Going green is the new mantra as humanity grapples with the most serious challenge to its continued existence. What can we do as women to save our environment?
In primitive times, women were the first environmentalists. By observing the growth processes of nature, they took advantage of this knowledge for agricultural practice. Since survival was precarious, natural resources were managed carefully. Waste was not an option. Now more than ever, it’s time to remember those women of yesteryear, feel their respect and love for the land, and translate that feeling into action.
Catch them young
Young children are the most receptive to ideas; Teach them early to think green:
Have your toddler turn off the tap while brushing his teeth and turn it on just to rinse his mouth.
A cup and a bucket of water is all you need for bathing. When your child learns to soap and wash, not only will he have saved several liters of water, but he will also have increased his self-esteem.
· School craft project? A cardboard kitchen towel holder becomes a kaleidoscope; An aluminum can turns into a colored pencil holder. A paper soap box transforms into a camera, an orphan sock into a hand puppet. Decorated cardboard strips make beautiful picture frames. Ignite your child’s creativity, while instilling in him the habit of reusing materials for a lifetime.
Adopting green kitchen practices will help save both the environment and your health.
· Why not bake cakes and cookies at home or try making jams? Also, get a juicer and make fresh fruit juice. When you buy these products in stores, you also pick up a large number of disposable packaging. In addition, the products are also loaded with chemicals and preservatives; tell them no.
· Buy organic food products. Is there a local farmers market? Support them in their business. Organic is more expensive, we know. But saving the earth will be cheaper in the long run!
Large-scale farming to feed animals is wasteful and energy-consuming. Throw away the corned beef and go vegan with a heart. Experiment with new kitchens; Surprise your family and friends with your new experience and spread the word.
Your kitchen cabinet can double as an occasional medicine cabinet and cosmetic counter. Ginger-infused tea soothes a sore throat; the water in boiled cumin seeds helps indigestion. Chickpea flour is a chemical-free facial scrub, while a blend of oatmeal, papaya, yogurt, and honey is an instant skin softener. The result: great skin, no junk!
Energy and Water
· Perform an ‘energy audit’ of your home and take fuel and energy saving measures. In addition to opting for big energy savers like CFL bulbs or solar panels, the simplest acts – turning off lights and not leaving devices on standby – can save huge amounts of energy. Plus, maximize the use of dishwashers and clothes washers by ensuring a full load.
· Is your home leak-proof? Use low-flow toilet cisterns – a brick in the flush will save even more water. Use water conservatively even when staying in a hotel.
· Using mulch around plants helps them retain moisture effectively.
· Watering plants early in the morning or in the evening minimizes evaporation.
· Create a vermicomposting pit. The wet garbage is disposed of and your plants receive organic grade A fertilizers for free.
Congratulations to these ladies who have done their part
Over the years, women around the world have contributed greatly to increasing environmental awareness and the urgent need to address the issues that threaten to destroy life on earth.
Rachel Carson, scientist and writer, is the author of Silent Spring, the book that awakened the world to the terrible impact of pesticides on the environment. Every year, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, thanks to your seminal work.
Wangari Maathai’s battle against deforestation in Kenya and her efforts to organize poor village women in reforestation, fighting soil erosion and water pollution for sustainable livelihoods, earned her a Nobel Prize from the Paz in 2004.
There are others, unknown and illiterate women, who have fought against the degradation of their environment by powerful governments and corporations. The women of Minamata, Japan, who fought mercury poisoning in their fishing village. Poor village women in Uttaranchal, India, who hugged the trees to prevent contractors from cutting down their forests, asserting their primary right to use forest products sustainably … the list goes on.
Most of us are not activists. But we can all contribute in our own way. Whether it’s organizing carpooling, choosing to walk, bike, or use public transportation, and remembering to bring a cloth bag to the grocery store, there is no area in our lives where we can’t think green. You can start small, but remember, every little effort gives the earth a chance to heal.