The best place to start saving the earth is the Home. Wardah Abbas provides tips on taking the first steps to going green.
You have seen it all; everything that is happening to our planet. It’s everywhere. But you feel helpless about saving the situation. Perhaps, you may wonder how your efforts alone amongst that of billions of other people can help to save our failing earth. The truth is that every effort counts. Every choice has an impact. Going green makes a whole lot of sense on different levels. It will sure influence your health, your finances and the overall wellbeing of our planet. And what better way to do this than with your family? With just a few lifestyle changes, you may be well on the road to playing your role as a guardian of the earth and thus, filling up your bank balance in the Akhirah with a lot of good deeds. Here are a few areas where your action can make a big impact:
- HAVE A TALK WITH YOUR FAMILY
The best place to start saving the earth is in the home. Try having a talk with your family, explaining to them what it means to go green. The simplest explanation for this is to be more concerned about the health of the environment by making life choices that puts into consideration what’s right for the earth. Being green means being conscious about the impacts your lifestyle choices may likely have on the environment and actually taking steps to make things right. You may also encourage your family to read more on ways to help your planet thrive and schedule a discussion time for your several findings. Solicit their advice and suggestions and make a goal as a family to incorporate these changes. Knowing that you have your family’s support is the most calming and fulfilling experience on this journey. So it’s very essential that you carry them along
- CONSERVE ENERGY
Little efforts on your part can help to reduce the impact of energy levels on the planet. You should switch from the 60 – 100 watt light bulb to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL). Use power strips on everything from laptops, to cable boxes and mobile phones to reduce the amount of electricity being used even when these items are not in use. Switch off fluorescents during the day and even at night where unnecessary, unplug every electronic gadget from wall sockets when not in use and switch off mobile phones, laptops and other gadgets at bedtime. Make this a habit for you and your family and don’t underestimate the impact of these changes on the environment.
- REDUCE WATER USAGE
You will have to make a few changes in your home in order to reduce your water usage. For example, if you must wash your car at home, use an organic soap, a bucket and a sponge instead of running water through the hose. Instead of running a full bath, take bucket baths. Also, your toilet which accounts for about 25 percent of your household water use should be put in check. You may either want to install a low flow toilet or place a water bag filled with pebbles or sand on your water tank inside the water closet. This will add volume to the tank and it automatically gets filled with less water. You can also collect rain water to wet your lawns and back gardens if you have one. If not, it may come in handy when you have some hand washing laundry to do. Turn off the taps to save every drop of water when not in use. Don’t run your dishwasher or washing machine unless you have a full load. It may be preferable to collect water for wudhu in a kettle or other container rather than running the tap. Apart from this being an act to save the planet, it is also an act of worship as Allah does not like wasters.
- SHOP AND EAT LOCAL AND ORGANIC
Locally grown organic food has a lot of benefits. Apart from it being more tasty, of higher quality and highly nutritious, it also saves you so much more. It enables you to support local farmers and connects you to your community. It also keeps money in your local community, thereby boosting the economy of your immediate environment. Always remind yourself of the impact it would have on your local community if you shop and eat local, rather than patronizing malls and supermarkets where toxic processed foods are being sold. You can also grow your own food minimally by having a backyard garden with vegetable and tomato beds and what have you. Involve your children and make it both fun and educational for them. This can be an avenue for you to compost your organic household waste by converting them into manure for your garden. Think about the impact your choices can have on your health, your finances, your community and the environment at large. Make this green choice with your family today.
- REDUCE AND REUSE WASTE
Cut down on disposables. You do not need disposable plates and paper towels. Avoid as much sachet and plastic packaged water as possible. You can produce your drinkable water at home by boiling, filtering and sterilizing. Do not throw away left over food. You may be able to warm up and convert them into more delicious meals for you and your family. Do not be quick to convert your used clothes into rags, you may either give them away in charity, exchange used clothes with friends or convert them into simpler, newer styles. Don’t throw away plastic containers, they may come in handy in storing foods or spices, housing plants or what have you. Save a tree by not printing out your mails except in extremely necessary cases. These little household changes will sure have a far – reaching impact on preserving the environment.
More tips on growing green with the family will come later. Before then, make sure to incorporate these few changes into your lifestyle and carry your family along. Until then, maa Salaam.