07 May 2020

GREEN HABITS: who ever said that you cannot save the planet by yourself?

Global warming, air pollution, fine particles, invasion of micro plastics in our seas and deforestation. These are the great wounds of our times and, very often, huge excuses of ostensible powerlessness to justify the renunciation... of the small great individual renunciations.

That the isolated behaviour of a single person cannot revolutionise the world is clear, but our life is studded with infinite small responsible choices which, if added up and repeated, can make the difference. And also, why not, inspire those around us.

With a small effort of goodwill, we can help protect the environment. Nothing striking, no act of heroism, true.

But one thing we will never be forced to give up: setting a (sustainable) trend with style.  



And you, in which way of being do you recognise yourself

(or are ready to recognise yourself from now on)?


#1 Serial recycler 


Print: always ask yourself if it is indispensable and check that the file is correct in order to avoid reprinting. Choose duplex printing or the multiple page solution and print in one session, so you don't have to set up the printer every time. Remove unnecessary items from the print selection and use recycled eco-friendly paper.

Notes: reuse old sheets of paper with writing or printing on one side only and avoid using padded envelopes as much as possible, as they are difficult to dispose of once turned into waste.

Shipping: use recycled boxes of suitable size for the content.

Document exchange: use the most intuitive web systems for sharing, which are ecological but also indispensable to ensure the correct circulation of information.


#2 (In)temperate Tenant 


Temperature: indoors, keep the heating not too high in winter (18-20° C) and, in summer, limit the use of air conditioning, avoiding excessive temperature changes between outside and inside (no more than a 7°C difference). Also close the windows to maximise the result.

Lights: use natural light to save energy and not strain your eyesight too much; turn off the light when you exit the room.

PC power supply: if you are temporarily busy elsewhere, put the computer in stand-by; if you expect a long absence, turn it off completely. Screensavers absorb a lot of energy, as does excess screen brightness.

Power On: Set a sleep timer and turn off electrical outlets at night.


#3 Bottle Activist 


Bottles and flasks: try to eliminate plastic water bottles from your purchasing habits, preferring glass bottles instead. During the day, get organised by filling an aluminium flask, maybe insulated, and once finished, fill it whenever possible at drinking fountains in order to quench your thirst.

Taps: avoid letting them run unnecessarily (e.g. while brushing your teeth) and check that they do not drip.

Drains: use the correct flush when given the double option, to choose the required quantity of water.

Faults: repair them as quickly as possible, avoiding leaks and waste.


#4 Separate garbage collector 


The best way to make people aware of correct waste disposal is to equip offices with specific waste separation/recycling bins. However, to replicate this at home as well, remember to consult the collection methods of your municipality of residence, as the regulations to be followed are on a local and not a national basis.


# 5 One-time consumer 


Whilst waiting for the ban to start in 2021, in the meantime coffee vending machines and disposable glasses will end up submerging us before we can run for cover. By creating your personal (and personalised) ecological kit you can use your cup, your spoon, your glass bottle and your refillable aluminium pens for any eventuality. Why exploit and throw away something at the first difficulty? Loyalty is good for the planet.


#6 Ingenious gourmet 


How often do you have to eat your meal away from home, for work reasons or because you are too far away from home to get back in time? The fundamental ingredient is definitely a healthy and light recipe, suitable for facing the afternoon's commitments, but the container can make the difference too. There are biodegradable and totally compostable solutions, to be alternated with insulating, hygienic and reusable glass containers.


#7 Dynamic commuter 


Most people who go to work prefer to move with their car, partly out of laziness, partly out of convenience. There are many alternative solutions, just choose the one closest to your possibilities:

Re-cyclist (Bicycle): It is the most eco-friendly and healthy means of transport and it represents the best choice to reduce personal environmental impact. If you live in a small town or work a few km from home, it is the turning point to optimise efforts and to exercise by taking advantage of the obligatory routes.

Low emission storyteller (Public transport): Using this has many more benefits than contraindications. On board a tram and in a subway car you are entitled to relax, read, doze off and, when all pastimes fail, you can also scrutinise other travellers and fantasise about their lives and misadventures. You will avoid traffic, driver stress and help your city detoxify from smog. What more…

Supportive transporter (Car sharing with colleagues): Have you ever thought about commuting with work colleagues who live near your home, so you can go to the office with just one car? There would be multiple advantages for everyone: economic savings, less environmental impact, less traffic.


#8 Runner with benefits 


Whether you are a jogging or simply a sports walk enthusiast, there is a delightful way to combine what’s useful for you with what’s useful for the community. By "plogging" - a term which derives from the union between runningand plocka upp("pick up" in Swedish) - you will train your body and at the same time clean up streets and sidewalks from any waste. With a single activity, you will have done your best to contribute to your well-being and to that of the environment.


Greenwashing: the “feigned environmentalism” that we surely do not need

Proclaiming oneself as eco-friendly and certifying this on the label is the new frontier of misrepresenting zero-impact procedures. A riot of green leaves, a shower of “organic or bio", "green" and "natural" stamps that confuse, obscure and cover up reality. Here's how to recognise the deception and stem the consequences.

Superfluous packaging: the packaging avalanche pouring into the waste bin

In the aftermath of the Holidays, we know for sure that the most received gifts were parcels, external packaging, additional packaging and everything “necessary" to keep the contents intact. Overpackaging is the triumph of single use: an increasingly accentuated phenomenon which has reached senseless usage paradoxes.

Let’s not black out the future. It’s time to consume less and to do it better

Sales days like Black Friday produce a staggering waste of resources. They shape our perception of purchases, they push us to believe that we absolutely must buy, taking advantage of discounts right away, with devastating consequences on the environment. There is no time to change things: we must get back to conscious consumption – and we must do it now.

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