From the simple act of taking a bath, buying a pair of jeans to a shopping spree with your friends, everything we do are somehow contributing to climate change. Of course, some actions create a larger impact but the thought that everything you do is costing the environmental cost is likely to have crossed your mind at least once.
For years now, corporates, governments, and the general public have taken Earth for granted, turning a blind eye to science and facts for too long. And now, climate change can no longer be ignored for the damage is not negligible.
Case in point – the on-going bushfires in Australia that have claimed the lives of millions of animals. Closer home, India has also witnessed life-threatening floods and earthquakes in the last couple of years.
However, this is not the end of the world and there are ways to protect the environment.
Here are some simple steps you can take to do your bit.
Practice plastic-free periods
Periods are not only difficult for women but also for our planet as well. This is because of increasing reliance on commercial sanitary napkins and tampons, 90 percent of which are made out of plastic. The National Family Health Survey 2015- 2016 reported that nearly 121 million women (36 percent of menstruating women) use sanitary napkins in India.
But where do they go? Discarded sanitary napkins are either dumped in lakes, rivers, landfills, and open spaces, or buried and burnt. Few even flush them down the toilet. While access to menstrual hygiene remains important for women across India, it is equally important to manage and educate on the proper management of menstrual waste in order to prevent environmental damage.
The plastic also affects aquatic life in rivers and oceans. However, if more women switch to eco-friendly cloth pads and menstrual cups, we can address this concern. Several organisations are also innovating in this space, manufacturing organic and eco-friendly products for menstrual health.
If you haven’t already, this simple choice can make a huge difference!
Buy eco-friendly jewellery
Jewellery may add a zing to your look but wait until you understand the environmental cost of obtaining those metals and gemstones. Jewellery production begins with mining, and uses not only toxic chemicals but can also cause natural disasters like earthquakes as well.
But this should not mean the end of your love for the perfect pair of earrings to go with your outfit. There are umpteen companies and organisations designing eco-friendly jewellery.
Ditch the shampoo and body wash bottles
Every time you buy a bottle of shampoo or a bottle of body wash, you are contributing to the increasing plastic waste. And then, there are chemicals like Phthalates and Sodium Laureth Sulphate, among others that are drained into water bodies, harming animals and plants.
Just like menstrual health, personal care also has eco-friendly options. From chemical-free soap bars to bar shampoos made of essential oils and natural ingredients, you can decide to choose the efficient and better way while protecting the environment as well.
Go vegan with your make up
India’s cosmetic industry is expected to exceed a market valuation of $20 billion by 2025. But, the sector is responsible for a lot of damage, including running trials and tests on animals to get. These can cause cornea burns, birth defects, and skin cancer.
If you haven’t already, this is the perfect opportunity to take out a little time and do some research to see if your favourite brands are cruelty-free.
And if they’re not, there are plenty of vegan and cruelty-free make up brands just a click away.
Take a fast fashion break (men too!)
Simply put, what comes around goes around and all the clothes and accessories you buy end up on this planet. Fast fashion companies increase production rates as per demands, leading to deforestation and heavy use of water. Then, toxic chemicals are released into rivers and oceans of developing countries.
Xintang, a town in China known as the denim capital of the world, has rivers that smell foul and run deep blue. It is also worth noting that it takes nearly 10,000 litres of waters to make a pair of jeans and the chemicals flow with every wash. The solution, however, lies within us. Maybe, it’s time to shop according to our needs and go on a fast fashion break.
After all, several small differences together can make a huge difference – and save our planet.