How to Live a Green Lifestyle

Ten years ago, my life is just living in only three major places: school, home and church and with few things that I carry almost everyday: notebooks, books, bible and pens. I don’t eat too much junkfoods. I was not yet introduced to computer and mobile phone. There are no internet cafes but only rice fields with fruit trees where we usually spend our weekend with my churchmates. The weather was not yet too hot that time. We can walk under the sun even for several hours just to get to my friend’s farm and eat Mangosteen.

Now, the simple life has turned into a complicated, high tech and advanced lifestyle. I spend my weekends to the mall, internet cafes, coffee shop, cinema and eat in a fast food chain. I don’t go out of the house without a cellphone. I place my packed lunch in a plastic bag. I love junk foods. I usually eat canned foods or noodles because they are instant. I don’t go to farms anymore. I love shopping.

Is this your lifestyle? Always on the go? Fast moving? Time has turned into a fast-paced environment where boundaries are broken because of high technologies. Malls and fast food chains are rapidly growing. There is almost no time to stay at home and spend time with the family.

Is this lifestyle affects our environment?

Have you noticed that the weather is getting hotter? Or sometimes it’s uncertain. We don’t know when it rains. We can’t stay longer under the sun even with umbrellas, pity to those fieldworkers who don’t have other choice but to work under the sun. It is global warming, I say.

Yes, we always say, “Well, its global warming, you know?” But have we realized that each of us has contributed and will always contribute in this so called Global Warming, unless we practice green living?

If you are only conscious with your daily activities particularly on how much wastes you generate everyday, then you can eventually know how much you contribute to the climate change.

Because of the changing lifestyle, from simple to advanced and more complicated one, waste generation increased. If you are living in this present lifestyle, you are on estimate generating 1.5 kilogram of waste per day. When we multiply this per capita waste generation to thousands of people living in the cities, then imagine how much wastes we accumulate in a day. Most of these wastes can be found in fast food chains where we usually eat or take out food, in schools where students bring lunch in “styro pack” or plastic cellophanes, in cafeterias, internet cafes, cinemas where junkfoods are always eaten, or even in your home where you usually eat canned foods, noodles, or even prepared food from the market packed in a layered plastic bags, and during meetings and conventions where food is served with “throw-away” materials like straws, disposable cups and utensils and styro packs. All these wastes will just end to the waste bins. From the waste bins, where can they go? They can be at the dumpsite, along the streets and canals, or worse, they are burned. Isn’t this contributed to climate change, floods, water and air pollution?

If we are getting sick of the intolerable hot weather now and of the floods brought by just a short heavy rain, how much more in the future if we do not stop what we are doing since we changed our lifestyle? How about our sons and daughters and their next generation? Can we compromise their future with our unmanaged wastes?

If you are moving too fast, stop for a minute and take it slow… Observe your environment and learn where you can start living in an environment-friendly lifestyle.

Here are the simple tips you should start practicing. Make this a habit. Later, this will turn into lifestyle.

1. AVOID AND REDUCE WASTE

a. Avoid instant and processed foods. They are usually packed with Styrofoam and plastic that are not recyclable and are “throw-away” materials. Aside from that, they are not healthy.
b. When going shopping, use “green bag” instead of plastic bags. It is a reusable bag with a biodegradable material. Some malls provide you with shopping points when you use the bag.
c. When buying at the public market, you can also use the green bag or basket. If not, use lesser plastic bags as possible. You can place all types of vegetables in a plastic, fish in the other and meat in another plastic, so as not to have plastic for each item you buy. That will give you less waste when at home.
d. Minimize buying products in sachet. They produce more wastes than buying in bottle, which can be reused or recycled.
e. If you don’t need the plastic pack, don’t get it.
f. If you can drink without the straw, don’t ask for it.

2. SEGREGATE WASTES AT HOME

a. Prepare at least three waste receptacles for the biodegradable, recyclable and residual wastes.
b. Label the receptacles as necessary for you to familiarize the type of waste to put on that certain receptacle.
c. Throw your garbage properly to the receptacle where it should be thrown.
d. Segregate junk food wrappers, empty sachets and tetra packs. They can be made into recycled products.

3. REUSE

a. Reuse materials such as empty bottles, plastic or glass, either for same purpose or another.
b. Reuse plastic bag as container or receptacle before throwing it to the waste bin.
c. Wash the plastic cellophanes, especially those from the market, let it dry and keep for future use.

4. RECYCLE

a. Learn how to recycle wastes such as junk food wrappers, empty sachets and tetra packs.
b. If you do not have time to recycle, donate those wastes to students or relatives who have school project in recycling.
c. Sell recyclable materials to a nearby junk shop or ambulant junk buyer for additional income.

5. COMPOST BIODEGRADABLE WASTES

a. Have your own backyard composting that is made of low-cost materials such as bamboo, old GI sheets, cyclone wires or wooden slabs.
b. Learn how to do composting.