Earth Day: How to Save Earth with Our Everyday Changes
Earth Day: Everyday changes you can make to help save our planet
Since 1970, April 22 has been observed as Earth Day. And year after year, we make plans and take oaths to do our very best to save our planet. But do we keep our word? Not often enough. Instead, we blatantly exploit resources that the earth so generously provides us with– oil, water etc. We cut down scores of trees, kill animals, and quarry and mine indiscriminately.
It’s time to become responsible and attentive to our planet’s plight. And if you’re thinking, what a tiny human like you can do to save such a massive planet – the answer is A LOT! Here are some simple, changes you can make every day, which, in turn, can create a huge impact.
Invest in reusable shopping bags
Plastic is a non-biodegradable substance that can harm flora and fauna for decades, which is why it is now slowly being replaced and banned. A small change you can make is to use reusable bags instead of plastic bags, which can be cost-effective, durable and most importantly, harmless to the environment.
Recycle, recycle, recycle
This cannot be stressed enough! The primary step to a more sustainable lifestyle is recycling. Its popularity has increased in recent years. Several items can be recycled and reused, bringing down the overall quantity of garbage. Furthermore, recycling lets us use valuable resources to their fullest extent. So, the next time you drink a can of soda, remember to dispose of it in the bin labelled ‘recycle.’
Did you know... if an organisation with 7000 employees recycled all the paper wasted in a year, it would be the same as taking nearly 400 cars off the road?
Use paper sparingly
The use of paper must be severely curtailed. Trees not only beautify our planet but offer numerous other benefits as well. We misuse paper unnecessarily. The current digital age that we are in makes it possible to reduce our paper consumption, which ultimately will help save the earth’s natural resources and prevent pollution.
There are also other ways to prevent deforestation. In rural areas, wood is the primary source of fuel, which means it is likely that trees in and around these areas could be cut down for fuel. To prevent this from happening, HDFC Bank backed more than 700 homes with biogas. This has resulted in a reduction of wood consumption by 85% per household.
Plant more trees
Trees are vital for our well-being and that of our planet – they encourage precipitation, filter the air we breathe, prevent erosion and much more. In recent years deforestation has become a significant threat. But there are ways to curb it. Choose an open space where you are legally allowed to plant trees and plant a sapling there every month. Encourage others – family, friends, and colleagues – to join in. One day you can take pride in that patch of lush greenery that’s the collective effort of your near and dear ones.
If you want to influence even more people, pitch the idea to your company. Many companies are now playing a role in helping to preserve the environment. An excellent initiative by HDFC Bank involved planting more than 1.5 lakh plants on grazing land. The bank has also supported 16,074 households with kitchen gardens – another feature you can add to your home. It is chic, handy and even improves your family’s nutrition.
You can also help save the planet by reducing your overall use of resources such as energy and water. Leaving lights on even when they aren’t needed is a massive waste of energy. Small acts like unplugging gadgets when not required and turning off unnecessary lights and fans can make a significant difference to not only the planet but your electricity bill as well.
It is hard to believe how much water gets wasted in a household for regular activities such as washing clothes, showering and brushing your teeth. Small gestures like turning off the water when you brush and taking short showers can help tremendously. There are also ways to save water on a larger scale, like irrigation and rainwater harvesting. Many housing societies and companies are taking steps towards sustainable living. HDFC Bank is one of several organisations striving to make India a greener country. It has helped set up over 200 rural government structures under its rooftop rainwater harvesting initiative.
Drive less and walk more
This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. If you aren’t used to walking, start by walking short distances instead of taking your vehicle every time you leave the house. For longer distances, you can use a bicycle. Both cycling and walking are excellent forms of exercise, which not only helps you stay fit but also contributes to reducing pollution, saving money and fuel. Using public transport and carpooling can also help reduce pollution and commuting costs to a great extent. Sounds like a win-win situation, right?
Use renewable energy
Solar energy, hydro energy, and wind energy are renewable sources of energy that can be used as alternatives. In fact, many people, including players in the private sector are now resorting to solar energy to power their spaces. Another green initiative by HDFC Bank saw the installation of 5560 solar powered street lights, which generated 13,000 kW of electricity. In addition to this, the bank also provided 2000 homes with solar home lighting systems. If we use renewable energy wherever possible, it can take a huge load off our planet, thus making it possible to preserve the Earth.
Another step you can take is to teach others about the importance of saving the earth. Educating children, young adults, co-workers, friends and family members is an effective way to spread awareness about how to make the earth a better place. What you teach one person today can grow into a lifelong habit. With everyone contributing to the cause, we could probably reverse the damage to the earth to some extent.
So, this Earth Day, don’t just make a pledge to do your best; start following through on these small changes. Your small efforts will make a difference to your life and the world.