20 WAYS TO A GREENER LIFE
Little things you can do around your home.
Our world is fast-paced and technologically-advanced; yet now more than ever, while we stand on the cusp of the future, it’s important we take a step back and look at the importance of living green. It’s more than just planting trees and pledging to use less water. It’s building a lifestyle sustainable for you, and for the earth upon which we live and thrive. Both at home and outdoors, here are some simple ways to live greener!
1 PLAN BEFORE SHOPPING
All too often, we end up buying groceries we don’t need and neglecting those we already have. Plan your menu before heading out, and you’ll spare yourself the sight of sad, wilting vegetables in your refrigerator drawer.
2 KEEP TRACK OF YOUR GROCERIES
Make a list of everything you have in supply and stick it onto the outside of your refrigerator. That way, you’ll know what you already have, and what to finish before going out shopping again.
From leftover bits of vegetable ends to fruit peels – things that can be composted or recycled should be put away in a covered bin. Use to fertilise your garden to complete the circle!
Rethink chucking out your kitchen scraps! This can range anywhere between the odds and ends of leftover vegetables, chicken carcasses, and the very last drops of wine in the bottle on your countertop – store them in the freezer and use for mixed stir-fries, stock, and stews! You’d be surprised how well they can come together in a dish. Pick trash bags that are compostable, and learn the difference between the terms ‘recyclable’, ‘biodegradable’, and ‘compostable’. In a nutshell, items that degrade are those that break down and de decompose in the environment, while compostable items break d down to become nutrient-rich soil.
6 LIGHTS OUT
Stick with natural light in the bedroom during the day. Turn off all your lights at night, or choose dimmer lights with lower energy requirements if you need a night light. This will not only save energy; it’ll also give you sleep of a much better quality.
7 TECH-FREE TIME
Turn the bedroom into a tech-free zone and leave the laptops, tablets, and phones outside. This way, no worldly noise will get in the way of your night’s rest.
8 SET A TIMER
Charging your devices? Gauge roughly how long it takes for a full charge and set a timer to cut off the electricy when that time is up. This way, you’ll preserve your battery life in the long run by not overcharging it, while also eating up less electricity.
9 LOWER YOUR WASH TIMES
Unless you’re constantly eating in bed and getting your sheets messy, chances are you won’t need to wash them overly hard. Set the machine to a shorter cycle to reflect this. Your sheets will also last longer with less abrasion and agitation.
10 SAVE ON THE DRYER
It’s always sunny in Malaysia, so let that heat do its job and save on the electricity required to run the dryer. Hang up your sheets and laundry, and revel in the sunwashed scent of them afterwards. If you absolutely must run the dryer, consider running it for a shorter amount of time and letting the sun finish off the rest.
11 A GLASS A DAY
Instead of leaving the water running while you brush your teeth, fill a glass with water. Use that to brush and rinse your teeth. With practice, you’ll get it just right.
12 WATER-SAVING FIXTURES
It may cost a little bit more to begin with, but water-saving fixtures are really a godsend in the long run. Invest now and you’ll rest easy in the knowledge that you’ll be saving both money and Mother Earth.
13 FLUSH APPROPRIATELY
Many WCs today come with full or halfflush options. Choose the right flush for the right order of business conducted to save precious water.
14 UP CYCLE
Instead of throwing out that old scarf you no longer wear, why not turn it into something new? Cut out the fabric for a patchwork quilt, or turn it into a runner for your coffee table.
Keep separate bins for your trash: regular waste, recyclables, and compostables. Make it a habit to sort as you go, so you can bring out the recyclables as and when the bin is full. To save on space, use transparent stacking plastic boxes and keep them under the sink!
16 GO DIGITAL
Some So art is better done on paper, to be sure, but consider going digital anyway! This not only helps to polish your drawing skills; it also means you can erase and redo whenever necessary. The same applies to writing and reading. Digital books lack the feel of real-life books, but you can reserve those for your favourites and read everything else on the tablet.
17 BUY VINTAGE
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. If you’re looking for a fresh wardrobe or to update your home, why not try sifting through second-hand marketplaces first? Not only will you pay much less for an outfit or a new piece of furniture, you’ll also be re reusing precious resources instead of sim simply buying new.
18 PAPER, NOT PLASTIC
Whenever possible, opt for paper bags as opposed to plastic. In fact, opt for no bag at all by making it a habit to pack shopping bags everywhere you go!
19 CARPOOL WHERE POSSIBLE
While ride-sharing apps like Grab have grown into titans of their own, you too can do your part at home. Instead of driving two or three separate cars, why not carpool with other members of your family, or even with your neighbours? If you live near parents with kids who go to the same school, start a school carpool group!
20 BRING YOUR OWN CONTAINERS
Whether you’re out buying takeaway food for dinner or coffee at the cafe, bring your own containers. Not only will you be saving the earth, some shops also give discounts for those who bring their own bags and tupperwares!