(This post is part of the Sustainable Living series)
I’m not able to keep up with the weekly posting schedule, so I’m changing this to a monthly series, which will continue as long as I have topics to post about.
WWF has done a better job than me with their Earth Day 30-day challenge calendar above, which lists 30 simple everyday actions that we can take to help preserve our planet. Take the complete challenge at https://lp.panda.org/30-day-challenge
Detailed descriptions for each day’s actions will be updated in this post for easier reference in future. All descriptions taken from https://www.facebook.com/earthhour/
(UPDATE 24 May 2019: All 30 days’ actions have been posted below. Added calendar headers to all the actions.)
1 Use less water
DYK: The average bath uses 37 gallons of water? Simple choices in your daily routine can help save a lot of water. Here are some water-saving tips:
- Take fewer baths 🛀
- Take shorter showers
- Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth
- Switch to a low-flow shower head
2 Reuse and upcycle
Instead of purchasing new items, reuse and upcycle your old items. ♻️ There are so many exciting ways to upcycle! Take it one step further and shop at thrift stores too! You’ll be surprised at finding perfectly usable items at a fraction of the cost. Save money 💰, save our planet.
3 Start a sustainability squad
Start a sustainability team ♻️ – be it your family members at home 🏠, your friends at school 🚸, or your colleagues at work ⚙️. Together we can do so much! 💪 Going green doesn’t have to be done alone.
4 Source sustainable produce
Understand where your food comes from and do your best to only buy things which are sustainably produced – look for third-party certifications like RSPO for palm oil, or ASC for farmed fish, or ask your supplier if they know how your food was grown and harvested.
5 Only wash full loads
♻️ Dirty laundry doesn’t have to be done in a dirty way. Running larger, fuller loads instead of many small loads can help to save a lot of water 💧 and energy, hence saving you money!
6 Go paperless
Less is more. Switch to paperless bills and statements if possible and print less in the office. 📄 Purchase sustainably-sourced recycled paper if you have to, and be mindful each time you use a piece of paper.
7 Don’t litter
Litter in public spaces can harm wildlife and pollute landscapes. 🚮 Bin it, or take it home with you. 🗑️ Pick up litter when you can, and keep our spaces green.
8 Eliminate food waste
Food for thought – globally we throw away 1/3 of all the food we buy. 🍽️ Don’t buy more food than you need, and don’t make more than you can finish. Meal-planning can help reduce food waste. Better yet, challenge yourself to make a zero-waste meal once in a while.
9 Indulge in sustainable tourism
If you’re planning a holiday, spend some time to search for airlines ✈️, hotels 🏨 and businesses that have eco-friendly practices. Better still, find alternatives to air travel.
10 Donate to a cause
If you have the resources, take the time ⌚ to donate to a cause you care about or to organisations that help nature conservation. 🌲 A little goes a long way, and you can make a positive impact with just a little.
11 Add your voice for the planet
Become an active advocate, share this challenge and become a role model for others. 💪 Sign this pledge. https://voicefortheplanet.org/ 👐
12 Conserve energy
Turn off the lights! 💡 We all have the power. Use natural light as much as possible ☀️, and unplug unnecessary appliances when not in use. 🛋️ Switching to energy-efficient appliances can also go a long way in saving money and saving our planet.
13 Recycle whenever possible
Recycle whenever possible at your nearest collection point. ♻️ Newspapers, magazines, catalogues, even paper egg cartons, can ALL be recycled! 📰 When buying paper products, be sure to look for labels like ‘recycled’ and ‘FSC’.
Own note: Our priority should be to reduce production of waste in the first place. Recycling should be the final option, not the first.
14 Volunteer with a charity
With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, small efforts you take to volunteer can benefit you, your family, and your community enormously. 🙋 Find a suitable organization that can help you reduce stress and connect with your local community. 🏘️ Give more, live more.
15 Use eco-friendly and biodegradable products
Cleanliness is necessary to protect our health in our homes 🏘️, schools 🚸 and workplaces 👔. Whenever possible, opt for eco-friendly, biodegradable cleaning products in your home, or even make your own! Be sure to check the product labels carefully and share these tips with your friends!
(24 May 2019: added #16 to #30)
16 Switch to environmentally friendly brands
Choosing to consume from ethical, sustainable and eco-friendly companies is something we can all do to make a difference. ♻️ Make more sustainable choices to help make our planet better, cleaner, and greener. 🌍
17 Fight against plastic pollution
It’s sad that eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year, choking our wildlife. 😟But now you can take a stand and join thousands of amazing supporters around the world 💪 and pledge for the fight against plastic pollution. go.panda.org/plastics
18 Be a green commuter
Carpooling and public transport 🚇 reduces the number of cars and vehicles on the road. 🚗 Fewer cars mean less air pollution. 🌫️ This protects the environment by keeping the air, water, and land cleaner. Skip the car ride, bike 🚴 , walk 🚶, run to work 🏃🏻 or use public transportation and carpooling services.
19 Spread the word
👯 Encourage your friends to take the #Connect2Earth challenge. #️⃣Use the hashtag in your posts and tag them to accept the challenge. Let’s be part of the solution and not just the pollution! 🌍
20 Go plastic-free today
Are you up to the plastic-free day challenge? One day a week no plastic consumption and no plastic waste. 🗑️
21 Buy energy efficient appliances
Both CFLs and LEDs are a cost-effective option for most general lighting requirements. 💡 Replacing a traditional light bulb with an LED of the same brightness will save you money 💰 and energy. Make the switch!
22 Restore nature where you live
Add a touch of green by buying a plant for your home 🌱 and let it serve as a reminder of the beauty of nature and your commitment to living a little greener. 🌳 You can also plant a herb garden in your urban space 🌿, support local wildlife and participate beach cleans around you. 🏖️
23 Reconnect with nature
Find new ways to reconnect with nature. 🍃 Practice yoga🧘 go for a run 🏃or discover new ways to take you exercising routines outdoors. Embrace the natural world around you.
24 Ditch disposable choose reusable
Join the mission to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills. 🗑️ It starts with finding alternatives to disposable items. 🍽️ Here is how you can do it:
- Invest in reusable coffee cups, bottles and cutlery. 🍵
- Use a canvas bag for groceries. 🍎
- Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen.
25 Love #OurPlanet
👀 Watch the myriad of documentaries on Netflix about nature, the environment and the food industry. 📺 Some of our favourites are Food Inc., Amazing Planet, Food Matters and of course #OurPlanet 🌍
26 Use water wisely
💧 Water isn’t as abundant as you may think – but if we all use it carefully, we can ensure there will be enough water for everyone, even in the most extreme conditions. Here are 2 simple tips:
1️⃣ Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden. 🌵
2️⃣ Use a bowl instead of a running tap for washing vegetables – you can save about five litres of water each time. 💦
27 Change the way you eat
🥗 Well-planned plant-based and green diets can support healthy living at every age 👶👵🏽. Vegetables and fruits are an important part of a healthy diet 🥕🍇 Having a variety is as important as having quantity. 🍽️ Opt for sustainably-sourced meat or fish when you eat. Explore options like turning vegetarian for the day and or becoming a flexitarian.
28 Demand sustainable palm oil
If you are concerned about the impact of palm oil on the environment 🌍, research companies who use only sustainably sourced palm oil in their products. ✔️
29 Embrace minimalism
Beyond buying little, let’s buy smarter— one concrete way to do this is to be clutter free and conscious that it is not only better for the environment 🌍 but it will also save money in the long run. 💰
30 Learn to refuse
Learn to refuse items and freebies you don’t need, like free pens 🖊️notepads 🗒️and promotional tees 👕Most people usually forget to use them anyway and they eventually end up in landfills. 🗑️
Take the complete challenge: https://lp.panda.org/30-day-challenge
Personal note from author of this blog:
Well, I know that some naysayers are going to point out that such small things aren’t going to make a difference. To that, I say: everyone and everything needs to start somewhere. If we demand 100% perfection and 100% effectiveness for every solution and every action, nothing would ever get done. Also, if you can’t be part of the solution, at least stop contributing to the problem, by not littering and not wasting resources.
More posts in the Sustainable Living series:
- Selling 2nd hand: tips from a buyer’s perspective
- Sustainable Living #9: Places with free drinking water. Say NO to bottled water!
- Low hanging fruit: 3 simple suggestions to REDUCE single-use plastics
- Reduce not recycle: open letter to MEWR
- Sustainable Living #8: Public Transport
- Sustainable Living #7: 30-Day Challenge
- Sustainable Living #6/52: A voyage to ADEX 2019
- Sustainable Living #5/52: Eco-friendly outings
- Sustainable Living #4/52: Switch off, save energy (Earth Hour theme)
- Sustainable Living #3/52: Takeaways made easy