Renewable Energy for Electricity
Solar photovoltaic (PV) installations convert the sun’s energy into electricity, using photovoltaic cells, or solar panels. This allows us to generate our own reliable, sustainable and low-maintenance source of energy. It is especially useful considering the skyrocketing electricity prices, and numerous power outages.
Once installed, they don’t release any emissions in their lives and they don’t produce any noise or air pollution. This can greatly improve local air quality which has respiratory health benefits.
Solar PV can also be combined with electric heating systems, such as heat pumps so you can potentially run your heating and hot water entirely from renewable sources.
Energy Efficient Lighting
Energy-saving light bulbs last up to 12 times as much as traditional bulbs, providing the same amount of light quality for much less energy. 80% of the energy used to power traditional bulbs is lost in heating energy, whereas LED light bulbs run at 80-90% energy efficiency. As Pakistanis we should promote energy efficient lighting to help control electricity prices.
Use Eco-Cleaning Products
A lot of mainstream cleaning products containing detergents, preservatives, or foaming agents are made from various toxic chemicals that wash up into streams and rivers, causing water pollution that enters ecosystems and damages biodiversity.
Switching to products that contain sustainably grown or raised ingredients and non-synthetics reduces the risk of exposure to toxic chemicals that are harmful to humans as well as the environment.
Biodegradable Household Products
While we cannot control whether or not the products that we use and dispose of will end up being recycled and reused, we can purchase products that are made of non-synthetic ingredients and are biodegradable to limit the impact of this waste.
Biodegradable products dissolve due to contact with bacteria and fungi. This means that if they come into contact with nature, they won’t cause any environmental harm, as they disappear through natural processes.
These products might include:
• Recycled toilet paper
• Natural ingredient shampoo
• Natural deodorant
• Bamboo toothbrush or miswak
• Washcloths made from hemp or agave fibres
Limit Food Waste
The UK produced 9.5 million tonnes of food waste in 2018, the equivalent of 25 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. 70% of this was found to come from households. This raises emissions through increased industrial production and transportation. Pakistan’s food wastage is quite visible at wedding ceremonies and family events when people attack the buffet table and start piling food on their plates like it is their first time.
We can limit our household food waste by portioning our meals reasonably, only buying what we need and using food waste as fertiliser for soil and plants. Also at weddings etc. we should take only as much as we need to ensure zero food wastage.
By Amna Sheikh