15 Tips for An Amazing Eco-Friendly Life

We all know about the impact humans have had on the environment, whether by cutting down trees, filling our oceans with plastic or polluting our air with greenhouse gases leading to an human-made climate change. Fortunately there are somethings that we can all do right from the comfort of our homes.

  1. Food: A planet friendly diet of fruits and vegetables, especially organically farmed is sustainable and cruelty-free. Animal farming has been contributing more greenhouse gases than all our vehicles put together and has also added to severe shortage of land,  grains and water. Sourcing our food from organic farmers who do not use plastic packaging or growing your own food in your allotment or backyard, and cooking or raw-eating at home can dramatically reduce garbage created by food processing industry and supermarket shopping. fruit-932745_960_720.jpg
  2. Personal Care: Much of our garbage consists of toiletries, makeup and personal care items encased in plastic and filled with harmful chemicals as well as extracts from killed animals. You would be surprised that fruits called soapnuts or soapberries such as shikakai and reetha, tied in muslin and soaked in a cup of warm water can totally replace all of our shampoos, detergents, dish-washing or cleaning liquids. Similarly neem, licorice,  babool or meswak sticks that can be chewed and rubbed on teeth after each meal can completely replace all tooth-cleaning products to leave us with healthier and squeaky clean teeth,while reducing cold and flu at the same time by their natural medicinal juices.neemsoapnuts
  3. Cleaning Aids: Plastic brooms, brushes and scouring pads can  all add to  non-biodegradable waste. These can be easily replaced with pure cotton or coconut scrubbers, traditional plant based broomsticks (traditional besoms of the west and jhadus of India) and cloth wipes (pochas used in India) with metal buckets for cleaning floor and surfaces. Loofahs made of dried up fruit called gourd are a fantastic biodegradable replacement for kitchen sponges too. Biodegradable bin liners are already replacing plastic bin liners all over the world and we can use metal or bamboo bins for containing our waste instead of plastic. broom
  4. Menstrual Hygiene: Napkins, pads and  tampons are not only expensive and single-use, they also can add to plastic and non-recyclable waste. Menstrual cups are an inexpensive option that can last a lifetime as you simply empty, wash, fold and reinsert it and vegan cups that do not have animal testing are in vogue.mooncup2
  5. Toilet Hygiene: Wipes and rolls of paper take a toll on our environment too by using trees. Bamboo paper is being used by some manufacturers to save trees as it is more sustainable than virgin or recycled paper rolls. However the traditional Indian system of washing with water and soapy solution and wiping with a personal towel could save a lot more trees. While ‘jet-spray gun’ attachments are normally fixed in Indian toilets adjacent to the toilet bowl, they are new to western loos where bidet attachments are being introduced within the toilet seat itself.bidet
  6. Medicine: Most of our healthcare needs can be handled at home with a few kitchen herbs, clean environment, rest, yoga, meditation, energy healing and a healthy plant based diet. Simple home remedies such as cloves for pain relief, cinnamon and turmeric for antiseptic, licorice for cough, cumin, carom and fennel seeds for digestion, holy basil for fever, eucalyptus oil and mint for cold and aches can greatly reduce clinic visits and make us less dependent on synthetic, animal tested drugs and environmentally toxic pharma products. Make your own medicine by grinding a few kitchen herbs such as cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, licorice, fennel, cardamom seeds, cloves and dates to make ‘churan’ rolls for digestive health and to ward off common ailments.churan golis
  7. Accessories: Carry bags, shoes, table-mats, home-decor, laundry and waste bins, and curtains can all be easily made with jute, bamboo,hemp and other sustainable plant based fibers that are completely eco-friendly and cruelty-free while looking beautiful at the same time.bags-2379225_960_720.jpg
  8. Clothes: Synthetic clothes have filled the marketplace in the last few decades and not many people realize that they are not planet friendly or skin friendly as compared to plant based and less industry intensive options such as ‘khadi’ cotton or hand-loom and hemp fabric.material-1397958_960_720.jpg
  9. Kitchen and Tableware: In addition to eliminating single use plastic straws, disposable cutlery and bone china or ceramic that contain animal parts and hence not cruelty-free, we can also use eco-friendly storage containers, serving dishes, spice jars and bottles of water made of glass, bamboo,terracotta or earthenware.baskets-1001439_960_720
  10. Furniture: Instead of wood, plastic and synthetics that are harmful for environment or leather upholstery and feathered cushions which are animal intensive and cruelty based, we can opt for environment friendly cane and bamboo furniture with natural plant based fabric for cushions and seats.floating-flower-1782388_960_720.jpg
  11. Stationery: Environment friendly and sustainable paper such as bamboo paper and bamboo stationery that saves trees, plant based plastics for scissors, paper instead of cello-tapes, vegan glues, plant based brushes and canvas, non-toxic crayons, eco-friendly pens instead of plastic are some of the everyday items that we can be more mindful of while shopping. eco-friendly-stationery-kit-7.jpg
  12. Electronics: Instead of plastic intensive laptops, tablets and phones, some manufacturers are introducing environment friendly electronic gadgets including recyclable laptops to eliminate the sizable e-waste that is threatening our planet.paperlaptop.jpg
  13. Toys: Plastic toys have been far too prevalent in the market, but we can now choose wooden and environment friendly toys even as toy manufacturers have started to think about plant based plastics to replace conventional ones. Eco-friendly handicraft toys are beautiful and give children a chance to appreciate creative crafts too.bicycles-17511_960_720.jpg
  14. Travel: From simply walking, cycling or jogging down to work, school or shopping whenever distance permits, to using public transport instead of private cars we can drastically reduce fuel consumption and our carbon footprint. Shopping locally and using homemade products can also help us be carbon neutral by avoiding unnecessary transportation or import of goods. Electric and solar powered vehicles  including solar air-crafts have already been introduced.solar.png
  15. Housing: Sustainable and environment friendly homes include those built with recycled material, terracotta tiles and roofs, home on wheels or boats as well as quirky tree-houses incorporating rainwater harvesting, recycling water and sewage for growing trees, growing your own food, natural ventilation and solar paneling. Earthship Global for example specializes in sustainable housing.SAMSUNG

 

Nine Plant-Based Plastic Alternatives To Save Our Planet

 

Plastics have invaded our homes, our soil and even our oceans and rivers to such as extent that it looks almost apocalyptic.

Ordinary plastic, including some sugarcane plastics may be recyclable but not thoroughly biodegradable. Some countries such as India which have difficulties in recycling have attempted to ban plastics already. While eliminating plastic products is the ideal solution, we can get closer home by creating more environment friendly bio-plastics.

Here are a few alternatives:

  1. While using banana leaves for plates is an ancient tradition, in India leaf plates or ‘donas’ have been used since centuries as bio-degradable and environment friendly utensils that are very affordable.

2. Potato Starch can be used to create edible bags and cutlery.

3. Edible cutlery made of wheat, millet and rice can be either eaten or decomposed

4. Cassava or Tapioca starch can be fashioned into plastic bags too

5. Hemp Plastics can replace ordinary plastic to create a range of products

6. Corn Plastics are already being used in a range of products to replace non-biodegradable plastics

7. Sugarcane Bagasse is a waste product of sugarcane that can be fashioned into eco-friendly plastic-ware too

8. Rice plastic has also been developed

9. Peels of fruits such as oranges and bananas could also be used for manufacturing plastic

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