A few ways to be more environmentally-conscious 

by Ohoud Saad

We always think that we’re not capable of making an impact. We live in a culture with “هي جت عليا ” as its national anthem – roughly translated, “I won’t make a difference". If every single person thinks that then yes, we cannot make an impact. But sometimes it does take one person, one group, one people with a similar mindset to bring about incredible change. Now is a time when, more than ever, we need to ditch this attitude and do every single thing we can to protect our environment. And yes, it starts with you.

 


Ditch disposable products

If it can’t be reused, then it shouldn’t be used. Paper cups, plastic cups, foam plates, plastic forks, sandwich bags, straws and so many more are examples of things that a lot of people use daily or weekly. They’re essentially waste in the making. Ditch them and use the real deal, reusable alternatives, or just drink straight from the cup! You’ll be doing the environment a solid.


Use water wisely

Shut off the water whenever you can. While showering, shut it off as you use shampoo or body lotion. Turn it on again to rinse. Don’t leave the water running as you brush your teeth or as you load the dishes into the dishwasher. These might seem like things that are common sense but notice how you use water and see if you can do better. You’d be surprised that you can be more and more efficient if you only put your mind to it. And as for drinking water, use a water filter or a water dispenser with reusable bottles, and carry your own refillable bottle wherever you go.


Use eco-friendly personal products

Replace your plastic toothbrush with a wooden brush, tissues with towels when possible, buy big bottles/containers of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc instead of having to buy smaller amounts and using more plastic. Replace your sanitary pads with a cup, it’s long-lasting, cleaner, healthier and you will leave a much lighter carbon footprint. Look around your house, on your dresser, in your kitchen and ask yourself, how can my products be more practical? What can I replace to be more mindful to the environment? 


BYO -E-

Bring Your Own -Everything-. Going to the grocery store? Take your own bags, totes, backpack, anything you like! Going to a coffee shop for coffee on the go? Take your own tumbler. Getting on a plane, ride, picnic, take your own utensils or cup/plate. This might seem like a lot and unnecessary but it’s about living with certain principles and a certain lifestyle where one of your main goals is becoming as self-sufficient as you can, leaving little to no waste. Also, there are so many cool products these days that actually makes this step fun. Collapsible cups, utensils that fold together into the size of a Swiss knife, thin bottles as big as notepads, and so on.


Rally

It really is important to be environmentally conscious on the individual level. But, we also have to be aware of the bigger picture and who is majorly contributing to pollution, waste and climate change. So, read and be aware of what’s happening around you. Understand more about what companies or countries are doing/or not doing to help the environment. Rally when you can, protest when you can, boycott when you can. Most importantly, stay aware and stay in the know. Understand that your actions alone can and will make a huge difference, and that we only have one home, let’s be kinder to it.


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