This Social Entrepreneur Reveals 6 Easy Ways To Live More Sustainably

By Tien Chew

In the spirit of World Environment Day, co-founder of Biji-Biji Initiative and Generation T lister Rashvin Pal Singh teaches us 6 easy-to-adapt ways to live a greener more impactful lifestyle. Why bother to do such a thing? According to Rashvin, the benefits of living more sustainably can improve our overall wellbeing on a personal scale, all while helping to contribute to a more equitable life for all living creatures. That's a win-win situation.

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1. Became A Part-Time Vegetarian

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"Eat less meat! Livestock farming has one of the largest environmental impacts you can imagine, from land and water degradation, biodiversity loss, acid rain, coral reef degeneration and deforestation. It also contributes to 18 per cent of all human produced greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. This is more than all the emissions from ships, planes, trucks, cars and all other transportation put together. Start by eating one vegetarian meal a day for lunch or dinner. This can be easily done when eating mix rice, nasi kandar or at your favourite to-order restaurants, allowing you to cut your meat consumption by up to 50 per cent."

2. Say No To Plastics

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"Eliminate single use plastics when shopping. It is too short of a love affair with plastic, where we use them dearly once, only to be discarded soon after. Check out alternatives like BYOB to get your detergent refilled and shop at your local market to avoid silly supermarket packaging."

3. Small Step, Big Impact

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"Know where your food comes from! Buy locally from your pasar tani/farmers market, or even better, grow your own food! This minimises your carbon footprint and ensures the proceeds go to small households where it is more beneficial."

4. Only Drive When You Really Need To

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"Carpool and take public transport whenever possible. This is especially true for us urban folk. We have the benefit of having new MRT lines being completed in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, connecting most of the city with suburban areas. Taking public transport not only reduces your carbon footprint, it also reduces traffic congestions which means less stress and more time for everybody."

5. Recycle, Reuse, Reduce

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"Recycling your waste properly and knowing how much you consume can make a difference. Only around 15 per cent of waste is recycled in Malaysia, compared to about 20 per cent in Thailand and 66 per cent in Germany. Most waste can be recycled, if we know the right ways to separate them and provide them to the right vendors. Sign up with vendors such as iCycle or Terra Phoenix that offer complete product recycling, including glass, lightbulbs and plastic bags."

6. Don't Waste Food

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Above  Photo: Courtesy of Hermes Rivera/Unsplash

"An unnecessary amount of food waste ends up in the landfills, creating greenhouse gases. Composting is an easy way to ensure the produce goes back into creating healthy soil and reducing gas emissions. Organic composting of vegetable scraps can be done by having a separate plastic container in our kitchen to separate the scraps, and they release no smell if its done right. Check out the various internet articles and videos online to learn how to start this at home."

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