Ten Tips for Green Living

Green living is an attempt to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption, water usage etc. Greene living aims to meet present ecological, societal, and economical needs without compromising these factors for coming generations. Reduction in the size of ecological or carbon footprint is the natural outcome of sustainable living. Water pollution, soil contamination, air pollution, waste disposal, resource conservation, wildlife protection are the major environment challenges facing the mankind.

When it comes to sustainability, every individual has a role to play. Any individual can adopt a green lifestyle. Here are few green living tips that may help in creating a healthy environment for you and your family, as well as for the Earth.

  1. Follow the hierarchy of 3Rs – Reduce consumption, Reuse what you buy and Recycle the rest
  2. Practice upcycling – Convert waste materials into new materials or products of higher quality or value than the original, e.g. transforming a plastic bag into a bin liner or a plastic bottle into a seed propagator.
  3. Compost organics – Making compost for your garden is an easy way to add nutrients to your soil while also reducing your household waste.  
  4. Reuse water – Water is an invaluable but finite resource. Use sink water to flush toilets, use greywater for irrigating garden and harvest rainwater.
  5. Conserve energy – Energy is the driving force of development. Conserve it by turning-off computers at night, making a switch from incandescent to CFLs or LEDs and avoid putting appliances on standby.
  6. Rethink bottled water – Plastic water bottles take thousands of years to decompose. Buy a reusable container and fill it with purified water.
  7. Recycle old cellphones –Tens of millions of cellphones are retired each year introducing toxic substances into the environment if they go into landfills. There are plenty of reputable programs where you can recycle your phone, many which benefit noble causes.
  8. Recycle aluminium and glass – Twenty recycled aluminium cans can be made with the energy it takes to manufacture one brand new one. Likewise, every ton of glass recycled saves the equivalent of nine gallons of fuel oil needed to make glass from virgin materials.
  9. Avoid plastic bags – Around 1 trillion such bags are consumed worldwide every year which cause big interference in natural ecosystems. Some of the alternatives are cloth-based bags, such as jute and cotton, which are biodegradable as well as reusable.
  10. Plant an idea – Sustainable living is not an improbable task. Simple things, like planting a tree, can make a meaningful difference.

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About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com
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2 Responses to Ten Tips for Green Living

  1. Peter Jones says:

    Everybody should have these points tattooed to always remember.

    Using waste water for flushing is maybe the one with the biggest leverage in daily life. However, i’m struggling with implementing it. Are there any ideas out there for a practical way to get rain and sink water to the bathroom? (I mean not carrying buckets back and forth and also not having some shaky hose construction through my corridor).

    I would welcome suggestions

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