Does it seem weird that we receive untimely rainfall and experience sudden temperature changes out of nowhere? Environmental issues and humans have had a serious relationship since the past two decades and it is only getting worse. A simple fact that we survive because of the necessary elements provided by the nature is quite underrated. In the race of transforming the world into a better and faster life, we’re actually inviting the destruction of human kind. Humans are supposed to look after nature the way it looks after us and not work towards diminishing its existence. Why do we act like we are always going to have unlimited supply from nature no matter how rapidly we’re leading towards destroying it?
Over population on earth is the root cause of all the environmental issues. The more people there are, the more their needs will be. This has led to a consistent increase in all kinds of environmental issues. The population of earth currently is 7.6 billion and growing. It is estimated to reach 8 Billion by 2025, 9 Billion by 2040 and a massive 11 Billion by 2100 (only if earth exists by then). The increasing population is weakening the ability of our planet to support it. Over-population brings large number of negative environmental impacts such as deforestation, every type of pollution possible, global warming, climate change, extinction of species and so much more. Thankfully, many concerned masses across the globe are taking steps to decrease the causes of all these negative environmental hazards and trying to secure the planet for the generations to come.
The world had almost forgotten the importance of having a healthy environment until 2020 happened. The Coronavirus outbreak led to a global pandemic and people had to spend almost an entire year inside their homes. But if observed carefully, the pandemic was the best thing that happened to the nature in ages. On the other hand, it was sort of a reality check for humans. Everybody seemed scared for their lives due to a virus whereas they have been writing their own funeral from years with all the unbalanced life and careless behavior towards nature. They realized the importance of breathing fresh air and the actions required. The cleaner the air, the healthier the lungs and longer the lives. No matter how rich one is, one cannot have control over nature, and so 2020 was definitely an eye-opener.
Talking about realizations, people also had a reality check in terms of how they were living. This includes unhealthy eating, the odd sleep timings or lack of proper sleep and basically the entire routine of functioning. Many also realized the role immunity plays in our health and wellbeing, and the ways to boost it. Dealing with the pandemic actually resulted in various positive results related to health. This included the general acceptance of home-made food as the healthiest option, and rejection of junk food owing to closure of outlets for months. With such awareness, mankind also realized how crucial plants and nature that provides us with almost all essentials are.
The nationwide lockdowns proved to be extremely beneficial to the environment. As everyone was inside their homes, there was no movement on the ground. There were no humans, no vehicles, no dirt and hence no pollution. It was as if the nature actually relieved after ages. Due to drastic improvement in the environment, many animals were spotted roaming carefree even outside their habitat and various species of birds were found to be immigrating globally. The air was much cleaner, especially in the Indian capital, New Delhi, where people don’t normally breathe fresh air. It was a bliss watching the clean marine lines of Mumbai and witnessing the dolphins swimming close to the shore. Though indirectly, we did take a step towards an eco-lifestyle.
What is Eco-Lifestyle?
Let’s start with the basics. Having an eco-lifestyle simply means adapting to a lifestyle that helps bring balance in conservation, and preservation of earth’s natural resources. Adapting to certain habits and following a few steps that are in favor of living a green life is what contributes to an eco-lifestyle. Many people have already started practicing green living and we should hope that in a few years, everyone adapts to it. There are myths about eco-lifestyle being costly, but honestly, it is way too affordable and convenient. Today, many industries are manufacturing green products that encourage green living. These products include clothes, bulbs, cars, cushions, mattresses, shoes etc. made with environment preservation in mind.
Why choose an Eco-Lifestyle?
There are innumerable reasons as to why one should go for eco-living but here are some of the major ones:
· Helps in creating a healthier environment:
A study by the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that almost 13 million deaths and half of the diseases are caused due to environmental issues and that can be prevented by following a healthier lifestyle. These health issues include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease, and stroke. By making the right food choices and making eco-friendly decisions, we can add some years to our lives.
· Consuming healthy foods:
By buying local, organic and seasonal foods, we’re supporting long-term farming methods that protect the planet. Buy food from local farmers that reduces the transportation. Also, these methods can reduce the amount of pesticides that are used on foods to make them look fresh. Research shows that consuming foods with less or no pesticide reduces the risk of diseases such as immune suppression, hormone disruption, reproductive abnormalities, and cancer.
Preserving water and energy will not only help us save nature but also help in saving money. Since the Green Initiative began in 1987, the appliances that are energy efficient has kept 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide from polluting the air. Though there are various myths implying that green living is a costly lifestyle, it is very affordable and the industries are creating appliances that are eco-friendly.
What are the Environmental benefits of Eco-Lifestyle?
Conservation of natural resources:
One shouldn’t be surprised that the natural resources are disappearing rapidly. Since 1970, the natural resources have been more in use and it only keeps growing every year. By recycling we are helping to slow down the usage of these resources. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that wit every ton of paper we recycle, we save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy, and 7,000 gallons of water. Now that’s a lot of conservation!
Control Climate Change:
Igniting the fossil fuels for energy is the largest factor contributing to climate change. This type of energy usage results in large amount of carbon dioxide emissions that pollute our environment. The one way humans can deal with climate change and reduce its risks is by consuming less energy. Research tells us that switching to energy efficient appliances helps reduce carbon emissions by 19%. This is equal to removing 39 million cars from the road in one year. Taking steps to conserve energy at our homes and in every step of our life can go a long way in reducing carbon emissions and protecting our planet for the future.
Positive impact change in community:
When one chooses to live a healthy lifestyle, they influence others to do it too and when they see positive changes, they push others to follow it too. So in this way, a community change takes place. Adopting a green lifestyle helps in keeping the environment clean. People will slowly follow the steps to conserve the environment if they are shown how. If you live a green lifestyle, contribute further by influencing others to adopt it too.
Structure your bedroom for green living:
Don’t look for mattresses that contain either memory foam, poly-foam, latex, innerspring or a mixture of these:
When looking for the best mattresses to buy, look for third party certifications like Cerit-PUR US which show that the products were made without ozone depleters, without PDBDe, TDCPP, or TCEP flame retardants, made without mercury, lead (and other heavy metals), made without formaldehyde, and have a low VOC (volatile organic compound) and pass the emission standards for indoor use. Latex foam mattresses are a great option as latex foams are considered to be highly eco-friendly.
Find sheets that are eco-friendly too:
OEKO-TEX certified sheets are totally eco-friendly and tested for harmful substances and their products are social and environmental friendly.
Now is a high time to choose the green lifestyle. After everything we’ve been through during the pandemic, we know what leading a healthy lifestyle means. If we don’t take steps to conserve the environment now, we won’t have a planet to live on later. The rate at which the energy is being consumed might lead us to a day where all the resources and the animal species will go extinct and we’ll be left with only pictures and memories of it. So instead of taking all the natural resources for granted, we can take mini steps to protect the planet. Adapting to green living might seem difficult initially, but in the end it will lead to a healthier life.