, after this the pot is ready with nutrient rich soil to receive a sapling. I plant small plants like chili, curry plant, gram, tomato, carrot, cucumber etc in these pots so it helps me in getting supplies for my kitchen. Once the plant life is over the same pot can again be emptied and used for making manure and then planting. So the cycle can continue decreasing the impact on environment. You can also have keep transferring the manure created in your pot to replace the top soil in already potted plants. This will give them nutrients and make them grow fast and also create space fpr creating more manure. For replacing the top soil in already potted plants care should be taken to avoid damage to the main root. You can remove the soil till half depth of the pot (leaving 2 inches soil around the main root undisturbed) and replace it with manure you created from kitchen waste. The effects will be very good.
17) When buying any material see if the same thing comes in an eco friendly packaging or using less packaging material. An example for this is buying cooking or massage oil. Suppose I need to buy 5 liter oil, I can either buy a 5 liter can or 5 pouches of 1 liter, the deciding factor here would be the amount of plastic that goes in making one can of 5 liter is much more than that goes in making 5 pouched of 1 liter! So it is better to buy oil in pouches in this case same logic works even for one liter bottle of oil vs 1liter pouch.
16) Carry your own bag made of recyclable natural material when you go for shopping and do not take carry bags from store when you buy things.
15) Encourage use of Glass both in construction and household items example use furniture made of metal, wood and glass only and avoid plastic items. (My recommendation of wood in this entire post is only for the wood that is sourced from trees which are grown to be harvested and not the wood brought from forest which harms environment)
14) Use food containers, water or other storage bottles made of glass or steel free from any chemical lining. As the plastic ware are harmful for health and environment both. There are some aluminum bottles also available in market but they too have inner lining made of some chemicals. I am proud to say my household has steel utensils which are more than 4 to 5 decades old and still being used. If they would have been of plastic they would have not lasted so long. Same goes for steel bottles and I have started replacing all my plastic bottles with those of steel.
13) Buy fresh food instead of canned or plastic food. Preservatives are polluting and hazardous to health same goes for fruit juices. Those with nearby access to wet markets or outlets with fresh food should shop from there. Use smaller refrigerators to save electricity.
12) Build low density/low rise cities of recyclable material like steel, wood and stone. This allows builders to avoid using polluting concrete in buildings. Use wood instead of plastic on and in cars/electronic equipment/switch/lighting/airconditioning/refrigerator coverings. Remember when Televisions used WOOD instead of polluting plastic for their covers? Stop using plastic framed umbrellas and bicycles in favour of bamboo/ Metal framed paper umbrellas. Use leather or fur and latex in place of petrochemical based pvc or poly-velvet for shoes and jackets or handbags. Please note that generally all the sports shoes are made of petrochemical material and not good for environment. Use natural pigments in place of synthetic petrochemical based paints. Buy natural fibres, instead of polyester and such. Use bicycles instead of cars or hire trishaws/quadshaws or buy trishaws/quadshaws and support a driver or two of a trishaw/quadshaw (2 cyclist version of trishaw) instead paying the polluting and abusive car industry or government road tax and the idiot executives and bureaucrats of either are paid millions. Get your local councils to ensure at least 1 Bicycle/Trishaw/Quadshaw depot and Sedan/Bicycle/Trishaw/Quadshaw dedicated route exists from your residential neighborhood to the city. Also make sure that Trishaws and Quadshaws are made of BAMBOO/Wood/metal and WAXED-PAPER/Tung-Oil-Cloth instead of Plastic and polyester. Make sure those tires are rubber-natural-fibers composites instead of those made with synthetics.
11) Do not send sewage to the ocean where sea life cannot absorb urea/nitrate/etc. BUT INSTEAD degrade sewage on land where the correct fungi and insect-life can process and return 'nightsoil' to the land so that 'topsoil' retains its richness in nutrients. Compost your food waste and use for garden manure. This of course, especially the former, will need lots of dedicated space and reasonable monitoring to ensure only properly processed 'soil' can be used.
10) Use non-polluting 'Tung Oil' Lacquerware, Stoneware or Glass ONLY, stop using polluting petrochemical based plastic. Alternatively, use 'Bamboo-ware' instead of anything else.
9) Use local manufacturers for consumer items instead of cost-ineffective/polluting shipping and freighting industries. Brand names after all are mostly made in '' countries and tagged as luxury goods. Do you really think anyone believes that an article of clothing or accessory is worth more than the sustainability of the planet?
8) Use beeswax or animal fat based lamps for lighting or even as heat source for cooking; do not use electricity which is based on coal, petrol or gas.
7) Use Organic soaps made from Common Soapwort / Neem Leaf / Clove Leaf / Betel Leaf or Vinegar (also a non-poisonous deterrent to some insects) instead of dangerous and non-biodegradable caustic detergents that are again washed into the sewage system and into the sea. All of the above mentioned natural detergents are edible and cause purging at large amounts at worst. Try an ounce of synthetic cleaner of any type and expect to wind up in hospital for days or even die from it.
6) For water, use crushed Moringa seeds (Indian, Indonesian, Latin American, and Sub-Saharan Africa drought resistant tree) in RAINWATER from non-industrialised regions to remove bacteria and solids. From just one hour (full day if you must), Moringa, a natural flocculent (substance that aggregates suspended particles) can give you a reasonably healthier and far safer alternative to piped water. Boil as usual of course. The soup of metals and floating sediments from highly fluoridated (lowers IQ) and chlorinated (poisons internal organs) water running through miles of sometimes decades old decaying piping before reaching you are a killer to drink. (*fact : boiling 'activates' fluoride particles in water and causes further ionization of neural structures, particularly the pineal gland which regulates healthful sleep patterns)
5) Use hot water on insects you want to kill. A hot water sprinkler (vacuum flask with sprinkler attachment) would be ideal for this purpose. You'd be surprised how effective this method is. Not pesticides or (arsenic) which do not achieve the same effect and are 100s of time more dangerous and non-biodegradable that will pollute the water table in time to come and gather in the immediate living environment they are used in.
4) Eat natural whole foods instead of vitamins. The highly processed nature of vitamins lacks 'life force' or 'qi' or 'prana' and are even processed from sewage or unwanted meat or food product waste via high tech methods. Would you pay for something derived from what people throw away?
Also use high quality Laptop Battery which is less polluting to environment.
Urban cities in India are facing dual problems. Firstly they face acute shortage of water during first half of year and then there is flooding of streets during rainy seasons due to improper and inadequate drainage system. Metro cities in India like New Delhi, Bangalore have incorporated rain harvesting policies and waste water treatment in their state policies. However what remains a fact is that rain water harvesting is not widely acknowledged across most other major cities.
People should use the treated waste water for flushing, gardening and HVAC etc which will not only decrease the load on water supply, and disposal system but will also replenish the soil and plants in garden.
It’s also interesting fact that even after using the waste water for gardening, flushing and HVAC we will still have treated water to spare which can be put to some other use or be allowed to be drained off without causing pollution.
1) Use what you buy till the time they last and not till a new design gets launched. As people are crazy about changing their automobile, mobile, laptops and other such items as soon as a new one gets launched. Mind you that this is only adding to the hazardous waste on this earth as they are not biodegradable. I used my previous car for more than 18 years (One of the reasons it lasted so long could be that I used it only when I had no public transport alternative.) and also my current mobile is more than 6 years old. You can also extend this thought to other things like clothes. If people ask you why you are not using the latest product? Tell them “proudly” that you care for the environment.
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