As we bid farewell to what has been a torrid year, we enter 2021 with new ambitions and high hopes for a better, greener future, free from the natural and unnatural disasters that we remember from 2020. But hope itself is pointless without action, and the best action is to start the new year by making more eco-friendly choices. Here’s a basic guide on how to be more sustainable in 2021.
The first step to become greener in 2021 is to start being more responsible with the resources you already have. This includes electricity. Most of the world is still powered using fossil fuels, which pose a serious threat to the environment in multiple ways. Climate change, global warming, polluting of the oceans, you name it; fossil fuels are contributing heavily to the destruction of our planet.
Most of us can’t really afford to have solar panels installed (especially after what happened during the pandemic), but we can reduce the amount of electricity being used in our homes. So turn off that TV or air conditioner when you’re done with it, and put that thermostat on idle when leaving your house; a little energy saving can go a long way.
Another resource that requires immediate attention; drinkable water is becoming scarce by the day as factories continue to dump chemicals into the ocean. The drastic increase in chemicals being dumped has left only about 0.5% of the water on Earth drinkable, which continues to decrease with each passing year.
A good way to conserve water is to have your plumbing checked by a professional. This may involve one or two inspections, where the plumber would check for any leakages, broken pipes, or water blockage in the building. Upon inspection, you would be able to have these issues resolved, possibly saving you hundreds of dollars in water bills in the future, and helping conserve fresh water in the process.
Another great tip on how to be more sustainable this year is to reduce the amount of plastic you use. Although you can’t really cut out plastic from your life entirely, you can definitely try to reduce the amount of it by opting for environmentally friendly alternatives to everyday things made from plastic. There are numerous hazards of using plastic, both for the environment as well as the wildlife, and being the largest pollutant on Earth, reducing the use of plastic is critical to the healthy future of our children.
Alternatives to plastic are becoming more popular among manufacturers and producers by the day, and with mass production of items made from bioplastic and biodegradable plastic, you can find an alternative to almost every single-use plastic item in the market quite easily.
Use your microwave oven more often
Well, this seems counter-intuitive; previously I asked you to reduce the amount of electricity you consume, and now I’m asking you to use the microwave more often, what sorcery is this? Hold up, I’ll explain…
When you use a conventional oven, it normally takes several minutes to heat up, and then several minutes to cook your food (depending on what you’re cooking, of course). But do you know what powers these conventional ovens? Fossil fuel (natural gas) obviously!
The microwave oven, on the other hand, doesn’t require that extra time to heat up before you can put your food in, and with more efficient, low powered options to choose from, you’re much better off consuming a small amount of electricity than lighting up the conventional oven for several hours using natural gas.
Plant more trees
If you have a backyard, planting a few trees would really help keep the environment greener around you. Trees, as we all know, provide much-needed oxygen for the atmosphere, and contribute towards keeping the surrounding air cleaner. Trees are also a safe haven for domestic wildlife, especially birds, enhancing the beauty of your backyard and ensuring a stable ecosystem in the process. Over 15 billion trees are chopped every single year, so adding a few trees to your garden would do nothing but good to the planet.
Recycle whatever you can
If you want to start living more sustainably, then recycling your stuff is a no brainer. Research and try to recycle as much as you can. Separate your organic trash (which can be used to make your own compost, a cool eco-friendly project) from your recyclable trash and you’d be surprised by how many things you have in your home that can be recycled, such as paper, glass, and even metal. Many types of plastics are also recyclable, here is a simple guide on plastic recycling numbers to help you differentiate recyclable plastics from non-recyclable ones.
Use less paper
Paper, like plastic, is an essential that you can never get rid of, regardless of whether you are at home or at the office. However, as with plastic, you can reduce the amount of paper you use on a daily basis. Computers, smartphones, and tablets often come with numerous apps that can help you save your notes, reminders, tasks, and shopping lists in an easy, organized manner. Since most of us already have smartphones and laptops on hand, why not use them for something productive? It’s much more organized and saves thousands of trees each day.
Research more on sustainable living
If you want to know how to be more sustainable in 2021, then your journey doesn’t just stop with these 5-6 tips. There are several things you can do at home that would make you more eco-friendly without breaking the bank. Check out this list I made to help get you started with being environmentally friendly at home while keeping your wallet safe at the same time.
Living more sustainably is not just about installing solar panels or wind turbines, but is rather more relevant to what you choose in your daily life. Using environmentally friendly alternatives, consuming resources responsibly, or taking care of the environment around you; it’s all about the little things you do every day that help you be more sustainable in life.