This year as with every other year we celebrate Earth day, all excited about using the hashtags and changing our social media profile pictures for a day. Are we losing the true meaning of Earth day to the hype? Do we all know what Earth day is really about?
It is scary to look at social media on Earth day and then check it the day after. It is awash with all sorts of solutions, hashtags, good words, but not enough in deed.
We can all do a little something every day and that will begin to create the change. There are so many ideas that exist and so many small things we can each do to change ourselves and reduce how we negatively impact Mother Earth.
My personal favorites as so simple that now it seems almost second nature to me:
1: Use both sides of the paper.
If you are like me and have to do some printing once in awhile you can print on both sides. This reduces the amount of paper you use overall. Also later on when you are clearing papers from previous years and you do not need them any more you can use the backside that does not have any writing/image for grocery lists/to-do lists/labels for donation boxes.
Alternatively if you can find non bleached paper that’s even better: though I have not found a supply of non bleached paper.
- Use a box.
I personally go down to my local supermarket and get an empty carton box. Some local supermarkets are really silly and actually charge for these boxes that they get from their suppliers as packaging for bulk orders. I prefer the supermarket that does not bill me for the carton as I also the carton for my shopping when I do go to the supermarket as I reduce on plastic bags as none of my local supermarkets have non-plastic bags. I can then use these boxes for groceries, making a donation.
- Use a basket.
Kenya has some extremely creative people who make gorgeous hand woven bags from wool, sisal and almost anything they can get a hold of. Here they are called kikapus and kiondos
they are locally sourced in most informal markets around the country. Also a reusable bag that fits into your handbag can be another option.
- Buy local seasonal fruits and vegetables
Repacked frozen fruits particularly berries have probably traveled over many miles just to get to you. Locally grown, preferably organic produce not only tastes better but it comes from a much closer source. Many farmers are more than happy to let you visit their farm and learn. Starting your own kitchen garden is another great idea. I tried a kitchen garden but I’ll have to keep a closer eye it.
- Teach your children the value of greenery, plants and herbs
Some people do not seem to have any concept of this and they teach their children the same. So many children I have come across lately have no respect for Mother Nature, no concept of right or wrong and can be found haplessly ignorant of even the most basic concept of Mother Nature provides food and we have to take care of her. Plant a seedling with them, teach them to nurture it, teach them patience.
- Do not buy “throwaway fashion” or seasonal fashion
I have come across various grades of apparel, some higher priced than others. When I enquired why the big price disparity I was told there are different grades of material particularly cotton. There is the “lower grade” cotton tops that apparently break apart after a maximum one year of continuous use. This promotes more spending. Seasonal fashion also can be tricky, once the trend is over many unfortunately just throw away the clothes.
I would advocate that the “lower grade” cotton clothes be turned into rags to clean around the house and that seasonal clothes be donated. It is better to simply avoid such purchases in the first place.
- Carry your own water bottle
If we are supposed to drink a recommended amount of 8 glasses a day and we spend a generous amount of our day running around, how many bottles of water would we need to buy?
If you live in a country where the water supply can be a bit erratic, than carrying your own water bottle becomes a necessity.
- Create a compost bin
Vegetable peels, tea leaves and some fruit peels are biodegradable and when allowed to can make great compost. It takes some time, and you can add worms to the bin. It is extremely important to have a lid on the compost as the smells can also attract certain insects whose company most of us would rather not keep. They love eating through peels and organic matter and excreting what we consider compost. And then the compost can be used for the kitchen herb/vegetables garden.