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There are countless debates as to what each person can really do, how much difference it actually makes and as to who should really be responsible for taking action to protect the environment. So, it is good to know that several groups and platforms are taking time to compile what is called the “Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World.” It is nothing but a compilation of things that virtually anyone can do that truly make a difference in the environment and contribute to sustainable living. Of course no list is exhaustive and everyone is encouraged to share and contribute.

The tips in the Guide can further be broken down into 3 main levels:

Level 1: What costs very little effort!

Level 2: Which habits can you change at home?

Level 3: What you can do outside your house!


Here are some of the ideas that fall under each level:


Level 1: What costs very little effort!

  • Share green ideas on Social-Media: When you write or come across ideas that will help to protect the environment or promote sustainability, click on the share button.
  • Speak Up: Write a letter, email or even social-media post or message to elected political representatives asking them to take action for the environment.
  • Save paper: Find ways to save paper. Rather than print, take notes. Recycle used paper.
  • Save water: While you brush your teeth or apply soap in the shower, remember to turn off the tap. Also opt for water saving plumbing appliances.
  • Collect and use rain water: Useful for watering your garden and other purposes.
You can do a lot with all that free rain water...You can do a lot with all that free rain water...
You can do a lot with all that free rain water…

Level 2: Which habits can you change at home?

  • Save energy: There are now many varieties of energy saving light bulbs and other appliances. Switch off all appliances when not in use. Always do your laundry when you have a full load.
  • Use cardboard matches rather than gas-filled lighters which require petroleum.
  • Eat less meat: Rearing of livestock for meat is a major contributor of greenhouse gases and is more energy demanding. Use substitutes like fish or beans instead.
  • Make home compost: Separate your waste and turn your biodegradable waste into organic manure rather than disposing with other waste.
  • Grow some of your food: Even the littlest home garden can help you grow some organic and healthy vegetables.
  • Eat insects: Aside from the health benefits, growing them is much better for the environment too.
Insects are a good substitute for meats
Insects are a good substitute for meats

Level 3: What you can do outside your house!

  • Avoid using plastics: Buy products that are not wrapped in plastic. Go shopping with your own bags and decline plastic wrappers. Carry our own reusable cups and mugs and avoid the disposables. Use alternatives like glass and sustainably harvested leaves.
  • Immunise yourself and your children: Prevention is not only better than cure, it is cheaper and reduces consumption of limited resources.
  • Take political action by supporting and voting for only political representatives who will ensure sustainable growth and environmental protection.
  • Embrace family planning: Families who plan are more likely to be better able to cater for their children and provide good education.
  • Substitute chemical fertilizers with organic manure. Buy and eat organic when possible.
  • Don’t buy more than you really need – it is that simple.
  • Use a bicycle or public transportation. Do not take your car especially for short trips.
  • Buy and eat locally grown produce and eat more of crops, fruits and vegetables that are in season.
So many ways to make your own compost
So many ways to make your own compost

I like the idea of this Guide because it basically shows that we all have more power than we imagine and that change really begins with each and every one of us. Some tips are not only simple but will end up saving you money or providing health benefits as well, without turning your life upside-down! Some of the other tips however call for some more sacrifice and may require you to change or adopt new habits. However, one thing I know is that every one of us will definitely find one or more things on the list that we can consciously begin to do right away for the environment.

Equally interesting is the fact that doing some or all of these things move you toward the path of “sustainable living” and actually help you play your part in achieving the SDGs.


For more inspiration on what you can do, check out the United Nations’ “Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World”


What are your own ideas? We’ll love to hear, share and do them…

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