What can I as an individual do for the environment?
1. Say NO to single-use plastic and YES to eco-friendly products.
(yes this sounds like something we all know but just switching to these habits can make a huge difference)
Here are some things that you can do :) You are meeting your friends for lunch? Restaurants usually provide with plastic water bottles. Aw crap! A recent report revealed that your body absorbs chemicals added to plastics and we are already aware of the dangers of microplastics! (if you want to know more, here's the link -> click here). Considering their harmful nature, these factors can have a resultant negative effect on our bodies. Plastic debris has the potential to injure and poison wildlife with the daunting possibility of leaching harmful chemicals into groundwater when disposed of in landfills. You lead the way, choose your eco-friendly reusable bottle and don't forget to stay hydrated <3
2. Do you love cooking? learn to love leftovers too!
Let us understand how wastage of food can affect the environment, shall we? Food waste means water waste and fuel waste too! and when discarded food goes to the landfills, methane is released which is one of the significant contributors to climate change. Plan out your food and prevent throwing out. Leftovers can be consumed in many creative ways, here are the links for some fun recipes:
1. 38 recipes to clean out your fridge of leftovers
2. 65 Amazing Meals You Can Make From Leftovers Today
3. Get to know upcycling
Let us get to know why upcycling is important and how can it be implemented? According to Oxford, upcycle is reusing (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. Recycling involves breaking down the product to make a new one (usually of inferior quality) while the goal of upcycling is to refashion the old/discarded materials into a new range of diversified products. Upcycling is usually preferred as we get a creative product with higher quality. Some brands upcycle plastic into fashionable products/ clothing items too.
4. Prefer local food
Why prefer local food you ask? Well, there are some factors here: it’s eco-friendly, has a low carbon footprint, you'll get fresh food on your plates, it supports our local farmers and contributes to good health too. It also benefits the environment as local food does not go through thousands of miles of shipping, and transportation increases greenhouse gas emissions, which worsens the carbon footprint.
5. Prefer eating plant-based foods
The statistics clearly show that when compared to non-vegetarian diet forms, a plant-based diet is more sustainable and has less impact on the environment. When we look at the water requirements for protein, it has been found that the water footprint per gram of protein for milk, eggs and chicken meat is about 1.5 times larger than for pulses. All other animal products have larger water footprints per gram of fat when compared to oil crops. Visit this website- Water footprint of crop and animal products: a comparison for more info. Thus, plant based foods use fewer natural resources such as water and have a lower impact on the environment.
These are some individual efforts that are eco-friendly and good for the planet.