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realistic (and lesser-known) sustainable habits

Word of the month: (green) habit, routine
  1. an acquired behavior pattern that has become nearly or completely involuntary through frequent repetition or physiologic exposure.
What about green habits? How can we create a sustainable routine?
As it turns out, it shouldn’t be all that complicated. Start slowly, and make it fun.
Although, as you already know, the Earth is literally burning. No pressure, I guess.
Yet, here’s how some of us are trying to help and soothe our eco-anxiety. Let’s #oZELENInavike with UNDP Serbia.

Avoid the “vampire load”

What is phantom load, standby power, or simple, leaking electricity? Vampire load happens when electronic appliances suck electric power even though they are switched off or in standby mode — but still plugged into outlets. Reduce the load by unplugging electronics when you are not using them. For instance, start with phone chargers. Tip: Smart power strips can be a good investment.

Reduce the chewing gum pollution

Gum is yet another nagging environmental problem. It’s trash. As a matter of fact, chewing gum is the second most common litter found on the streets all over the planet. So, yup, ‘gum pollution’ is bad for the environment.
It can take around 50 years before the gum even starts to break down. But when it comes to it, the gum is likely to take over 500 years to decompose.
Each year, chewing gum generates more than 105 tonnes of “plastic” garbage. Thus, the discarded non-biodegradable residue of the gum produces plastic pollution. How to properly dispose of chewing gum? It’s simple. Don’t throw it on the ground, just bin it.

Save the trees from dog urine

Dog urine contains urea, a waste product with high concentrations of nitrogen created from the breakdown of proteins. In addition to urea, canine urine has other compounds, including water, salt, and glucose. It is the nitrogen from the urea and the salt in the urine that combine to form a lethal cocktail when it comes to plants. These essentially burn the plants alive upon contact. Especially when multiple dogs urinate on the same tree all over again. What can you do? Again, easier said than done, you can gradually train your dog to pee on other vertical structures rather than plants.

Eat less meat

Global meat consumption has increased significantly in recent decades, with per capita consumption almost doubling since the early 1960s, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. According to their data, 14.5% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to livestock farming.
You don’t have to be a vegan to be a good, sustainable friend to our natural environment. According to a recent study, if every person in the U.S. cut their meat consumption by 25 percent, it would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 1 percent. Also, greenhouse gas emissions vary considerably depending on the kind of meat produced and consumed. Switching from eating beef to chicken or turkey meat, for example, results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Acquire ‘Leave no trace’ ethic

The “Leave No Trace” concept originated in the 1970-80s when people in the afterwar US started spending more time hiking, trail trekking, and camping in nature. With humans being humans, they significantly disturbed the natural environment of national parks and historical heritage.
As a result of the disturbed ecology and the necessity to preserve it, the “Leave No Trace” campaign was born. LNT had the aim to educate the public on the value and respect for nature. It includes a set of principles on how to prevent damage to natural areas, destructive fires, overly crowded parks, and polluted water. This code for outdoor ethics also aspires to protect wildlife and connect people to nature.

What not to flush

You should never pour used cooking oil down any drain, including sinks and toilets.
When sewer pipes are blocked overflows occur, causing untreated wastewater to contaminate our beaches and waterways. These kinds of events are preventable. If we all think before we act, we can help keep waterways clean – just how they should be.
Also, keep chemicals or medicines from your toilet.
You should never pour used cooking oil down any drain, including sinks and toilets.

Preserve your food

Fermenting, dehydrating, and freezing fresh produce can make food last longer, particularly for those who grow their own food in gardens and may have more produce than they can immediately eat. Taking these simple steps to preserve food can help keep it out of landfills and reduce overfarming, thereby reducing carbon emissions from agriculture and from food waste.

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