In a time where the internet is flooded with searches on ideas for Valentine’s Day — I thought it was worthwhile to look at some ways to love our planet also. With mother earth being the eternal giver of all things — for our living and sustenance, it is time for us to look at our daily living and consider small changes that will go a long way to sustain her health and well-being.
At home you can start by cutting your electricity usage — turning off fans and lights and of course switching to more energy efficient fixtures and appliances. If it is a small load, ditch the washing machine — the wash cycle over uses water and the dry cycle takes a lot of energy. In the office — switch to laptops instead of desktops. They use less and have better power save modes. Any junk mail or magazines in plastic covers can be unsubscribed to.
In the bathroom — turn off the tap. Fix any leaks and install aerators for all your taps. It saves a lot of water. In the kitchen, pledge to eat local vegetables and go organic — a win- win for you and the planet. Also skipping meat a few days in a week, is a healthy and sustainable habit to adopt.
When it comes to kitchen appliances always opt for the one that has the least carbon footprint. Electric kettles use less energy than stove top ones. A toaster oven uses up to half the energy of a conventional electric oven. It truly pays to pick the right appliance for the job.
Switch to a dishwashing powder that’s biodegradable and plant-based. These cleansers cut through grime, but they do it without the bleach and phosphates that threaten river and marine life and leave chemical residue on your dishes. At the garbage dump be careful with what you throw and how you dispose it. Gather your E-waste and recycle it responsibly. Recycle plastic and paper by segregating and not adding it to the general junk. Start composting at home with a Bokashi Bin — it is great way to treat your garden as well. And before you throw, think of ways to reuse it — plastic bags can hold things more than once.
On the road- carry a bottle with you, it helps curb your plastic usage. Maintain your car to get the best mileage; drive at optimal speeds, so you save on gas. While shopping always look for organic and sustainable produce and make the smart choice. Carry your own bags instead paying more for the disposable option the store offers. Packaging always add to the garbage we throw out – so keep an eye out for package free solutions when you are out in the stores! We’re always growing and evolving. We need to continue to learn more and search for more avenues to live green — all the time influencing those around us through action and not judgement.
Now that you are armed with this “starter-kit” go ahead and show the planet love, by incorporating these simple ideas into your daily lives for a more organic way of life. Your bodies will thank you. Your minds will thank you. The environment will thank you. The planet will thank you. And, the future will thank you. Happy Valentines Day — spread the love!
The writer is an architect, urban designer, dancer and chief designer at Shilpa Architects