If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I’m trying to be more sustainable in my ways. While going a 100% sustainable will take a while, I’m taking small steps towards being more sustainable every day. Here are 5 things that I did in January to be more sustainable –
Emptied my inbox of unwanted emails
Having had an email ID for the past 15 years, I had ended up collecting an incredible amount of junk email that I had just come to ignore. Thanks to NOW’s Green December initiative I learnt about the environmental impact of the junk as well as well as useless emails in our inboxes. All our emails are stored on servers across the globe. These servers consume massive amounts of energy as they run 24 hours a day to make our emails available to us. Storing tons of unwanted email leads to more servers being needed, the servers consuming a lot of energy and adding to our carbon footprint. After clearing up my inboxes in December, in January I tried to delete any unwanted emails immediately and if I couldn’t, as soon as my inbox crossed 100 unread emails – I’d sit and go through them to delete the mails I didn’t need.
“According to carbon footprint specialist Mike Berners-Lee, every spam email – releases an estimated 0.3 grams of CO2 into the atmosphere. An email with a lot of text and an attachment can be responsible for up to 50 grams. “
TIP: I know how hard it can be to empty your inbox. In my oldest inbox I had around 13k unread emails. To make it easier use the search to bulk delete unwanted mails from common ecommerce websites (from Amazon), social media notifications (from Facebook) etc.
Discussed it with my family & friends
This may seem like such a small step but it has far reaching repercussions. Whenever I’d meet or talk to family and friends, I’d bring up the topic of sustainability to guide them on some easy and inexpensive ways to move towards sustainable living. I’ve had extended conversations with them on fast fashion, shopping local, waste segregation and moving to biodegradable products. This is a simple way to pass on this consciousness to others. Maybe the next time they pull up the H&M website – your words might ring a bell and they might just choose to shop from a local shop instead.
Made a plan on how to be more sustainable in 2021
Being more sustainable is a life goal for me – I spent the month planning out the different ways in which I would change my lifestyle in 2021 to be more sustainable – from reducing waste to switching to environment friendly products and brands to planting more trees. Here’s hoping I’m able to achieve my sustainability goals for 2021.
Donated, recycled & shared items that I no longer use
I went through all my old stuff stored at my folk’s place to make sure I am not holding on to any items for their sentimental value. I made a few different piles – I recycled some to make them useful, I gave away some items to my family, some to friends and donated whatever else that could be re-used. I won’t say that I was successful in giving away all items that held a sentimental value but I’m getting there.
TIP: If you’re an emotional hoarder like me, I’ve found that Marie Kondo’s method of thanking everything before giving it away really helps. It marks the end of your journey with the item and thanking it helps you snap your emotional ties with it.
Moving to local brands
This was my first sustainability goal for 2021 – to move to local brands for products that I buy regularly. Shopping locally manufactured products can help reduce your carbon footprint (shipping, packaging, storing adds to energy consumption). With so many home grown brands being launched in the past few years, I’ve made a conscious effort to encourage them as well as reduce the carbon footprint of my shopping. In January, I tried to find local replacements for my skincare products. It wasn’t the easiest process – since I have sensitive, acne prone skin and don’t like experimenting a lot with skincare brands. But I have finally moved to a skincare routine which majorly comprises of local Indian brand products.
TIP: It can be overwhelming to suddenly, completely switch up all the products and brands that you’ve been using. Go slow, choose products that are an easy switch. Do research on those that are harder, take your time.
Do you have any sustainability goals for 2021?
If you liked this, check out my others posts on sustainable living –
If you haven’t read my latest posts, check them out there –
- Your Feelings Are Valid: Year-End Edition (Goodbye 2022)
- 25 Things I’ll Do In The Last 25 Days of 2022
- November 2022 – Month Review
- Soul Connections – Do Souls Recognise Each Other?
- Comforting Words For Anyone Dealing With Loss
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