It is not difficult to go green quietly and to be kind to the planet, it only takes a mindful state and a half-hearted desire to do these 5, five minute things you can do right now to be kinder to your planet. You wont see a huge change, but you will know in your heart that you have made a small change and this will fill you will with a feeling of satisfaction. Where you choose to go from this one small achievement is entirely up to you, but with that small step, you could make giant strides. So let get committed and start being kinder to our planet. Remember we don’t have a planet B.
Gratitude is a funny thing. When we practise gratitude, and by that I mean really become mindful of it, good things start to happen. This article isn’t about gratitude, but feeling grateful for the beauty around us, taking the time to smell the roses literally, makes us feel happy. Now what can we do keep that happiness flowing? Here are five simple things you can do every day to make a difference to yourself and your environment.
Save Water in under 5 Minutes
Water is precious and essential to our survival, yet we waste it everyday! Showering in under 5 minutes is easy to do and can save a lot of water. Simple wet yourself and turn the water off while you lather up and scrub away, then rinse off. Unless you are filthy dirty, there is no need to shower more than once a day and even hair doesn’t need to be washed daily. You can also turn the tap off when you are brushing your teeth and not let it run for the duration of the brushing process. If you don’t have a low flow toilet system, placing a brick in the cistern will also save a lot of water with every flush. Living on a sail boat and having to collect our water, we have become very frugal with water, yet we are just as clean as we were when we lived on land. It only takes a different mind-set and to realize that it is wrong to waste precious natural resources.
Save Energy in under 5 Minutes
Energy is another thing we use with gay abandon and we don’t worry ourselves with how we got the electricity it takes to run our appliances. Even cities that have wind turbines and Hydro plants still have a production process to produce power but saving natural gas and oil is obviously more beneficial. Either way, you will save money in your household by conserving electricity. Try hand washing the dishes and only run full loads in a dishwasher. The same applies to laundry. Laundry dryers and dish washers are the heaviest household consumers of electricity.
Try hanging up laundry on a drying rack or on hangers. If you can, hang them outside in the sunlight, which is a perfect deodorizer and sterilizer. My mother always hung baby diapers and sheets and towels on the line even though she had a dryer. When I asked her as adult why did that, she told me that back in Zimbabwe, the sun killed the larvae for the Tsetse Fly. This fly has a painful bite and causes illness and death in sub Saharan Africa. My point it, that sunlight is good and healthy to kill bugs and their larvae in your laundry. North America doesn’t have Tsetse Fly but you do have ticks, fleas, bed bugs and other nasties you prefer not to think about and hanging laundry in direct sunlight is a good thing if you can.
Save the Bees in under 5 Minutes
Even if you live in an apartment, you can still put a plant of two on a patio or window sill beneficial to bees. If you do have a garden, don’t kill the dandelions with insecticides. This is really really bad for the bees. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like, or are afraid of bees. The bees are in crisis and we need them to pollinate everything. So make bees your new besties and leave the dandelions alone. They only last a few weeks in Spring and they are one of the first sources of pollen for bees after the winter. In my mind, weeds are just misunderstood flowers.
Save a Turtle in under 5 Minutes
When I say turtle, I really mean all marine life. Say NO to plastic straws and plastic cutlery . It’s so easy to toss cutlery into a home-made wrap and carry it in your purse of
car. There are so many ways we can eliminate plastic waste. Things we really don’t need to be using. Glitter are actually tiny plastic particles, balloons are bits of rubberized plastic that looks delicious to a turtle. Shower gels and facial scrubs with micro beads are more plastics we really don’t need, so let’s be more mindful of the unnecessary plastics we use everyday without even thinking about it. Purchase alternatives to single use plastics here.
Save the Atmosphere and Wild Habitats.
When we consciously try to eliminate plastics, it is natural that we will use more paper products as an alternative. While paper products contribute to deforestation which is another serious environmental issue, it is still better than plastics because trees can be
regrown while plastic doesn’t ever go away and is currently choking marine life. with that said, try not to use unnecessary paper or cardboard products. Don’t waste paper, use both sides of a sheet of paper. Use envelopes from the mail for scrap paper, Recycle thatjunk mail. Reuse a box that a product came in as a gift box for birthdays or Christmas. Consider giving back by supporting recycled paper products where you can. Products like paper plates can be made from recycled paper. The question is this. When you shop, do you actively look for a better purchase decision, or do you just pick the first thing that appeals to you?
These are simple things we can do everyday and encourage others around us to do. With very little effort, they can become a habit and a way of life. Which of these do you do consistently? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear how others are making a difference too.