BY ALEKSANDER PICHKUR
Last year my girlfriend and I celebrated the New Year among the melted snow, and yet they continue to convince us that global warming is a myth, gas production in the Arctic gives money to the budget, and heavy industry is good for the economy because it generates jobs. Since its inception in the second half of the twentieth century, the environmental movement has confidently stated that it is not mythical scientists and activists who must fight for the cleanliness of the environment, but each inhabitant of the planet individually.
So, nowadays, more and more people join the environment movement, but our numbers are too small yet to make a huge difference. Today, we decided to bring together the main ideas to see what your girlfriend and you can do on your level to save our planet. Besides, did you know that married couples tend to save more energy than others? Are you not married yet? Don’t worry, here are some best ideas and ways to propose, including eco-friendly ones.
- Switch to Rechargeable batteries
A rechargeable battery that has a resource of up to three thousand charging cycles, and will save a similar number of standard batteries during the operation period. The main problem with standard batteries is that to produce them, we use potentially dangerous elements. Those chemicals are very dangerous and harmful. Only one battery can poison approximately one cubical meter of soil. Plus, using rechargeable batteries is cheaper. Thus, you will save money, for example, to buy romantic gifts.
- Save paper
To produce 130 pounds of paper, we need to cut at least one big three. Thus the USA chops hundreds of millions of cubic meters of wood per year. Some of them can be saved even by the fact that you print on both sides and pay bills using electronic payments. By the way, the use of toilet paper from primary cellulose sends more than ten thousand hectares of especially valuable types of wood to the toilet, but the question is: in what cases does this product require supernatural whiteness?
- Promote your ideas
According to the statistics, each eco family can easily bring two more couples into our movement. Thus, we can grow exponentially, but unfortunately, eco-friendly couples very rarely promote their ideas among friends. Don’t be like those eco-friendly but a little bit lazy couples. Remember, if you don’t explain why people should do or avoid doing something, all your efforts will be in vain, because everyone gets tired from slogans very fast. Therefore, after “Please turn off the light!” There should be an explanation of why this is important.
- Become volunteers
Nowadays, there are many environmental events and protests, and everywhere organizers need help. If you don’t like massive events, you can become volunteers, for example, in your local dog shelter. Remember, we are responsible for animals that live among us. Plus, there, you may find a cute pet for yourself.
- Outdoor walks
Outdoor walks don’t harm nature and, surprisingly, benefits health. Forget about your car at least on Saturday, and if you like speed, take a bicycle. Open navigation and see how many more or less natural forests there are around the city where you can go camping instead of visiting the mall. Plus, this is a very romantic experience for both your girlfriend and you, especially if there is a lake nearby.
- Buy second-hand clothing
In second-hand shops, you can find many different types of clothes that are relatively new and still in fashion. Buying second-hand clothes is not only safe and cheap but also this is very eco-friendly because, by using used clothes, you don’t load our production capacities.
- Use organic materials for home improvement
To make the interior design of your house eco-friendly, you should choose furniture and decor elements made from the processed materials: wood, stone, linen, wool, bamboo, brick, or cork. Their natural, simple beauty will harmonize your emotional state, especially when you realize that you are making a contribution to the protection of the environment.
- Create new things from recyclable materials
Thanks to this idea, your life will become not only environmentally friendly but also creative and innovative. Therefore, instead of throwing away the old things, let’s turn them into some original decor items. You can re-use almost everything: the old door (as a finished tabletop), fruit boxes (as a set of shelves), wooden pallets (ideal for a table), and plastic bottles (for example, as lampshade materials).
- Use natural cleaners
Soda, vinegar, and lemon are the best natural cleaning agents for your home. And at the same time, they are economical and environmentally friendly – you will not harm nature using them. Such cleaners will help you to clean burnt saucepans, remove stains from the bathtub and toilet bowl, add luster to the tiles, or wash windows without leaving stains on the glass.
- Use eco-friendly laundry detergents
Some laundry detergents contain ingredients that are harmful to the aquatic ecosystem. For example, phosphates are often used in washing powders to reduce their cost – they remove the hardness of water, increase the effectiveness of laundry detergents, and amplify the effects of surface-active substances (various chemical compounds contained in cleaners). After the laundry, water gets into reservoirs where creates suitable conditions for the appearance of blue-green algae. Thus, the number of oxygen in the water decreases – fish and other aquatic vegetation die, and it leads to the ecosystem disbalance.
In addition, phosphates remain on the skin and can affect the human immune system and lungs and cause allergies. Therefore, look over the label when choosing a laundry detergent to ensure that it is biodegradable, does not contain phosphates, and is made from plant materials – these products will be more beneficial both for your health and for the planet. In addition, such laundry detergents are better suited for sensitive skin, children, and highly allergic individuals.
- Save fuel
Car owners can also make a contribution to the protection of the environment. If you cannot refuse a car in favor of public transport and bicycles, then you should at least reduce fuel consumption during the ride. The optimal driving speed for an average car is 60-90 km/h, and complying with such speed limits, you can save up to 20% of fuel. In addition, you should keep your car in order: make the examination of the car, check the tire inflation pressure, and remove unnecessary heavy trash from the car – this will help you to minimize drag while driving and reduce gas mileage.
- Drink Arabica coffee
According to studies, about 150 species of birds live on the plantations of the Arabian coffee tree, which grows in the shade at a height of at least 900 m above sea level. But if coffee trees are grown under the bright sun, the number of its inhabitants is reduced to 20-50 species of birds. Due to the high demand for cheap coffee, many manufacturers have switched to growing “sunny” coffee varieties, for which they use a great number of different pesticides and fertilizers that cause damage to the environment. So drinking Arabica coffee, you can protect birds and reduce the usage of harmful chemical substances.