Written by Alexandra Dimitriou
“La Mer” needs our help, our love and our protection. As divers we care, we are aware of the issues the world faces and what we can do to help; we carry our own bags to the supermarket. We recycle, reduce and reuse.
But is this enough?
Sustainability is all about finding ways to use today’s resources in a way that maintains their supplies for the future. It doesn’t mean that we have to live without the luxuries to which we have become accustomed, but it does mean that we have to be aware of our resource consumption and aim to reduce unnecessary waste.
Here are 5 ways that you can push your own personal boundaries. You probably do a few already, so good on you, but we can always do more!
Reduce household energy use
- Turn off appliances and lights that you’re not using.
- Install energy-efficient appliances. Smart appliances such as LIFX bulbs turn your home into a wifi controllable superhub of efficacy.
- Use a programmable/smart thermostat that lowers or raises the temperature when you’re not home.
- Set your thermostat lower than usual in the winter and bundle up.
- Open windows to allow a breeze instead of turning on the air conditioning.
- Hang clothes to dry instead of using the dryer.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient ones
Eating locally grown, seasonal food is a very powerful way to become more sustainable. The convenience of supermarkets has changed how people think about food; you can stroll through aisles stocked with fruits, vegetables, and other products from all over the world any time of year. But these products consume huge amounts of fossil fuel energy to get from their far flung homes to your local supermarket. Try farmers markets; they help the local economy while keeping your carbon footprint to an absolute minimum.
Dispose with disposables
Before you make a purchase try to consider its life expectancy. The questions you should always ask yourself are:
- How long can the item be used?
- Will it have more than one use?
- When you’re done with it, will it end up in the rubbish bin?
Try to start investing in reusable products for the items you most often throw away.
Buying local is one thing, but growing you own anything is not only satisfying, but it’s the most sustainable way of fuelling your body. You don’t need to grow whole harvests. You don’t even need a huge backyard, even a few balcony planter pots full of luscious red tomatoes will brighten up your locally bought salad items.
I know you do this already. At least I hope you do. Recycle everything you can. Do it more. Help your friends. Show them it’s not so hard.
Resell and donate items
Don’t just throw stuff away when a simple needle and thread could fix it. When you are done with something and it’s still usable, donate it. It’s that simple. Check out charity shops for new clothes, you can find some crazy bargains which will benefit local charities too!
Drink from the tap
If it’s safe to do so in your area then drinking from the tap instead of bottles could mean you save an average 217 plastic bottles a year.
Saving water in your household is easier than you think. You could upgrade your loo to be water-efficient or dual-flush, which let you choose whether to use a full flush (for solid waste) or half-flush (for liquid waste). Water-saving shower heads are pretty cheap to buy and easy to install.
Saving water in your garden is also easy. Adapt the plants and landscaping you use to the local environment. If you live in an area of drought risk, then look for drought-tolerant species.
Rely less on your car
Use the bus, carpool, and try to walk more. Your wallet with thank you too.
Purchase fair-trade products
The fair trade symbol signifies that products have been grown using sustainable methods of agriculture and that local people are being paid a sustainable and fair wage. They may cost you a few pennies more, but the earth saving element makes them worth it.
Don’t you agree?
Have I missed anything? What do you do that makes you more AWARE?