Saving Mother Earth with Baby Steps
Published on Aquila Style website, April 2012.
Simple ideas for a greener Earth — if a busy mumpreneur can do it, so can you! By Afia Fitriati.
The stresses of modern life demand a lot from us ladies. As if balancing a myriad of work and family duties were not hard enough, society also demands that we stay abreast of social and political issues, learn the various features of our smartphones and keep our composure at all times and under any condition. Then there is the issue of green living. With our super-hectic lifestyles, how can we make time to save the Earth? The answer, my dear, is by taking one baby step at a time. Here is a list of simple, Mother Earth–approved acts that we can do every day to help ensure a better environment for our kids.
1. Use fewer plastic bags
When you make that impulse purchase for an ice cream at your convenience store, forego the plastic bag. The production of plastic bags burns through barrel after barrel of oil, a scarce resource that is getting more expensive every day. Up to a trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year, millions of which end up in litter streams and landfills. Pass on the plastic whenever you can. Even better, go a step further: Buy one of those chic, Earth-friendly bags made of hemp or other renewable materials, bring it whenever you shop, and you’re on your way to saving the earth — in style.
2. Increase your air conditioner temperature
Set your air conditioner at a comfortable temperature. If you need to wear a sweater to keep warm, chances are you should turn your air conditioner up a few degrees. An adequate temperature is 25°C, which also happens to be the most energy-efficient setting. By doing this, you will still enjoy a cool comfort while also conserving electricity and saving money.
3. Check your tyre pressure
Keeping your tyres inflated to their optimal pressure will improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency by up to 3.3 percent, according to the US Department of Energy. Considering that you only need to do this once every few travelling days, 3.3 percent is a great bargain. You won’t get your hands dirty if you keep your car clean, and you’ll travel more safely and comfortably too. Not sure what pressure is best for your car? Check the information label on the edge of your vehicle’s driver-side door.
If we all take our individual baby steps we can make a collective difference
4. Unplug your charger devices
We are all guilty of this: leaving our mobile phone charger plugged in as we hastily stash our phone in our handbags. It may surprise you, but your charger still draws power when plugged in—even if the device is turned off. Although the energy wasted on one charger may seem miniscule, multiply that by the number of other chargers, devices and appliances around the world, and the amount becomes significant. If we all take our individual baby steps we can make a collective difference. Now you understand why those little fanged plugs are often referred to as ‘energy vampires’.
5. Shop online
There is such a thing as a win-win situation in the world of shopping — online shopping, that is. You get to window-shop in the comfort of your pajamas, have your purchases delivered to your door and be kind to Mother Earth at the same time. Shopping online uses less fuel than driving in your car from mall to mall. Isn’t that nice? And while you’re going clickety-click, remember to opt for organic, eco-friendly products.
When it comes to saving our beloved Earth, every bit counts: every Earth Day, every Earth Hour, every energy-saving lightbulb, every time you remember to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Doing good deeds in small portions is also encouraged in Islam, as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, ‘The (good) deeds most loved by God are those that are done regularly, even if they are small.’ (Bukhari and Muslim, Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 2, Number 24).
As God loves small deeds, so does our Mother Earth.