This year was all about sustainable living. Amid all the cry for a greener planet and eco-friendly living — in the backdrop of climate change — many interesting alternatives made the news. They not only promised respite, but also encouraged an ethical and conscious way of life. Here is a quick recap of all the different trends that caught our attention this year, and why we are going to carry them to the next.
Sustainability at home
Change begins at home. If you are keen on doing your bit for the environment, start with your own house first. This year, we learnt about the many trends that promised us an eco-conscious living space; how everything — from lights and furniture, to flooring — can be environment-friendly. When it comes to lights, the use of lighter hues can save energy, and the colour of the walls and curtains can minimize the need for lights. When buying furniture for the house, opting for a recyclable material that is free of plastic and polyester is the key. The use of wool, cotton and jute for pillows, bedding, upholstery, carpets, etc., is a smart thing to do.
Did you know that your choice of food can contribute to the environment, too? A great many people have switched to the organic way of life, because organic food items are free from harmful components. Pesticides and chemicals such as fertilisers and herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides are majorly used in conventional agriculture. But, these are dangerous for health, especially for children and pregnant women, as they can cause serious health issues like cancers, brain tumours, leukemia, immune disorders, infertility, cardiac disease, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, to name a few.
A switch to organic food ensures you get a more nutritious meal that is better in taste, and sustainable in the long run. Organic vegetables, fruits and dairy products do not have pesticides and other harmful chemicals. They do not, therefore, contaminate the soil they are growing in. If anything, organic farming increases soil fertility, conserves water and reduces pollution.
Owing to the relentless pollution that engulfed parts of the country this year, many people opted for unique gifts to give to their loved ones. Thus began a new trend: of giving and receiving air-purifying plants to combat the ills of pollution. Kept indoors, these plants are known to help you sleep by cleaning the air around you. Snake Plant, Peace Lily, Money Plant, Spider Plant, Aloe Vera and Bamboo plant are some of them. Not only do these plants add a pop of green to your house, they also keep you healthy. And even if the governments decide to do something about the smog in the coming year, this lasting trend can continue.
Using RO and AC water
Every drop of water counts. Especially in a country like India that is part landlocked. Of the many ways of minimising water wastage, the smart use of RO and AC water was especially talked about this year. Instead of letting it go waste, you can use the water coming out of AC compressors and RO purifiers to water indoor and outdoor plants, wash utensils, mop the floor, etc. Some people have been using the water to clean their doors and windows, and patio furniture. This trend definitely needs to stay with us in the years to come.
Who does not like to travel? A quick getaway is what everyone yearns for from time to time. And, you can make the process both enjoyable and ethical. When you find yourself in a new place, carry your own bags when you go shopping so you can cut down on single-use plastic. Additionally, instead of buying a bottle of water every day, refill your own. Explore and experience the public transport system of a new place. Stay at an eco-friendly property, which follows green living practices, and try using the hotel-provided linen for the longest time, unless you absolutely need fresh towels. Do your bit and save natural resources.
This year, the discussions around ‘happily ever afters’ revolved around more and more couples consciously choosing to go green on their wedding day. Doing away with all kinds of decorative waste, many couples opted for a more sustainable approach. They went digital, ditching regular paper invites, limited or eliminated the use of plastic cutlery and crockery, opting for recyclable and compostable alternatives such as those made out of steel, bamboo, leaves, and other reusable materials instead. Additionally, many even chose to have recycled decor, instead of letting the vendor throw away leftover decorations. This trend can stay in the coming years, because it has its own charm. It is easy on both the pocket and the environment.
Be the change. . . From now on, plogging once a week. . . . Plogging is a concept that originated in northern Euprope and means picking up garbage as you run, to help a situation that is out of control, and also be a good example of healthy living to everyone around. If everyone took care of their own garbage, there wouldn’t be any on the streets. And it really is ok to pick up other people’s garbage. . . . It’s still our world. . . . #BeBetterEveryday #betterhabits4betterlife #Live2Inspire #fitnessaddict #love #loveyourself #LoveYourWorld #barefoot #earthkiss #mother 📷 @flashbulbzz
Recently, model and fitness enthusiast Milind Soman, too, declared that he would be “plogging once a week”, meaning he would be carrying a bag of garbage while running. In an Instagram post he wrote that it is “okay to pick up other people’s garbage”, because it is “still our world.”