Going green, staying clean

Going green, staying clean

Cleaning is not a task limited to the safai karamcharies, but extends to the citizens of the country at large, asserts Simran Chhibber.

The nation is going through a revolution right now, socially, ethically, politically, physically. ‘Clean India Drive’, an initiative by the current Modi government is a big leap in this direction. And as the PM has emphasised, time and again, cleaning is not a task limited to the safai karamcharies, but extends to the citizens of the country at large.

The good news is that you can easily board the ‘Clean India’ train from your home. It is important to begin at the grassroots level, by initiating a full-fledged eco-drive and being a part of the ‘Clean India Drive’. 

Eco-friendly kitchen 

Charity begins at home, and often, in the kitchen. You can begin by consuming organic produce. Most people worry about the high cost of organic products but you need to remember that you have to start buying before the costs go down. It is a two-way process. The farmers have to make their ends meet. So, as more and more people start going in for organic products, the prices will come down. 

Besides opting for organic products, there is a lot more that you can do. You can get rid of the non-stick cookware that has scratches, as it produces toxic gases on heating. Paper napkins can be done away with and replaced with cloth napkins. 

Plastic jars can be put away and be replaced with glass jars. A little home garden with home-grown veggies and herbs can be a big boon and you can go a step further and go organic here. Talking of veggies, there is so much waste - like vegetable peels and veggies gone bad - that find their way straight into the dustbin. You can make place for a compost pit in your backyard and make manure at home. This way the litter does not go into smelly bins but finds itself being used as home-made manure for your garden.

Electric saving

Certain habits, like covering your pots and pans while cooking, unplugging appliances like microwaves and electric kettles, when not in use and avoiding unnecessary opening of refrigerator and microwave doors can help you save energy and bring down your bills. You should also clean your refrigerator coils often. This is a task that is neglected for years together and it really affects the efficiency of your refrigerator. The same goes for your AC filters. Simple vacuuming of dust and then cleaning with a damp cloth could help you get rid of the accumulated dust there. If you are planning to buy any appliance for your home, go in for a star-rated one. It will really bring down your bills. If you are in that stage where your kitchen is still being constructed or you are planning to renovate it, you can go green by using terrazzo, recycled glass, indigenous stone, bamboo, salvaged wood, bio-glass and eucalyptus wood materials. 

Water matters

Repair the leaky faucets and taps in your bathroom. This really goes a long way. Using a simple air mixer in your bathroom faucets can help you conserve water without compromising even a little on your hygiene and comfort. Try and use solar power to heat the water in your bathrooms instead of conventional electric geysers. If you have a garden at home, try to incorporate drip irrigation to avoid wastage of water. Use run-off water for irrigation and grow plants that are suitable to the kind of environment you stay in. A system of rainwater harvesting incorporated in your home garden can help you tap the precious rainwater that can be used in the times of water shortage. 

Green habits

There is a lot more that can be included in your general home routine. For one, you could replace your plastic shopping bags with cloth or canvas bags. It may seem inconvenient in the beginning, but it’s worth the effort. You could start carpooling seriously and save fuel big time. 

Purchase movie tickets, train tickets and the like online. Organise your daily errands so that you can cut down on the recurring trips to the market and save on fuel; better still use a bicycle, or walk wherever you can. You might be into a habit of putting your computer to sleep at the end of the day. Instead, shut it down; it consumes electricity even when in sleep mode. 

Remember to buy rechargeable batteries and when you are disposing them off, please read the instructions that come with the packing; improper disposal of batteries creates a lot of havoc for the environment and ultimately on us. A lot many of us subscribe to magazines and you may notice that your friend circle and immediate neighbours subscribe to the same magazines as you do.

Get into the habit of circulating magazines, or better still, open a small community library. Ladies can contribute by buying eco-friendly beauty and home decor products. 

Follow civic senseDo not litter the roads. Keep a bag handy with you at all times and dispose off unwanted items into a dustbin nearby or throw it in your trash-can once you get back home. Keep your house neat and clean, and involve children in cleaning chores so that habits of cleanliness are imbibed in their nature from the very beginning. Ask them to clear plates after dinner, empty the trash bin, fold their clothes, organise their cupboards and make their beds before they leave home for school or college.

Teach them the importance of clean living.
Going green is not a tough thing to do. Small little changes in your daily life can bring about big and positive change. By going green, not only do you reduce your carbon footprint, but also inspire friends, family and your community to follow suit. And, of course, by the end of it, you will be a proud resident of a clean and green area. So, are you ready to chip in your bit?

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