5 Living elements to start your climate change fight at home

June 03, 2019

It's been a long time that world over people are debating on the impact of climate change and numerous ways to fight it. Climate change has already started showing its deadly impact in more ways than we can think or debate. It is high time for each of us to act against these terrible changes to preserve the planet for future generations.

If we look into our daily lives, there is enormous amount of natural resources available for free. Our human tendency makes us care for only those things which are lifestyle trending with price tags attached such as, mineral water bottles, air purifiers, organic vegetables and fruits, etc. But we always ignore five critical elements i.e. Water, Waste, Energy, Food and House in our day to day lifestyle habits. By taking care of these five essential elements at our homes/schools/offices for a sustainable life we can bring in big changes with small choices, says Swati Singh, a student at Indian School of development Management (ISDM) and Founder Harit Griha.

1. Water: According to a report by NITI Aayog, India is facing the worst-ever water crisis with over 600 million people - nearly half the country's population - suffering from extreme water stress. A small 200 sq mtr plot has the potential to harvest millions of litres of rain water that goes to drain every year. Toilets are the main source of water use in homes. Understanding the eco usage of your toilet can mean real water saving. According to Conserve H20, a Water Providers Consortium, each flush use at least 1.6 litres of water. By simply introducing dual flush system we can save gallons of water every day.

Various studies also suggest that the waste water from RO purifiers exceeds the amount of water that is actually purified by around three times. High TDS in the waste RO water makes it unsuitable for drinking or bathing. But by using this waste water for car washing, watering plants, cleaning utensils, mopping flour or doing laundry work can help save more than 100 litres of water in a day.

2. Waste: As per the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, India produces 62 million tons of waste per year, but only about 75-80% of the municipal waste gets collected and 22-28% of that waste is processed and treated. Composting 80% of wet waste at source can generate healthy and very costly organic compost every month. Additionally, it can reduce the size of garbage mountains by 80% which are gradually becoming a big health hazard for residents of those localities (such as Delhi's Ghazipur landfill).

Reusing dry waste such as bottles, shopping bags and using alternatives for plastics like bamboo brush, plastic cutleries in functions etc, we can simply help our planet.

3. Energy: Solar energy creates clean, renewable power from the sun and benefits our environment. Most effective and affordable alternatives to fossil fuels, it is a powerful medium to reduce carbon footprint at home and outside. Solar energy is our key to reducing greenhouse gases around the globe. By harvesting sunlight and reducing dependency on fossil fuels through switching over to solar such has, solar heaters, solar inverters, solar cookers, etc. we can take a huge step towards mitigating the human impact of climate change.

4. Food: Try to make a healthy choice while picking up food items for your food plate. Rapid industrial development is leading to food pollution making our vegetables and fruits harmful every day. These healthy greens are now hiding dangerous amounts of chemicals and pollutant as per various studies and reports. A small balcony garden would be great to start with to understand the real meaning of growing, cultivating and contributing to Mother Earth.

5. House: Concrete houses are also becoming a big threat to our planet. Eco Houses or green structures are fast becoming a trend in the country. A Eco House is an environmentally sustainable building, designed, constructed and operated to minimise the total environmental impact. Green Structure that use locally made material and has things that satisfy our needs and not wants, is always a win-win situation for nature as well as human beings. One should also learn the art of minimalist living. It is more than a décor trend. Whenever you want to buy something, "always ask this question – Do I really need this?" …… It helps!!

Choice is always ours. Choice decides our future. The fight to save our life-giving planet starts with us at our homes, on a daily basis. As individuals, we can combat global warming by making small lifestyle choices.

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