What Does Being Eco Friendly Mean?
Eco Friendly by definition means something that is not harmful to the environment. An eco-friendly product or process is one that is designed to have the least possible damage to the environment.
There has been a great movement to try and stop environmental degradation and reverse some of effects of pollution. Phrases like going green, environmentally friendly, eco-friendly have gained popularity by marketers of products as they realize that consumers are more conscious of their impact on the planet. This has given rise to an overuse of green labels or green washing.
The truth is that the earth’s resources are finite as we are already witnessing issues like water shortage.
Why Is It Important To Be Eco Friendly?
It is imperative for every generation to take every measure to ensure it has the least negative impact on the environment. We are stewards of the resources on the planet and it is our duty to ensure future generations have a safe home.
1. To Prevent Natural Disasters
Disasters like floods, drought and fires are a result of human actions on the environment. Deforestation is directly linked to drought and floods. When forests are cleared, we lose crucial water catchment areas. Places where large forests have been cleared usually experience adverse changes in weather patterns which ultimately lead to climate change. Clearing of forests also leaves the top soil bare and it is subsequently washed away leaving the sub-soil which cannot absorb rain water which leads to flooding.
2. To Reduce Plastic Waste
Plastics make a great percentage of pollutants with most of it finding its way into the oceans. There, it causes harm to marine life where fish either ingest it or are hurt by it like for example plastic bags could wind around fins and injure the fish.When plastics are disposed by burning, toxic chemicals are released to the atmosphere that could cause various respiratory illnesses.
3. To Prevent Depletion Of The Ozone Layer
The ozone layer is made up of natural gas that surrounds the earth’s atmosphere protecting us from the harmful ultra violet rays of the sun. These rays can cause a number of diseases for example skin cancer and cataracts. This layer has been eaten away by chemicals called chloroflorocarbons (CFCs) which are found in aerosols. Aerosols are used by industries and when converted to chlorine, they cause depletion of the ozone.
4. To Avert Water Crises
Industrialization caused an increased demand for water. In recent years, there have been such severe water shortages in some cities that local authorities had to ration supply to citizens.
Benefits Of Being Eco-Friendly
As we go about our day to day lives, our choice of products may not be influenced by their impact on the environment. Mostly we value convenience and ease of use. This can be seen in popularity of paper towels over cloth napkins, bottled water, drinking straws. All these choices add up and have a negative impact on the environment. There are many benefits derived from being eco-friendly especially on the long run.
1. Lower Cost Of Environmentally Friendly Products.
Eco-friendly products can help cut costs in the long-term. For example the use of solar power though has high installation costs, has been proven to be cost effective as the sun’s energy is free of charge. Likewise houses built with eco-friendly designs make use of natural light thus reducing energy costs for the household.
2. Being Eco-Friendly Saves Energy
Eco-friendly buildings make use of natural lighting, are well ventilated and properly insulated therefore reducing energy requirements for lighting, cooling and heating. Use of solar energy also reduces the use of thermal sources of energy.
3. It Reduces The Problem OF Solid Waste Management
As people adopt eco-friendly habits like reusing and recycling, there will be less solid waste being disposed. Such solid waste is usually disposed in landfills where decomposition is anaerobic and it releases methane, a greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.
4. It Promotes The Health and Wellness of the Population.
Cleaner air resulting from reduced industrial emissions leads to reduced respiratory, eye and skin ailments. Where forests are reclaimed, the air becomes fresh and this has a positive impact on the wellness of both humans and animals.Products made of eco-friendly materials for example green cleaning products reduce the amount of chemicals in the air as they use natural ingredients.
5. Reverses or reduces climate change.
When greenhouse gas emissions are brought to a minimum, the harmful effects of pollution are gradually reversed.
How can one be Eco-Friendly?
Each one of us has a part to play in ensuring the environment is protected. Our individual eco-friendly practices will add up to have a positive impact on the environment.
1. Insulate Your Home
A great amount of energy in your home is spent through heating or cooling. 30% of heating energy is lost through the windows and 76% of sun light getting into the house becomes heat. Windows are therefore a good place to start. You can have a wide variety of methods of insulating windows depending on the season, operability and convenience. Widow films, blinds, roman shades, curtains and drapes, window quilts and insulated cellular shades.
2. Ensure Your Home is Well Ventilated
Open up windows to all natural flow of air to cool your house. Strategically placed windows will ensure your cooling energy consumption is kept at a minimum.
3. Use Solar Energy
Solar energy is a great way to reduce over-dependence on the grid for your power needs. Solar energy can be used for water heating, lighting.
4. Turn of Power To Conserve Energy
When an appliance is not in use you should turn it off and not leave it on standby. You’ll see a great difference in the power bill.
5. Buying Locally Grown Produce
The shorter the distance food is transported the better since it reduces the amount of carbon emissions by trucks. It would be even better if you grew your own food.
Mother earth is under siege. Human activities are taking a toll on our once green planet and the effects can be seen in the melting of glaciers, and spread of deserts. Every person has the responsibility to reverse this by adopting eco-friendly habits. Reuse and recycle, do not buy bottled water, cut out the use of plastic shopping bags and instead use canvas bags, use energy saving equipment and lamps, use natural cleaning products.
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