For a long time now, we have been taking planet Earth and all that it contains for granted. However, events like climate change, depletion of the ozone layer, etc., have sufficed to give us a severe jolt that we cannot afford to ignore. If we wish to prevent plant and animal species from becoming extinct, save our natural resources, and retain the current lifestyles we are accustomed to, we have to find ways to contribute towards sustainable development.
1. Allot space for Growing Things
It is delightful to ‘grow’ your vegetables, fruits, and herbs! Therefore, if you have a backyard, do use it fruitfully. If you live in an apartment/flat, you could have a terrace/container garden. Another alternative is for community members to get together and create a community garden for the benefit of all.
2. Avoid fertilizers/herbicides/pesticides
You are well aware that going ‘organic’ is the best way to maintain the health of your family. Therefore, it would be good to use homemade compost instead of chemical fertilizers on your plants or lawn. If you do not know how to prepare compost, you can take help from an experienced gardener. The same applies to farms and landscapes too.
3. Favor the Concept of Permaculture
It refers to the initiation of human systems, wherein it becomes possible to take care of all human needs by using everything ‘natural.’ This way, the quality of life remains high, yet without causing any lasting harm to the environment and natural ecosystems. Urban dwellings, estates, industries, conservation areas, agricultural lands, etc., can all follow the Go Green concept.
4. Conserve Water
Plants ensure that there is adequate rainfall. Therefore, you could grow a rain garden, wherein water-holding plants take precedence. This way, the soil retains moisture always. Similarly, you can adopt the practice of rainwater harvesting, such that your water supply remains intact throughout the year.
5. Reduce Wastage, Reuse Items and Recycle
Reducing wastage should become a duty, not a choice. Filtered drinking water should be preferred over bottled water. Find ways to minimize wastage within the household. Then again, many items can come into use back, albeit in different ways. For instance, an old tire can take up the role of a planter in a raised garden. Plastic, newspapers, etc., should all go for recycling.
6. Purchase Wisely
Always buy eco-friendly products for cleaning your home, washing clothes, cleaning the dishes, etc. If you favor chemical-laden stuff, you ensure that harm to the environment.
7. Go for Renewable Sources of Energy
The rooftop or backyard is an excellent place for the installation of solar panels. They help in capturing the sun’s energy, free of charge, and storing it. You gain free power for your house and save on electric bills. Solar energy is renewable and does not emit harmful gases into the atmosphere.
At the Workplace
8. Reduce Wastage of Paper
Workplaces tend to go in for large printing of e-mails and all manner of paperwork. Instead, it would be worthwhile for your business to arrange for forwarding documents across electronic devices. This should help in rapid reviewing too. Similarly, a fax-to-email machine could take the place of the ordinary fax machine.
9. Launch a Recycling Program
Help your employees become conscious of the importance of recycling. You may tie-up with a waste management company or vendor to take charge of paper products, electronic goods, office supplies, fluorescent light bulbs, etc.
10. Save on Power
Using renewable sources of energy should go a long way in bringing down ‘power’ bills. At the same time, you may have an LED lighting system in place for further savings on energy. Instruct your employees to switch off copiers, computers, printers, lights, and fans, etc., whenever not in use.
11. Encourage Remote Working
Whenever possible, you might encourage your employees to work from home. It reduces time wasted on traveling, saves on office space, and lessens overhead expenses. Webinars and video conferences permit face-to-face interactions.
In the Community
12. Vote for ‘Local’
The local economy would love some encouragement! Therefore, encourage community members to purchase locally grown foods. Local farmers will benefit. Additionally, when vendors do not have to travel to your community with produce, there is a reduction in air pollution. Similarly, lend support to local businesses. Create local business directories for the community. This kind of support keeps old and new jobs confined to the community, thereby improving the local economy.
13. Educating the Community
You must spread awareness in the community. For instance, the usage of renewable sources of energy, such as geothermal heating and cooling systems, solar energy, or wind power, ensures that the community relies lesser and lesser on fossil fuels. Similarly, everyone can get together to come out with pollution-control strategies, the building of public spaces (parks and gardens), and the construction of green/energy-efficient buildings.