Written by Irene Gonzales, Hands-On Resilience 2022 – Edited by Bianca Rêgo, ESC Wake-Up 2022-23
In the last few decades, we are witnessing the impact that our habits have on the ecosystem. However, going eco-friendly is still considered an extreme choice made by farmers and environmentalists who reject city pollution, rules and constraints. Nothing could be more different from the truth!
Unlike what many people may think, big city life and environmental awareness can go together, given that you make simple and low-price changes regarding food, transportation, shopping and energy use choices.
To begin in this route, you can follow these 10 tips:
- Leave your car at home
Driving less is a way for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Besides, it saves you from getting stuck in traffic jams. Many cities are improving their infrastructures to encourage people to get a public transport card, share a ride or hitchhike. Alternatively, if the distance between your home and your destination is not that great, you can reach it by walking or cycling.
- Recycle responsibly
Most of the time we get rid of our wastes ignoring recycling symbols and their meanings. As a result, they often end up in the wrong bin, impeding the other materials to be processed. Anyway, reading labels it’s not the only thing you can do to recycle properly. Following the recycling rules in your local area and cleaning materials before throwing them are also important habits, given that the main goal is to try to reuse items as many times as you can!
- Opt for DYM products
Why are you still spending money on bath and cleaning products when you can make them on your own? From detergents to W.C. bombs, deodorant and toothpaste, you will need just a few of natural and versatile ingredients which respect your body and the planet too.
On tinyurl.com/diy-toothpaste-deodorant you can find our homemade toothpaste and deodorant recipes.
- Go paperless
In the digital era, printing out a document it’s pretty useless. Thanks to our devices, we can store our datas in files on our computers and share them by sending an email or using cloud systems. Equally, you can avoid printing contracts and just start signing them digitally. This way, you’ll contribute to save many trees to be cut down, reduce the amount of disposal paper in the environment and the energy used to produce it!
- Unplug devices when not in use
Phone charger, TV, microwave and digital clocks are some examples of electronics that even when not turned on, steal power and raise electric bills, just by being plugged in. Therefore, unplugging appliances each time you don’t need it, it’s a very easy and quick habit to save energy and money. And, it reduces the risk of electrical fires.
- Switch to a low-carbon diet
As we know, meat and dairy global companies have a huge impact on water wasting and generation of greenhouse gas emissions. For this reason, eating seasonal, zero-km and plant-based food is an effective way to combat climate change and support local farmers at the same time. This way, you’ll also show global food players that you are demanding high-quality and respectful production both towards the planet and human beings .
- Shop second hand
It’s an well-known fact how fast fashion is harmful to the environment, textile workers and consumers. On the other side, buying from ethical clothing brands could be expensive and difficult because of green washing advertisement, which more and more companies invest in to sound more eco-friendly and mislead consumers.
Anyway, buying and selling second-hand is the right solution for dismantling fashion overproduction, saving or gaining money and giving a second chance to old clothes forgotten in your wardrobe!
- Start a home garden
If you live in a city, you’ll probably stay in a condominium or apartment. So you might think you don’t have space for gardening. However, many plants that you think it only grows in a backyard garden can thrive in your balcony as well. For example, edible herbs seeds can be planted in pots, whereas garden containers are suitable to grow many types of fruits and vegetables.
- Take political actions
Changing your personal habits can make the difference. However, to live in greener cities, you get to sensitize public opinion and institutions by joining actions like climate marches, advocating for local or national policies and supporting environmental campaigns as you can.
- Set little goals and be constant
When you learn more about how your choices affects the environment, you might have a strong desire to overhaul your entire routine suddenly. Yet, trying to change many rooted habits quickly to be more sustainable is not long lasting.
Rather, you should start from little and achievable goals, pursuing them in the long term. By taking one small step at a time, you will undertake a greener sustainable path with little effort and big satisfactions!
Did you liked our tips? Tell us on the comments bellow which sustainable habits you are already doing and which are you going to start from now 🙂