Updated: Aug 20, 2020
-Sanju Soman & Gokul S Kumar
What on earth would be the most comfortable and safest place for one to live - our homes. Most of us invest in keeping our homes look cool and feel good. From furniture to cookware, we invest time in choosing the best for our own house.
This highly productive space that one calls our own home is leading to a major chunk of plastic waste and carbon emissions. Household energy consumption is approximately 35% of one's total carbon footprint. Household plastic waste consumption has been on the rise we lesser products not available which comes without plastic.
The Genऋ tribe aims to focus on this aspect as we move forward. Sustainability has always been the main motive behind the creation of the tribe. This article takes you through some easy ways to understand your impact on the environment and take the right steps in the making of a planet-friendly home.
Understand your household emissions- The energy we consume is produced in a power plant somewhere within a 2000km radius of which a major share is produced from thermal power plants. For every unit of energy consumed there would be an emission of 1kg of CO2 equivalent (this varies from region to region). All you have to do is- multiply the unit consumed by 1kg and would get the energy emissions.
Move to planet-friendly appliances- Now that you understood your energy emissions, you need to identify which devices take in the most energy and make necessary changes. Moving to 5-star rated appliances (in regard to refrigerator, washing machine, Air conditioner etc) can help reduce energy intake drastically.
Most of us also use ceiling fans which keeps running most part of the day. Moving to BLDC (brushless DC motor) fan which only consumes 1/3rd of what a conventional fan consumes can also help bring down the energy need. Apart from that make sure to change lights to LED and switch off electrical points when not in use.
Managing Organic waste thoughtfully- A lot of us throw away organic waste with plastic waste which is one of the major reason for methane emission (a Greenhouse Gas) produced from landfills. Upon cooking and using up resources, we leave behind a pile of waste in our trail. However, if we could simply compost the waste and use it for our plants, that could provide good nutrition for our plants and save the planet. In house composting systems that are available nowadays are of low cost and are highly efficient.
Segregation of waste- Another thing that is crucial is the proper segregation of waste. We have always faced the problem of waste disposal and we end up dumping them in huge wastelands, but what we can do as individuals is as simple as separating plastic, organic and generic waste. This separation will help us partially solve the waste disposal crisis. Also, try to understand the various types of plastics that we use. Most of the plastic that comes as packaging our groceries and snacks are non-recyclable or less recycled.
Rainwater Harvesting- The water crisis is real and is causing a lot of problems for people. Several people especially those living in cities face huge shortages are unable to do anything. A fairly simple measure we can take to ensure that we can draw the water we require from our environment is through the successful implementation of a rainwater harvesting system. This system will give us control over our water consumption and will help make more resources available to others.
For independent houses, one could install a rooftop rainwater harvesting system that recharges well/borewell water. While for apartments, you could either recharge the bore well or install an underground storage tank.
Generate your own energy An average Indian household consumes between 200 - 300 kWh of electricity every month which is equal to 3500kg of CO2 equivalent. One of the best ways to reduce this emission is by generating your own solar power. A 2kW of solar power plant would be enough to power your house for 2 decades.
Chemical-free home- Chemicals in our detergent, cosmetics and toilet cleaners are toxic to our planet. The chemicals leech into underground water bodies leading to a change in water quality. Apart from that it also affects our water bodies and its marine life. By moving to chemical-free cleaners or natural cleaning enzymes we can ensure the protection of our water and water bodies.
The implementation of at least one of these ideas in our daily lives will create a massive impact on the environment. As a Genऋ tribe member, we can come together and help each other achieve these goals. Collectively let us work together to reduce our impact on the environment. Know more at the Sustainability workshops that bhava conducts which will help you realize your impact on the environment.