One can easily be discouraged when one thinks of the state of our home planet. Living in South India makes you face issues like global warming, massive droughts and pollution right on. Last Sunday I enjoyed swimming in the Bay of Bengal but twice I had to fight with a plastic bag. The monsoon in 2015 was so strong that I had to mop out of my bedroom twice a day for six weeks, even my plane home was cancelled because the airport was flooded. And at that moment when the summer heat truly kicks in, every morning I pass an almost empty temple pond which is essential to life in the villages. My list could go on and on.

So I wondered how one person can have a positive impact on a problem that is growing so vast. I believe that each and every one of of us simply has to start with small steps because as a whole we can collectively make a difference. We all care for the future of mother earth – to create a home not only for us human beings but also for the wildlife, plants and trees giving us life.

I selected five simple small changes that you can start to practice today! Remember: small changes – big impact!

Skip the plastic packaging: producing plastic emits massive amounts of pollution into the air and plastic is not biodegradable. Plastic is bad coming into earth and bad going out, by simply not. It is often only used for a very short period of time for packaging your veggies and fruits, your lunch or your bottled water. Bring your own paper bag to the grocery store or market. Pack your lunch in a tiffin and purchase a reusable water bottle. Try to avoid plastic wherever you can!

Be electricity efficient: Have you heard of electricity leaks? Electronic equipment in almost every home is wasting huge amounts of energy. Things like TV, computers and cable boxes that are left on standby use up to half of their running power. Every year the energy wasted this way can be compared to the output of 26 power plants. So turn off your electrical devices properly when they are not in use. Also most cell phone chargers take an average of 5 watts per hour even when your phone is not attached. This is more than 40 kw per year, which is equivalent to 93 pounds of CO2 being wasted. What to do?! Unplug!

Turn off the tap! An average water tap gives 11 liters per minute. So if you brush your teeth for three minutes with a turned on tap you wasted 33 liters before even having your breakfast. So turn off the tap while brushing, soaping, sponging, cleaning…water is life!

Ride the bus, take your cycle or carpool. Not only are these options cheaper but they are a great way to help to eliminate air pollution. Personal vehicles, four and two wheelers, are a huge part of global warming. Air pollution is harmful to everyone, even to your lungs! Do you dream of taking deep breaths of clean air? Make a change.

Last but not least: tell a friend! Let everyone around you know how easy it is to make small changes. It is important that we speak openly about climate change. Throw a recycle party, share this list or start a cleanup in your neighborhood. Time is running!

Be the change that you want to see in the world.

Do you have anything to add? We are curious about your small steps!