2020 turned out to be an eye opener of a year. Experiences from COVID-19 and the ensuing crisis showed us that life is precious. It also brought home the fact that nothing is certain. The earth is our home, and so far humanity has no plan B. Protecting earth is to protect ourselves. Here is a short selection of things which are environment-friendly, easy to do, and make economic sense.
Switch to Healthier Commuting Habits
France is home to millions of migrant workers. These expats regularly send remittances back home via the Ria Money Transfer App and similar channels. More savings mean more money to send to family. Walking or cycling to get around is a practical substitute to using our cars. The daily exercise is good for mental and physical health. It is also very effective for reducing our carbon footprint. Shun the car, the taxi, and even the bus. Get comfortable walking shoes.
In big cities like Paris, one has the option to rent a bike from services like Vélib’. Smart bikeshare company Mobike has been in many European cities for some years. Another one is Donkey Republic. Renting mechanical and electric bikes is becoming easier and more commonplace. For longer commutes consider using ride share apps.
Buy Green Products
This is an umbrella term for sustainable products that minimize impact on the environment. Let’s start with plastic. Most globally produced plastic can be recycled. However, its sheer quantity overwhelms local waste disposal systems. The volume of plastic waste is far more than can be efficiently processed. In 2017 a French engineer named Nicolas Moufflet aimed to create a 100% biodegradable water bottle. This product was organically created from sugarcane. It is finding a niche in an environment where governments are actively taking steps to reduce plastic consumption.
Consider switching to paper, straw, jute, and other forms of reusable grocery bags. Use rechargeable batteries, LED lights, and biodegradable trash bags. Look for reusable, environmentally-friendly replacements for everything. Seek out products with accredited eco-friendly certifications. One such accreditation is AB (Agriculture Biologique), which indicates that the product has 95% organic contents.
Grow Your Own Food
There is hardly a healthier food alternative than a backyard vegetable garden. Gardening is a productive hobby and a life skill. Transforming a neglected patch into a vegetable garden is a rewarding accomplishment and a fantastic way to save the planet on a budget. Growing our own food indirectly reduces the amount of plastic food packaging in circulation. It also minimizes the energy spent on commercially processing food.
Know Your Meat
A 2019 survey revealed that 38% of French ate pork or beef 3-5 times a week. Replacing meats with plant-based foods can go a long way towards saving money and the earth. In this regard the government has shown support. In May 2020 France approved a bill on transparency of meat origin. The approval came 5 years after the bill was first proposed. Consumers must know the origin of their meats as well as the processing methods. This will encourage producers to improve the quality and output of production. Better information about how meat is produced is already causing a reduction in meat consumption. Join the movement. Know your meats, choose them wisely, and consume them mindfully.
Rethink Your Heating
Traditional electric heating costs a lot and consumes a considerable amount of energy. According to French Entrée, 62% of the energy consumed in France is used for lighting and heating. Consider finding alternatives with reasonable energy consumption. The best solution is to install new heating systems based on solar or geothermal heaters, and ground source heat pumps. The long term savings will more than pay for the initial setup cost.
This applies not only to social media. France is the second largest energy consumer in Europe. We don’t need lights, heaters, laptops, phones, and other devices to be plugged-in all the time. An easy way to save some power and money is to unplug devices when not in use.
About the Author:
Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.