Everything is connected
“Every aspect of the beautiful Hawke’s Bay environment works together – our land, water, air and people – and the ways we use our natural resources.
Our physical environment of land, water and air surrounds and supports every one of us, yet is often taken for granted. We busy ourselves with a focus on the things we own or use, such as transport and technology, homes, streets, shops, parks and local facilities. These are all big factors in where and how we live, but not as fundamental to our ongoing health and wellbeing as the natural environment”.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council
What is Being Environmentally Friendly?
There are a surprising amount of people, businesses and communities that would like to do more to conserve and protect our natural resources, but they don’t know where to begin with becoming more environmentally friendly. Understanding what makes each of these aspects of our world part of the process of changing and conserving our resources; and learning how to get started making a difference is the first thing you have to learn.
According to Wikipedia,
“Environmentally friendly, environment-friendly, eco-friendly, nature-friendly, and green are marketing claims referring to goods and services, laws, guidelines and policies that inflict reduced, minimal, or no harm at all, upon ecosystems or the environment.”
Being environmentally friendly simply means having a lifestyle that are better for the environment. It's all about taking small steps towards mother earth so as to make this planet a better place for our communities and generations to come. A good way would be to start with conserving water, driving less and walking more, consuming less energy, buying recycled products, eating locally grown vegetables, joining environmental groups to combat air pollution, creating less waste, planting more trees and many more.
Why it’s Important to Become Environmentally Friendly
You can’t just point towards one business or practice and blame them for all of our environmental woes, everything fits together like a puzzle. The more that we all do our part – the faster we will create an entire ecology of living that promotes sustainability. The first step is to begin to understand the basics of what each part of life can do to become more environmentally friendly. The next step is to begin to learn to make different choices on a personal level that start to change your awareness, and consumption of resources. The changes are surprisingly easy to make, there are more ways than you can imagine beginning to practice conservation.
The Environmentally Friendly Business
Becoming an environmentally friendly business is more complicated than just signing on to a cap and trade agreement. Everything from the way that products are displayed and advertised, how waste is recycled, whether or not changes can be made to the basic operations of a business will all work towards making them more environmentally responsible.
A large emphasis for non-producing businesses can be placed on the management of supplies. Buying local may not always be the most responsible way to get supplies, but it can be as well. How a business works to support their community in their environmental conservation efforts is also another important task of the environmentally friendly business.
The Environmentally Friendly Community
In the environmentally friendly community, there is more than just a good recycling program in place. Communities that are committed to conservation and preservation of resources work to encourage options like community playgrounds, public transportation, green construction and work to change the way that fossil fuels and other resources are used to support community services.
The Environmentally Friendly Person
The environmentally friendly person is the person who moves through life with an awareness of how natural resources are used to create and support the life that they live. They recycle, conserve water and fuel and make other choices that not only lessen their impact on the environment, but also support industries that are working towards being more environmentally responsible.
15 Easy Ways to Become More Environmentally Friendly
Learning to be more environmentally friendly is easier than you think. You don’t have to jump in by changing everything, start small to make the changes more sustainable and a part of your normal life. Here are 15 ways you can begin to become more environmentally friendly.
1. Become More Aware of Resources: Start by living with a greater awareness of the resources that you use in your daily life. Pay attention to how you choose to heat, to travel, to use water and use products that were made by manufacturing practices. Awareness is what will allow you to then begin to make environmentally friendly choices.
2. Practice Conservation: With your new awareness of how natural resources are used in your life start to practice conservation. This can be as simple as turning off the lights as you leave a room and as complex as making different choices when it comes to building your home.
3. Plant Trees: Trees are necessary for us to survive. They give oxygen, fruits, clean the air, provide shelter to wildlife, prevent soil erosion. A shady landscape around your home can help you to reduce consumption of energy and keep your home cool even during summers. Plant small trees around your home, don’t cut them unless it’s necessary, work with local environmental groups to plant more trees and educate others about the positive aspects of it.
4. Conserve Water: Water needs to be conserved as lot of energy is required to pump water from rivers or lakes into your home. Conserving water reduces the amount of energy that is needed to filter it. Few ways to conserve water are – take short showers, fix leaking pipes, keep the running tap close while you brush your teeth, recycle water in your home, use water saving appliances, collect rainwater in a rain barrel to water your lawn.
5. Change Your Travel Habits: Driving and flying are two areas where you can make a real impact with environmentally friendly practices. Choose fuel efficient travel options, travel less and try to pick more direct routes to save on fuel. If your office is near your home, try to ride a bicycle instead of a car.
6. Use Less Fossil Fuel Based Products: Find out what products and consumables you use that are made using fossil fuel based products and processes and use them less or replace them in your life.
7. Buy Locally Grown Products: An easy way to reduce your carbon footprint is to buy locally grown products. When you shop locally instead of buying products that were shipped from far away, you are actually supporting local dairies and farms. Apart from this, you can follow organic farming practices and can grow food on your own backyard and can sell surplus to your friends.
8. Reduce Use of Harmful Chemicals: Hazardous chemicals like paint, oil, ammonia and other chemical solutions when disposed openly, can cause pollution in the air and water as these chemicals can seep into the groundwater. The polluted air and water can have serious consequences on human health. They should be disposed of to a toxic waste site for safe disposal.
9. Composting: Composting is an easy process that takes remains of plants and kitchen waste and converts it into rich nutrient food for your plants that helps them grow. It reduces the amount of garbage that goes to the landfills which pollutes the air. This way it proves safe for the environment.
10. 3 R’s of Waste Hierarchy: The 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) waste hierarchy is the order of priority of actions to be taken to reduce the amount of waste generated and to improve overall waste management processes and programs. Reduce simply means reducing what is produced and what is consumed. Reuse items for a different purpose instead of sending them to landfills. To recycle something means that it will be transformed again into a raw material that can be shaped into a new item.
11. Buy Recycled Products: When you go out for shopping, try to buy products from market that are made up of recycled materials with minimal packaging i.e. the product should be environment friendly. Look into manufacturing processes to check if it was made from recycled materials or the use of plastics or chemicals was involved in its production.
12. Join Environment Groups: You may find different environmental groups in your city with whom you can join hands to protect mother earth and make the environment clean. A quick Google search can help you in finding such groups. You can also pull your friends and relatives and ask them for a helping hand.
13. Stop Littering: One of the common sight that we see every day on streets is seeing people littering on roads. One of the ways to keep the environment and surrounding clean around you are to stop people from littering on roads. Instead, educate them to put trash and garbage in dustbins. The pile of garbage on road hampers the beauty of city and also pollutes the air.
14. Protect Wildlife: Human activity is leading to extinction of endangered species and habitats. Protect places like beaches and forests that are habitats for animals. Join hands with local forest department to protect animal habitat.
15. Educate Others: Educate others about the importance of living an environmentally friendly life. The more people share an awareness of the importance of the environment, the more we can do together to conserve it.
Source: Conserve Energy Future © All Rights Reserved