52 Weeks of Sustainability

I’m an Earth girl. I just love nature and I want every generation coming after me to experience the best of nature in all its beauty and glory. There’s nothing that can replace that, it’s priceless. Unfortunately, we are not shit and we don’t do enough (if anything at all) on our part to care for nature the way it cares for us. There’s no symbiosis. Humans have been trained and conditioned to take, take some more and keep taking without giving back.

In our minds we’re making things better, but who gave us that idea? I have a serious issue with the Savior complex that humanity has. Simply put we need to do better. Especially in this part of the world, the consciousness and awareness (or lack thereof) about what’s going on with our planet and in our universe and how we can do better and form a partnership that ensures that both we and our planet are happy and healthy is at a minimum.

This honestly surprises me cuz wouldn’t you want to live in a nice clean and put together home, being able to breathe in fresh, clean and pure air? Wouldn’t you want to experience all the beauty that life and creation has to offer untainted? I would. But apparently as a collective we don’t cuz every single day I drive out and I see humans littering thoughtlessly and repeatedly picking options that we are well aware are not sustainable or good for us or the planet. It’s appalling.

Taking this energy into the rest of the year and life from here on out, I think it’s time that we play a more active part in our existence and make more conscious decisions. I’ve gone ahead to compile a comprehensive list of ways you can live a more sustainable and mindfully conscious life. You don’t have to do it all, but do your part. Every little effort counts!

Reduce your household energy use and turn off anything you’re not actively using. You can also install energy efficient appliance or replace your bulbs with compact florescent or LED bulbs.

Buy food where you live, you’ll boost the economy and help the environment, win win.

Stop using single use products or plastics. I know this is difficult from first hand experience cuz you know Nigeria, but at least try to cut down consumption of such products.

Take up gardening. Plant seeds and grow your own food. It’s easier and more fulfilling than you think.

Recycle. We make so many excuses for not doing it like the market is non-existent in this country but remember that the consumer drives the market. Try it. If enough of us do what do you think will happen?

Pick quality over quantity. This educes the dependence on heaply ade goods single use products and makes it possible to esell and donate items instead of throwing them away.

Invest in a filtration system and drink from the well or the tap.

Save water. Install water efficient devices. In landscaping go for plants that are Hardy and drought resistant.

Rely less on your car walk, ride a bike, use public transportation or buy energy efficient cars.

Purchase fair trade products. These products are grown and produced ethically and sustainably.

Use reusable bags for shopping.

Invest in a water bottle.

Eat seasonally, it will reduce the importation of goods, hence reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Use e-tickets instead of printing.

Wash your clothes by hand, with cold water and air dry.

Start a community garden and encourage members of your community to volunteer. It creates awareness. A lot of people don’t know any better.

Eat less meat.

Don’t waste food it adds to the amount of C02 being created.

Compost. Natural fertilizer breaks down anaerobically so there’s no build up of methane gas.

Insulate your home if you live in cold areas and plant shade trees around if you live in hot.

Have food delivered to you, less vehicles on the road equals less toxic emmissions.

Fix or repurpose it don’t throw it away.

Use eco-friendly cleaning and personal care products.

Use your microwave instead of your oven.

Plant some trees.

Take a fast fashion break. Invest in pieces instead.

Use a digital calendar.

Add a dash of vodka or sugar in your flower vase, it extends their life span.

Start thrifting.

Pay your bills online.

Join the slow fashion movement, buy fewer higher quality clothing less often.

Invest in reusable cups and bags and straws.

Decorate differently. Incorporate plants and nature into your home instead of destroying them. Invest in biodegradable or upcycled furniture.

Read online. It’s cheaper and better for the environment. I know some of us prefer hard copy books but it’s a sacrifice we can make.

Invest in reusable makeup wipes.

Use a laptop instead of a desktop when working on your computer from home.

Make your own natural cleaning supplies.

Make your own organic heating pads.

Turn old fashion into new fashion with upcycling.

Use cold pressed oils. Made energy efficiently and is of higher quality.

Invest in eco-friendly pet care if you have pets. Biodegradable and reusable litter, canvas or hemp leashes and accessories etc.

Wear extra clothing instead of turning up the heat if you use heating in your home.

Take the stairs.

Buy in bulk.

Take your own reusable containers when shopping for groceries.

Create a capsule wardrobe for yourself.

Switch to cloth diapers if you’re a parent.

Go for stainless steel baby bottles, wooden or bamboo toys and accessories.

Use natural butter and oils for your babies care.

Juice cutoffs of fruits and vegetables.

Repurpose glass jars.

Go for cloth rags over paper kitchen towels.

Use a dishwasher over hand washing.

Invest in a pressure cooker, it cuts cooking time by half.

Go make-up free for 7 days every month and invest in clean beauty products.

Use shampoo bars to reduce packaging.

Read labels before purchasing items.

Use multipurpose products.

Save gift bags for future use.

Gift experiences or money instead of items that may not be consumed or create handmade gifts with recycled items.

Use natural energy and rechargeable batteries.

Recycle or refurbish your devices.

Switch to cloud computing over physical hard drives.

Switch to sustainable search engines like Ecosia. They use their profits to plant trees and run on 100% renewable energy.

Spend more time outside.

Eat more whole foods.

Cook for yourself.

Adopt children and pets instead of breeding.

Use handkerchiefs instead of tissues.

Bake several items at once.

Wash your bins instead of using plastic liners.

Raise chickens.

Provide people with the opportunity to work from home.

Maintain a paperless environment.

Offset your carbon emmissions. I’ll leave a link on how you can do that here.

Choose eco-friendly accommodation when you travel.

Clean up after yourself. Always leave a place better than you found it.

Drive sensibly.

Join environmental organizations, or start one in your community.

Use natural light and open windows more often.

Meal prep.

Share your knowledge.

Educate yourself. There so much information made available to us, we’re in the Age of Aquarius so we have no excuse.

I’m sure from this list you can pick at least ten things you can actively do without inconveniencing yourself in anyway. I challenge you to step up your game and do your part, if we all do the little we can, guess what happens? It adds up! I’d love to know which of these practices you’ll be adopting. Let me know in the comments below.

Yours truly, Chalya.