How can YOU help the environment today?

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I am sure most of you are up-to-date with ecofriendly techniques on how to make our environment a little better, less polluted and somewhat still resourceful. But here are several tips on how to turn your daily lifestyle to a more caring one, where you don’t need to have a specific solar panel at your disposal.

Segregate and recycle garbage

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In Russia we are also recycling and it is not something new.But it is partially true. As I say, it starts from a person and your initiative, but where I used to live – it is no so wide-spread. The culture of segregating and recycling trash is not so popular in all regions of Russia as it is let’s say in Moscow or St. Petersburg. I can say that in Romania I have started to be more responsible in this sense. Not without a good example of course, set by local Romanians. Besides, once you start segregating trash – it does not seem as something super hard or unusual. All you have to do is to have let’s say 3-4 different containers or bags for glass, plastic, carton products. Do not forget to wash some of them and then you are free to place it for recycling. You are all set!

Cut down the plastic usage whenever possible

For sure not every time you are capable to cut out plastic completely out of your life. But you can start from something until it becomes a habit and you will want to reduce it much more. Don’t buy plastic bags, small or big. Use some colorful nice bag that you already have for this, buy those 2 little bio bags in Kaufland or Lidl for vegetables and fruit. It will do its job and you will not spend any more money on plastic ones, by also supporting a more environment-friendly lifestyle. Also, you can buy groceries that have less packaging on it. Another way to do it – have your own glass or silicon water bottle and fill it up before going out or replenish it later in a cafe.

Eat less meat

I know that some of you may find it hard to cut off meat from your meals, I am also having struggles from time to time.Especially when Romanian cuisine, likewise Russian, contains a lot of meat meals. But we should remember that by including it in our meals, we are more prone to developing obesity, coronary heart disease, or diabetes. Besides, by consuming meat we are supporting the corporations that are actually the cause of emissions. Water and air pollution, animals being kept in unsanitary conditions and that are a subject to enormous antibiotics consumption – all of this is the true sad story behind the meat endingup on our plate. By cutting down your meat consumption to 3-4 times a week, you are already making a slightest move in the direction of the more ecological reality.

Buy from local producers

Just go to the market in the area where you live and buy from local producers. Organic food requires 30-50% less energy to produce. Plus, there is a higher chance that these products cause less carbon impact with their transport to the environment. By supporting local businesses, you will have more options in the future to choose from. For example, there is a Piața Nord market in Govandari by the train station where you can find all the groceries from local producers by good price and more importantly much healthier and much eco-friendlier.

Do not throw away food or reduce its waste

The food that is being thrown away is also an energy, costs for production and resources spent on production and transportation. To avoid it, try to not overbuy the groceries. Simply do a menu planning and stick to grocery lists. Make an effort to actually use all that you are buying without having to throw away some of it later. As a little reminder for yourself you take a “shelfie” to keep track of what you have in your fridge and come up with ideas of a dish you can make out of it. Do not forget to check the expiry dates of your products. Make sure to use them beforehand. Also, some of the leftovers like small amount of chicken or carrots, or browning bananas can be used in a variety of recipes. Just google it before looking at the trash bin.

Save water

I remember how about 10 years ago I lived in the US and there was my roommate from Germany who would give me a great example of more responsible attitude to water. She would take her shower up to 10 minutes, no more. Since then, I kind of try to follow the same path. You can start from this too. On top of that, you do not have to have water running while you are brushing your teeth, washing the dishes with soap. Just try to be more conscious about using less water when it is possible.

Walk or use public transport, or buy or rent a cleaner car

We all prefer comfort but it is not always the best option. Driving your own car is certainly more convenient but it also requires fossil fuel charge and is a result of CO2 emissions. Just use a public transportation, go by bicycle or take a walk to your destination. Moreover, walking and riding a bike are such a good workout and are really good for your health in many ways.Another nice option of 21st century which you can easily find in big cities – carsharing. If you need a car for small amount of time, you can use this service. Besides, such companies usually have electric cars available which will have zero-emission. Or just buy a cleaner car.

Turn off the lights and unplug electronics

This one is tricky because I am, myself is guilty of leaving some electronics plugged, almost always. Especially in these times when we have to be almost always online and reachable, we tend to charge our laptops and cellphones non-stop. Figure out which electronics is plugged-in most of the time but does not require to be – it can be a microwave or tea kettle, table lamp. Unplug them when there is no need to use, it will reduce the carbon footprint significantly. More than that, do not forget to turn off the lights when leaving other rooms in your home.

Buy second hand and donate used goods

Again, coming up from a remote island I think I have seen about 2-3 second hand stores and they are still considered to be not very good. Situation is totally different in the center Russia – but this part of Russia doesnot mean real Russia. Anyway, there is not always a need to buy new clothe. You can find good ones in such stores, with good price and by actually buying this good you cut down your carbon footprint by half! More than that, instead of throwing away the clothes or items you do not use anymore, you can give them a second chance by donating.

Upcycle old stuff

You can upcycle the items you have neglecting instead of throwing away. Simple redesign or using the things for a different purpose is giving them a second chance and life. The good thing is that almost anything can be upcycled. It all depends on your imagination and what you have at your disposal. On Pinterest and other social media you can find a bunch of inspiration ideas on how to do it.

Of course, this list can go on because there are no limits to how you do it.You can stop flying by airplanes, repair instead of throwing away, grow your own vegetables and fruit as well as switch to renewables. It all depends on our personal attitude, perception of the situation and finances also. We are the only ones who can make the environment and surrounding space better, cleaner or preserve it in such a state. We cannot blame just a system for lack of acting in a caring manner, we should be the ones to start a change, to lead the community on a higher sustainable level.


Autor: Anastasia Zhmankova

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