• Melissa Kartini

20 Easy Ways to Live a Greener Life

Updated: Aug 6, 2018

In light of the ever-nearing approach of Earth Day, I thought it was well about time to draw up a list of things we could do to observe this event.

Not just for this event, however, but for the days and hopefully years to follow as well. It might be tough, but let’s do our part to save the environment. Thankfully enough, going green doesn’t have to be difficult!

Here’re 20 things you can do without fuss immediately:

  1. Swap plastic for reusable shopping bags! This one ought to be obvious, but it is unfortunately a practice that has yet to properly penetrate our society. So the next time you’re planning to go shopping, remember to bring a couple of shopping bags with you. It might not seem like a lot, but you’ll be opting out of hundreds of plastic bags by just doing this.

  2. Try to limit your washing. Not only is it a waste of energy to do multiple loads in a week, it is a waste of water, detergent and time. Limit your laundry days to just once a week, and dry your clothes out under the sun instead of tossing it in the dryer to maximise on your energy-saving potential. Your electricity bill will thank you for it!

  3. Recycle. It has been said a thousand times, and I will say it again. One of the best ways to help our environment is to recycle. If you have any books, papers, plastic bottles, aluminum cans and the like that you don’t need, recycle them.

  4. Make use of leftovers. Just because there are some leftovers from lunch doesn’t mean you have to throw them away. If there is anything that can still be saved, save it for dinner or another day. You can do something similar for fruits as well. For example, a banana that has gotten black spots can still be eaten! You can bake it into banana bread.

  5. Use biodegradable detergents and washing powders when cleaning. Replace your chemical-heavy detergents and soaps with more biodegradable alternatives. It’s a good step towards helping the environment.

  6. Reject straws! Plastic is particularly nasty for the environment, but there are those that are even worse than some. Straws are one such example. Why? It’s simply because of how quickly they end up in our landfills and oceans after just one use. Talk about a waste.

  7. Use the train. In the ideal world, we’d only use trains to travel. Alas, this isn’t possible for the majority of us just yet, especially if we don’t live in KL. But what we can do is use the train as much as possible. Honestly speaking, it’s a lot cheaper than using a car, and you don’t have to worry about traffic, tolls or parking!

  8. Turn off the electricity when not in use. Another obvious one, but sadly neglected. The next time you’re heading out of the room or have no need for something that you were using, turn off the electricity. You’ll be surprised by how much money you can save from this in just a month.

  9. Store water and use it to wash the dishes. Instead of washing the dishes under running water, you could store water in a small basin and dip the dishes in it. This will greatly reduce water wastage without much effort at all.

  10. Store rainwater and use it to wash your car. This is not something that can be done all the time, but it is worth trying out. Store rainwater in buckets so you could use it to give your automobile a much-needed wash!

  11. Get yourself a Kindle. I know, I love the feeling of a real, physical book in my hands too. But that is the price one has to pay if they’d like to go green. Plus, think about all of the space you’d have by not having a ton of books! And if owning a Kindle doesn’t tickle your fancy, there is always the library.

  12. Donate your old clothes. Is there anything in your closet that you’ve not worn in over half a year? Or God forbid, years? Then it’s about time to give them away. You’ll not only make room for new clothes, there’ll be others who’ll benefit from your old ones! Win-win.

  13. Ditch disposable nappies. It’s bad enough that disposable nappies are costly in the long run, they’re also filling up our landfills! Both of which are huge no-no’s on any environmentally-conscious mind.

  14. Take shorter showers. There’s no denying how tempting it is to take long, comfortable showers after a long day, but truth to be told, this is simply a waste of water. Cut down on your shower time, and if you find that difficult to do, use cold water to shower. You’ll find yourself out of there in no time!

  15. Bring your own bottle of water. It might seem innocent, but it really isn’t. Rather than buying bottled water, invest in a bottle of your own and bring water from home. It’s a step towards preventing hundreds and thousands of plastic bottles ending up in landfills.

  16. Start a compost pile. If there really is food waste – fruits and vegetables, specifically – that you can’t save, then it might be about time to start your own compost pile. It could be a great source of nutrients for your plants.

  17. Carpool. If you’re going out with a group of friends, carpool whenever possible. You’d be doing your wallets, gas tanks and environment a kindness.

  18. Use cold water only. Yes, most of us avoid taking cold showers if we can help it, but the amount of money and energy you’d save from this is surprising. Try to get used to showering in cold water. It’ll comfort you to know that it is also more physically beneficial for you in the long run as well.

  19. Opt for green toilet paper. Stay eco-friendly and reduce your environmental footprint with green toilet paper. These are readily available, so there’s no excuse to miss out on them.

  20. Airdry your hair instead of blow-drying it. It is not exactly ideal to walk around with wet hair, but it would be good for it to not be blow-dried after every wash. Not so fun fact: blow-dry your hair too much, and it’ll end up brittle. Save it for special occasions if you must blow-dry.

There’re loads more that can be added to this list, but for the now, these will do. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed compiling it!

Good luck on your journey towards a greener you!

Written by Crunch's Melissa Kartini

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