Greta Thunberg. Does the name ring a bell? Most of us active social media users have seen her name pop up on our screens in the past couple of months.
This sixteen-year-old Swede has been making whirlwinds across the world for her climate activism and holding global leaders accountable for their inaction towards temperature increase on Earth.
Many of us agree with her stance. Climate change is very real. If we don't act upon it soon, there will be irreversible damage, and we'll be heading straight to doomsday with no one but ourselves to blame. Yet, most of us leave world leaders and young activists like Thunberg to worry about solutions.
What we fail to understand is that we, as individuals, could help initiate this change at the grassroots. Little lifestyle changes in urban communities can go a long way in impacting the environment around us.
Like Jean-Paul Sartre, the famous existential philosopher said - 'In fashioning myself, I fashion man.'
Here are some quick trade-ins you can make to do your bit towards the planet;
For every ten bottles of drinking water you purchase, nine end up in landfills. A National Geographic report specifies that a whopping 91% of plastic is not recycled.
What you could do instead is carry around a refillable steel bottle with you wherever you go. Ask the restaurant or the friend you're visiting or the hostel you're staying at on your travel to fill it up every time you run out. There's a bunch of cute, serviceable bottles you can find online.
Also, consider carrying a mug with you wherever you go so you can ditch those single-use coffee/ tea cups that will most likely end up in the trash!
Much of the food you purchase in big grocery stores are often packaged in plastic. Most often, you end up paying a higher price to compensate the industrials for what they splurged on the packing.
If you shop at the local kirana store or vegetable vendor, not only can you take them back in your own eco-friendly bags (think cloth, jute or strong paper ones), you will also end up saving money! And help small businesses in the bargain too! Imagine all the good karma you're accumulating!
Watch What You Eat
Like most mammals, adult humans were supposed to be lactose intolerant. Thousands of years ago, a mutant gene enabled us homo sapiens to digest milk products after we began to domesticate animals.
Even today, about 65% of the population has some adverse reaction to lactose. Incidentally, dairy farming is also one of the largest contributors to greenhouse emissions. Cutting dairy consumption as well as meat from your diet can help reduce demand for these.
Change How You Bathe
The bathroom is where you can make a whole lot of easy changes.
Toiletries can be one of the largest contributors to house trash. The bodywash fad means you throw out a plastic container almost every other month once you run out of liquid wash. Thousands of razors end up in landfills.
An easy way to reduce your carbon footprint is to evaluate your bathroom trash and make easy switches that can last. Use a soap bar that comes in cardboard packaging and store it in a steel or ceramic dish.
Get yourself reusable razors or safety steel razors whose used blades can be sent out for recycling. Buy bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones.
For women, move to eco-friendly menstrual products like a cloth pad or moon-cups instead of disposable pads and tampons. Also, start using a bucket and a mug to bathe instead of the shower. It saves more water!
Honestly, most of these are super simple changes to make that you will barely notice. Yet, it can have a monumental impact on the planet.
Going zero-waste can be hard, but being more aware of what you dispose of can help immensely. We don't need a few people doing waste management perfectly, we need everyone we know doing it imperfectly. That's the only way to save the planet!
Aashika is a trained financial journalist, currently a freelance writer, part-time poet, and a full-time dreamer. Her interests vary from artificial intelligence to minimalism and sustainability; she enjoys exploring new areas to speak and write about.
Follow her on: