My own little contribution to save the environment

…and my thoughts behind my actions

In this day and age everyone is talking about climate change and the governments of the world not doing. While we are waiting for the governments to bring about the changes in legislation can we do something? I read a lot of internet and found quite a few things that we can implement in our day to day life to contribute to this cause.

1. Plastic

While there are lot people who say that climate change is a myth and speak passionately about the hoax of climate change being propagated through popular media but there are yet a few things that people can deny about the human caused plastic pollution. Just the amount of plastic we see in nature, be it in terms of PET bottles, plastic bags or food packing material is shocking. It makes nature look ugly and humans are squarely to blame for this (I have yet to come across asking for mineral water and throwing away the bottles after is it over). The first change I have bought about it given up on buying mineral water. Even though here in Switzerland tap water is safe to drink, I used to buy six-er packs of packaged mineral water coming from different countries. I might have been diligent in recycling the PET bottles but common this water was being consumed thousands of miles away from its source. The entire supply chain of extracting, packaging, transporting are leaving carbon footprints all over. It is one of the easier things to give up. I now carry my own bottle everywhere and more or less I am used to it i.e. I do not forget it like I do not forget my wallet. Another up side I have seen is that I drink more water since I always have water on me.

2. Meat

I enjoy meat and I miss eating meat but thats a sacrifice I am willing to make for a greater cause. Now this line may sound dramatic but to be perfectly honest I have not given up meat completely. Instead of having meat every day its come down to once a week. I have also added in another condition to my meats and that is it should be Bio quality. I simply do not want to eat animals raised in difficult conditions, I wish that animal has lived a happy life before its death. I often surprised that we humans are appalled by the stories of living conditions of people in WWII concentration camps but we are not moved by seeing multiple chickens in a small iron cage or pigs falling over each other in a cramped sty (perhaps they are animals thats why). Just for stats 70% of the farm land and 33% of fresh water supply is used for raising livestock that provides energy for only 18% of the population. I hope I successfully give up meat one day, looking forward to that day

3. Energy consumption

I live here in Switzerland and public transport is amazing so avoiding personal transport for environment is not only easy but also convenient. This does not mean we cannot save energy. There are at least two source which helps me reduce my energy consumption

  • Lesser heating: As you can imagine it gets cold here during winters. Walking around in shirt and shorts in home is fun in winter but reducing heating slightly and wearing full clothes and light sweater is not only cosy but healthy from body immunity point of view. When room is chilly getting under a duvet is fun and sleep has been much better too
  • Avoid clothes dryer: Clothes just do not dry in winter if you hang them outside. Most modern homes have tumbler to dry clothes, which are convenient but energy expensive. In my bath tub we have clothes hanger to dry the clothes and clothes dry up easily during the night. I do not have to remove this hanger as most of my baths are in shower and not in tub. The occasional time I have a tub bath, I can easily remove this clothes hanger.

4. Shopping (especially on internet)

I recently read an article that claimed that in Switzerland 10 million parcels ordered online are returned each year. This number belonged to the single online clothes seller here. To-and-fro of these parcels have an impact of 9000 tons of CO2 emissions per year. Quite incredible for a country with a population of 8.5 million and relatively a small geographical area. Expand this to larger country and multiplication factor of the damage is non comprehensible. These stats also show the collateral damage that so called cheaper internet shopping with free return policy has. I have never been a big shopper but now I am even more careful about what I order and probability of my returning the shopped goods.

These were my ideas and small contributions, do you have any other tips that can be easily applied in day to day life.

A banker by profession, a technology enthusiast in evenings and passionate about environmental issues

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