Most of us aren’t aware of the fact that the items we use in our daily life have a huge impact on our environment. Our planet Earth faces an enormous challenge in the form of global warming, which can cause irreversible damage to the natural environment and the ecosystems in it, if not controlled in time. Believe it or not, by incorporating little changes to our routine, we can at least slow the process of climate change, if not completely eradicate the threat. Of course, it’s not something unachievable, we can simply start with using eco-friendly alternatives to everyday items. We can also work on ways to make our homes energy efficient.
However reading a few articles about “The Three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Waste Hierarchy” on the internet would help you understand the severity of the situation and gain knowledge about the measures that can be taken to curb it. Before we tell you more about the eco-friendly alternatives to everyday items, let’s give you a brief intro of “The Three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Waste Hierarchy”.
Waste Hierarchy: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The basic purpose of following the waste hierarchy based on the popular 3R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) is to set priorities to make the efficient use of the available resources and increase the sustainability of waste management. Countries around the world are now working on waste treatment policies, which are based on a systemic approach of productively handling and managing waste.
Such policies are also the need of an hour in countries like Pakistan where, according to a report, around 20 million tons of solid waste is produced only in Karachi, which is the country’s largest city. However, the recent ban on plastic bags by the government of Pakistan is an appreciable move in this regard. So, now let’s learn how we can incorporate little change in our lifestyle to help make our world a cleaner, greener place.
Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Everyday Items
If you look around, you can easily find some eco-friendly items that can replace your everyday essentials, some of which have been listed and discussed as under:
- Reusable Water Bottles/Cans
- Fabric Napkins
- Cloth Bags
- Rechargeable Batteries
- Energy-Efficient Lights
- Bamboo Straws
- Natural Cleaning Products
Reusable Water Bottles/Cans
A lot of people these days have become habitual of using plastic water bottles, commonly known as mineral water bottles. Such types of water containers are disposable, which means they become a part of your trash after being used for one or two times. However, to prevent such wastage of materials and discourage the use of plastic, we can opt for reusable water bottles, cans and other types of containers. Glass bottles, as we used in the old days, are one of the best eco-friendly alternatives to the things we use every day in this regard.
Nowadays, almost every other household has tissue boxes and packs filled with napkins made of light paper. They are for one-time use only and go to waste after that. You may require dozens of them to keep your everyday routine going. For example, cleaning the spills, using to wipe your face, runny nose, oily hands, and sweat. However, you can also do all of these tasks with a fabric napkin, which is soft, absorbent and long-lasting. It’s also washable and can be reused after being washed and disinfected.
As we know, plastic is one of the major sources of pollution spreading around the world. Most of the shoppers in different countries are habitual of using polythene bags since it is handy, easily available and makes it easier for you to carry stuff. However, the usability of a particular item also depends on your preferences. Adapting to the routine of using cloth or paper bags isn’t that difficult. Moreover, another very handy alternative to plastic bags available in the market are bags made up of biodegradable materials. Since manufacturing biodegradable bags isn’t as cheap as plastic bags, their availability is limited and such eco-friendly products are currently only supplied at big supermarket chains in Pakistan like Carrefour.
The concept of rechargeable batteries isn’t something new, they have been here for decades. We use a lot of items these days that run on batteries. So, instead of using disposable batteries, we can always opt for the rechargeable ones, which are eco-friendly substitutes . You can consider it as one of the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternatives to everyday items. Rechargeable batteries are easily available in the local market. You can shop for them from any small shop in your neighbourhood as well as supermarkets in the city.
We are all aware of the fact that Light Emitting Diodes (LED) bulbs last longer than the conventionally used incandescent bulbs. They do not bring down our electricity bills but are also environmentally friendly. However, LEDs may be a bit more expensive than other lighting options available in the market but they consume less energy and provide more light, which leads to the reduced emission of harmful greenhouse gases from power plants.
You may have never heard of bamboo straws but they are actually eco-friendly substitutes to the regular plastic straws that we use. You can easily find them at one of the big supermarkets in your city of residence. They are natural, biodegradable, antibacterial and absolutely chemical-free.
Quick Fact: Unlike plastic, bamboo is a safe natural alternative, which produces 35% more oxygen than any species of tree and doesn’t endanger natural ecosystems.
Eco-friendly subtitutes to plastic drinking straws other than those made with bamboo include glass and metal straws. They can be reused after being thoroughly rinsed or washed. They also have a longer lifespan than bamboo straws. All of these are eco-friendly alternatives to the items we use every day.
Natural Cleaning Products
We often deep clean our homes and use different types of chemical-based cleaning agents for this purpose. The thing is we all know how expensive these cleaners are and buying them, again and again, would definitely put a dent in your wallet. Moreover, such cleaning agents are also harmful to the environment. They can also pose a serious health threat to young children in your home.
So, to keep all these worries at bay, you can opt for making your own homemade cleaner. Ingredients like white vinegar, liquid soap, natural salt, baking soda, borax powder, washing soda, hydrogen peroxide, and lemons can be used to make natural and eco-friendly cleaners. Natural cleaning agents are one of the most useful environmentally friendly alternatives to everyday items. Learn more about natural disinfectants that you can prepare at home here.
Benefits of Eco-Friendly Lifestyle
Before wrapping up this post, let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle
- One of the most important benefits of eco-friendly living is that it introduces you to the better and more responsible version of yourself.
- You try to adopt habits that are good for your health as well as for the environment around you.
- You get to know the importance of valuable resources like clean water and organic food and learn ways to sustainably use them.
- Most importantly you learn about the “the Three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Waste Hierarchy. Getting familiar with the concept of sustainable waste management is one of the key benefits of eco-friendly living.
Now that we have discussed some useful eco-friendly alternatives to everyday items and the benefits of adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle, it’s time for us to wrap up this blog. Let us know if you have any questions or feedback about the environmentally friendly items discussed above by emailing us at email@example.com and engage with us in an informative discussion. We love it when our readers interact with us.
Since you are here reading about eco-friendly alternatives to everyday items, you may also want to take a look at our detailed piece on the electric vehicle policy in Pakistan.
On a side note, you may also be interested in reading about the ongoing renewable energy projects in Pakistan, and eco-friendly flooring options for your home. Also, don’t forget to read our detailed blog on the concept of solar energy in Pakistan and its related power generation projects.
For more informative pieces on the developments taking place across the country like the CPEC Projects and under-construction dams in Pakistan, keep reading Zameen Blogs. You can also subscribe to our email newsletter to receive daily alerts and stay up-to-date with the current affairs by following Zameen News.