Inspire / Reality Bites

PractiCalai: Saving The Earth We Live in Small, Conscious Steps

Changing temperatures and weather situations. Distraught ecosystem. Dilemma on natural supply and demand.

The changes in our environment are felt in a day to day basis. The sad part is that it keeps getting worse. The adverse effects of what mankind has done thru the years. Yes, we are feeling it now and it keeps me wondering, would our younger generations make it far enough? I read an article recently stating we might feel the major wrath of carbon emissions by 2030 and that’s 12 years from today. Like what?! 😱😱😱

Sure, we got our everyday grind at work, school or at home. Governments’ efforts across the globe won’t be enough. As individuals, we can do our share — whether by volunteering in environmental groups’ causes or by doing efforts on our own.

There have been a lot of small-scale entrepreneurs or micro-businesses lately selling goods that can help save our environment. But I’ll be candid, there are some environment-friendly products that would need us to stash extras.

No offense but for the benefit of the simple buying public, here are a few practical tips that thru a collective habit could help save our Mother Earth.

1. Note yourself…with scratch paper or doodle out of receipts.

Yeap! While there is the reality that the proof of spending and payment is thru receipts, we don’t need to keep them stuck in the wallet or throw in an instant. If you’re the type who lives by the day with Post-it, then receipts can save you. Everytime I get a receipt, unless it’s for a purchase that equates for warranty, I use it as my mini-note-to-self. May it be a what to do for the day or what to buy in the grocery, we somehow save a few purchases of Post-its.

receipts from coffee shops? Why not make your ‘what to do’ list while wasting time?

Or better yet, you can get away with paper receipts too…go till the end of this post. 👍🏼😁

2. Plant some herbs or flowers in your mini backyard or nook.

Inflation has been one of the major causes (and excuses) by most market vendors. Depending on the kind of space you live in, plant some greens — herbs, small veggies or the most controversial, chili. We badly need to have plants around despite the rise of constructions globally.

a few plants per household can go a long way (credits: HGTV)

3. Spend a weekend or two (in a month) with activities at home.

Believe it or not, this helps. I’m not saying be a hermit all your life. I meant if you’re a frequent mall goer, trim down the frequency. Not only you’re contributing to minimize carbon emissions, cause you’re just chillaxing at home, you’re also reducing the consumption of plastic and stuff that end up being wastes. Besides, the traffic in urban areas at the moment is terrible due to the loads of vehicles.

credits to the owner (via Pinterest)

Want to watch movies? There’s Netflix or DVD’s. Want to eat something special? Whip up a dish or two via recipes (online or thru cookbooks). Want to spend time with your kids and play? Teach them board games or better yet, traditional Filipino games…Uhmmm, piko or patintero? 😔🤣 Want to spend for coffee? Have that solo coffee drip or maker and whip up your fave coffee (and chillax in your room).

4. Go green for your plate.

I’m giving a shout out of gratitude to my mom and grandma who made sure my sis and I learned to love eating veggies. When we were growing up, they never gave up introducing it to us, one dish at a time. The last one I appreciated to eat was ampalaya (or bitter gourd in English). I really had to dip it so well in sauces just so I won’t feel the bitter taste on my tongue. Again, it’s all worth it now. Though I won’t end up being a vegetarian very soon, I can proudly say that I’m able to tolerate eating just veggies for days.

If I may be touching a carnivore’s heart and soul here, please try to eat veggies. It ain’t too late to do so. I don’t want to go thru the entire science of it, but there are techniques on how you can learn to appreciate veggies, just as you love meats. Meanwhile for the omnivores, go green more than your usual routine. Instead of just having a meatless day, extend it to a few more days.

5. Keep those paper bags and eco bags on repeat.

Explain, Calai…Well, paper bags are still rampant. Stores just keep them thinner in texture (to the point when you get hit by someone, it tears easily 🤣). Ok, let’s make it plain and simple.

If you still got paper bags at home, you could actually make them your lunch box or snack bag or a gift wrap (eheemmm…now that Christmas is drawing near). However, if you’re gonna shop very soon, better get away with these paper bags in your fave retail stores. Always keep an eco bag tucked in your bag and better have your purchases placed in them. Just make sure to ask the receipt or have the price tag marked.

Let’s keep the plastic consumption lesser by the day.

6. Choose to donate and/or to sell

Technically, I’m referring to the stuff you got at home. Whether we admit it or not, the more we acquire stuff, some end up just being in your closet or cabinets.

Do you have things you don’t use or wear anymore, but are still in good shape? Rather than simply having them end up in the pile of wastelands, we can either donate or sell them. Who knows, your stuff might end up to those who really would need them. If your items neither pass for donations or selling, then tip # 9 would be the better option.

7. Be current. Break the old habits.

Technology, if used for the common good, can lead to benefits. We don’t need to be a genius or scientist techie-who-saves-the-environment kind of person.

Mobile apps not only made our lives more convenient, unnoticeably, it’s an earth friendly way too. Online cashless or payment apps can make you transact without generating receipts.  Bank transactions and even shopping can be done online now. This minimizes the carbon footprint if you still need to commute heading towards the nearest bank or mall. Airlines and accommodations now use apps to check-in for your travels, rather than printing your travel itineraries in hard core paper.

Mobile apps like GCash make us pay in establishments via QR or utilities online.

 

8. Learn to refill.

We grew up shopping for basic commodities packaged in bottles. Sadly, these contribute too in the world’s plastic consumption and carbon emissions. Rather than buying one bottle at a time, purchase them in pouches and just refill the bottles you got at home. This could go for toiletries (eg. shampoo, conditioner, liquid soaps) and condiments (eg. sauces). Don’t forget to label them if needed, to avoid the confusion.

Ok…this handwash was from Bench but refilled already with a different brand ✌️🤭 (instead of throwing the container)

 

9. Work that DIY

Want to recycle items in a different way? This is for you. It gives a different plight to items rather than leading them to trash bins. There have been creative folks featured in various media sites, transforming items from do-it-yourself activities to useful and beautiful ones.

Just to give you a sample of what I’m referring to, Rags to Riches (R2R) is one of the famous social entrepreneurs in the country today. Not only they empower creative artisans, but they also help in saving the environment by making bags out of overstock cloth. They are able to create fashion and home accessories (eg. bags, wallets) that are now sold across the globe. Their story started as a small endeavor of helping out communities.

Who knows, the one or few DIY stuff you could create, could lead to a positive change.

In the next posts, I will share a DIY stuff or two that I work on, which can either be useful in your day to day activities or be gift-slash-decorative ideas.

10. Learn to spend wisely.

You wouldn’t notice, but thru time it be helpful to our environment. Make wise decisions of buying stuff. Is there really a need to buy a lot of them? How long will it take for me to consume them completely? Will they benefit just me? Will there be alternatives than buying the exact item I want or need? These are some of the questions you may keep in mind, before purchasing something.

There’s a thin line between spending wisely and not spending at all. We’re not pushing people for the latter, if there’s really a need to buy. It’s just that from making those wise decisions, we won’t generate much waste in various forms.

Taking small, conscious efforts will take a while for them to be good habits. At the end of the day, educating people to do their part should be expressed more on actions than on words. Let’s not do these just to for personal gains. Moreover, it should be because we and the future generations got only one planet that we need to take care of.

Author

calaithewriter@gmail.com

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