6 Ways to Lead an Environmentally Friendly Life

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Image from Naturale High

The effects of global warming are becoming a reality, which for some reason is a fact that is still being debated across the world. Whether or not you believe in it, this change in weather is going to affect the lives of many, and escaping it is going to be virtually impossible. But instead of debating or living in fear, there are simple actions you could do that can make a world of difference.

1. Stop Using Plastic Bags

Image from Expat Life in Thailand

Plastic has come to be known as the environmental equivalent of cancer; once it’s in the ground, it’s really staying in there. It takes some plastics around 1,000 years to decompose in the ground. For reference, a normal wooden chair would take around 10 years to decompose. So next time you’re making a trip to the supermarket, perhaps consider taking a backpack or two with you. A lot of plastic bags make their way to the sea after being thrown away, where sea turtles mistake them for jellyfish, try and eat them, and then end up choking to death.

2. Carpool

Image from Snapmunk

Summer’s about to start and the weather is going to get very warm very fast. Most methods of public transport don’t maintain proper ventilation and cooling systems for Egypt’s heat, so it’s understandable that if you own a car you would want to drive around in it. However, how about you pick up a few friends on your way to and from wherever you’re going? Instead of five cars going around, only one will. You’ll help ease the traffic problem as well as the issue of harmful emissions.

3. Separate Your Garbage

Image from Mosa'ab Elshamy

In all honesty, this one is for several reasons. First of all, many of the items thrown away in the garbage tend to be recyclable or reusable, which means that less garbage is thrown into landfills to decompose. There is a more humanitarian reason to this point though; in Egypt there are garbage men and boys, but the country doesn’t really have garbage women and girls. However, just because we don’t see women and girls in garbage trucks does not mean that they are not involved. Often women and children will be assigned the job of sifting through garbage in order to separate what is useful and what is garbage. That means being exposed to syringes, rotten food, and any medical or hygiene products. Separating garbage can actually lower the likelihood of someone in the garbage-collecting community contracting a dangerous or life-threatening disease.

4. Don't Overuse the Air Conditioner

Image from Care Hospitals

Once again, summers in this area of the world can be tough and almost crippling. That being said, some tend to overdo it in terms of how they set their air conditioners. We have all been to the cinema or a friends’ house during the summer and secretly wished for a jacket while it was 42 degrees outside. In Al Gore’s documentary titled An Inconvenient Truth, one of the suggestions made was not to let your air conditioner go below 24 degrees; it will keep your home cool while causing minimal damage to the environment.

5. Don't Leave the Water Running

Image from Shutterstock

Running water is a luxury; most people in this country and the world don’t even have access to clean running water. As the population grows older, much of the global conflict that will exist will revolve around the increasing scarcity of water. So in order to do your part, here are a few simple guidelines: don’t brush your teeth with the water running; you can turn off the tap until you actually need water, and the same goes for washing your hands. Extra-long baths/showers and over-watering gardens and plants should be minimized, if not eliminated. It might cause some inconvenience to your daily routine of showering for 25 minutes, but your children will thank you.

6. Cut Down on the Beef

Image from Atlanta Parent Magazine

This is going to be a bit of a controversial one for all the self-proclaimed carnivores out there. Unfortunately, the beef industry causes more emissions that are harmful to the environment than the automobile industry. Yes, that’s right! Beef is worse than cars when it comes to affecting the environment. We are not suggesting you become vegetarians or anything, don’t worry. You can, however, become a more conscious consumer; perhaps start by eating less beef and if you want to take it a step further, then try to only buy beef from local farms not from the mass producing manufacturers. It might seem like a hassle, but it’s a favor future generations will appreciate.

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