Published: 30th January 2021
Small changes in lifestyle can make Earth greener: 2020 Emissions Gap Report
The report suggests that mobility, buildings and food, each contributes close to 20 percent of lifestyle emissions and can be mitigated
According to a recent UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report, green pandemic recovery could cut up to 25 per cent off predicted 2030 greenhouse gas emissions and bring the world closer to meeting the 2°C goal of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Environment experts also believe that there is a greater need to make lifestyles sustainable on a mass scale.
Lifestyle emissions are linked to many sources and sectors. Foremost among these are mobility, residential and food, each of which contributes close to 20 percent of lifestyle emissions, thus implying strong mitigation potential in these areas, says the 2020 Emissions Gap Report. It cites examples such as "replacing domestic short-haul flights with rail journeys and providing incentives and the infrastructure necessary for cycling and car-sharing, while restricting petrol cars; improving the energy efficiency of housing and renewable energy defaults from grid providers; ensuring the provision of low-carbon food in the public sector and developing policies to reduce food waste".
One of the easiest and most impactful ways to have a green lifestyle is to start recycling. We can encourage our children to use eco-friendly stationeries from an early age which are plantable and contribute to a healthier planet, Vic Rana, Group Chairman, Red Ridge Global said. The brand has seed-infused stationary products that can be planted after use, instead of them adding to waste pollution. "When children use eco-friendly products while studying and playing, they not only learn the value of preserving limited resources but also value them when they are using them." A small change in our consumption pattern, choosing eco-friendly, sustainable, cruelty-free products in daily lives can bring a domino effect in reducing the usage of potentially polluting raw materials in the environment. When we start early in age we ensure the effort has a larger impact." "As a climate reality leader trained by Al Gore and as a proponent for a greener planet, I strongly believe that it all starts with consumption. Human consumption is at the core of the issues - we need to learn to get back to basics and understand the difference between needs and wants. The sooner we are able to do this, the faster we will get to the promised land," says Barun Aggarwal, CEO, BreatheEasy Consultants.
Commuting, as an activity of daily life, underwent a major overhaul during the Covid-19 lockdowns globally. Industry sources advocate adoption of electric cars. "It's time to switch to greener, cleaner modes of transportation and mobility. Transition to electric mobility is a sector-defining trend that we will slowly observe in India. It is now needed more than ever to ease fossil fuel consumption as much as possible. One can consider going electric in their choice of vehicles, as it is both cheaper and more environmentally sustainable in the long run. We work towards alleviating range anxiety through our public as well as private EV charging range," says Sarthak Shukla, who founded eVolt, a Delhi-based EV charging infrastructure company, aimed at building a robust electric vehicle charging network. "The unprecedented crisis caused by the sudden outbreak of Covid-19 highlighted the importance of embedding sustainability into the processes. There has been an unwavering rise in demand for products with natural ingredients, we are channeling our resources to deep dive, innovate and create organic products. While sustainability has always been paramount for us, we are upping our game to make more environment friendly, chemical-free, natural and organic products," says Sahil Mehta, Founder, Emmbros Overseas.
By making small and sustainable changes to our lifestyle, we can ensure our contribution to a greener planet. For instance, in terms of the hygiene and wellness products we use, a lot of plastic, paper and chemically bleached cotton ends up clogging sewage and waste systems, notes Vikas Bagaria, Founder, Pee Safe said. "By switching to biodegradable sanitary pads and menstrual cups, etc, it is possible to reduce the amount of plastic waste or the frequent disposal. The biodegradable pads come with environment-friendly bags which are better than the traditional disposal bag. There are also cloth pads which can be washed and reused for a long time," concludes Bagaria.