Heads up! Earth Day is approaching and it’s the perfect time to start taking action to save our Earth with small steps (if you aren’t already doing so).
The Earth Day 2022 Theme is Invest In Our Planet. (source: earthday.org)
Because of COVID-19 that started around 3 years back, the whole world has again become more dependent on single-use items for sanitary/hygienic purposes. Items such as surgical masks, disposable utensils, etc. But since the UAE is slowly opening up again, I think it’s also time for us to get back up and do our part in trying to do good to our Earth.
Even before the pandemic started, a lot of people had started practicing a sustainable lifestyle - by following the 4 R’s of Sustainability - Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
So now, let me tell you about small ideas on how you, too, can help the Earth, one swap at a time! 🌎
Swap single-use plastic bags to reusable shopping bags
It recently has become common knowledge that single-use plastic bags have been polluting our oceans or stocking up on landfills and not being recycled - which means it will either exist for millions of years, or be broken down into microplastics, which later goes into our food, water, everywhere!
Starting 1st of June 2022, Abu Dhabi will ban the use of single-use plastic bags, according to the emirate's environmental agency.
One of the first steps I took in doing my part for the environment is always bringing my Icon Speak tote bag wherever I go. When I go shopping, I refuse to use plastic bags, and I always ask the bagger to just let me bag my purchases into my own reusable bag.
On some supermarkets, they even have dedicated counters for shoppers who bring their own reusable bags and these counters almost always have shorter lines.
Swap single use water bottles, take-out cups and plastic straws with their reusable counterparts
As many of you already know, a new sustainability initiative has been recently launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince - The Dubai Can, which aims to reduce single-use plastic water bottle waste by encouraging people to use their own reusable water bottles and use refilling stations around the city.
This was such good news for me since I can finally put my reusable water bottle into good use, especially now that the hot weather has started to come in, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated at all times.
In the case of my take-out coffee, I always have my to-go coffee cup with me, and for cold drinks I make sure I always bring my metal straws. One minor inconvenience when using reusable swaps is you have to clean them yourself (or just throw it into the dishwasher). But it’s such a small price to pay compared to the climate damage when it becomes irreversible.
Swap single use cling film to reusable silicone food covers
One of the most wasteful practices in the kitchen is the use of plastic cling film to cover leftover food.
Did you know that just like most plastic bags, plastic cling wraps CANNOT be recycled as it contains chemicals that are difficult to separate during the recycling process?
To reduce the waste produced by these plastic cling film, one alternative are these silicone stretch lids which come in different sizes to fit any of your bowl or plates. This will help your food stay fresh for longer without relying on disposable plastic film - They are also incredibly easy to wash!
Swap paper to a portable writing board
Taking notes at work (or for your personal projects) is probably a must, especially when you have a lot of to-dos. Just grab a piece of paper and list down all your priorities, and then throw it in the bin once the list has been completed - sounds wasteful, right? Especially if you have a new list everyday.
If you just love the feel of writing by hand better than typing, why not try a writing board so you can save on paper? Or better yet, if you already own a tablet and a stylus, you can just write your notes in your smart device!
Now these are just small and simple steps on how we can start to care and help our environment, and our Earth. But small steps reach greater heights when done in a consistent manner.
“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together”
- Vincent Van Gogh