Ecology is a science. It studies living beings, their relationship with each other, and the environment.

But ecology is also defined as a school of thought and even a social movement. Now that global warming (and human responsibility) are indisputable, we also talk a lot about sustainable development.

If these words can appear obscure at first glance, you will see that the concepts that define them are fairly simple. Most importantly, their application in daily life is achievable by each of us in all areas of our lives.

As for retirement, it is the ideal time to make ecology a guiding principle in your daily routine!

 

Demystifying sustainable development

Ecology is the study of biodiversity (living things) within an ecosystem (the environment). But what about sustainable development?

Sustainable development means meeting the needs of human beings while respecting the right of future generations to enjoy a safe environment.

In other words, it is about respecting the ecology in the long term so that our grandchildren and their descendants can fully enjoy the planet and its natural habitats.

Sustainable development is at the crossroads of economic, social, and environmental issues.

It really became a movement and gained momentum in the early 1970s. However, as early as the mid-19th century, Western societies began to contemplate the impact of the industrial boom on economic, social, and environmental crises.

Today, this reflection, pushed by the speed and urgency of climate change, engages each citizen (and each inhabitant of the planet) to implement daily actions to protect the environment and future generations.

Thus, each of us can become an eco-citizen.

 

How to become an eco-citizen?

Becoming an eco-citizen is being aware of our responsibilities towards our environment and implementing daily actions.

An eco-citizen is a person who performs concrete actions that preserve nature and save energy. The eco-citizen can also become an ambassador by making the mentalities evolve by informing his entourage of the gestures to be made.

If ecology is often tainted with alarmist messages in the light of climate emergency, it can also be seen as something fun and even as a mission.

Beyond the small daily actions, ecology can quickly become a passion, even a life mission. And what better way to get involved in a cause than in retirement? That is the age when you have the most time at your disposal.

Why not get together with your friends to participate in the following:

  • Citizen actions 
    • Pick up some waste
    • Re-flowering alleys
    • Plant trees
  • Workshops to make cosmetics and cleaning products out of natural ingredients

  • Cooking together and avoiding waste:
    • Go to the market with your friends, choose foods and cook with them
    • Store your surplus food in the freezer for later
    • Contribute to food aid by donating food to an organization in your neighborhood

 

How to implement ecology in your daily life

We live in a society driven by consumption and, very often, overconsumption. Buying only what we need, even if it requires changing our habits, is an ideal way to become an eco-citizen. Not only opting for a more minimalist approach is good for the planet, but it is also excellent for our health!

Here are a few ways to explore how to apply ecology in our daily routine:

  • Transports
    • Prioritize public transportation
  • Food
    • Buy seasonal, local, and organic food if possible
    • Reduce your meat consumption (the breeding of herds, a major producer of methane, is a major cause of the increase in greenhouse gases)

  • Water
    • Prefer short showers to baths. Taking a bath uses 5 times more water!
    • Use a low-flow showerhead
    • Don't let the tap water run continuously while doing the dishes
    • Drink the water from the tap. If the taste is unpleasant, a carafe with a recyclable carbon filter is a good investment.
  • Electricity
    • Turn off the lights when you leave a room. 3 lighted rooms consume as much energy as a refrigerator-freezer (the most energy-consuming appliance)
    • Unplug phone chargers and other electronic devices when not in use
    • Defrost food in the refrigerator rather than in the microwave
    • Use cold water to wash clothes
    • Choose LED light bulbs
  • Plastic
    • Buy a stainless steel carafe and banish plastic bottles
    • Choose bamboo, wood, or metal kitchen utensils
    • Forget plastic bags for shopping. Choose washable fabric bags
    • Buy in bulk and bring your own containers
    • Use washable fabric bags to buy fruits and vegetables at the grocery store
  • Hygiene
    • Buy natural detergent and fabric softener
    • Learn how to make your own products (cosmetics, household)
    • Buy a set of machine-washable cotton pads (make-up removal, daily hygiene)
    • Choose solid toothpaste, a bamboo toothbrush, and solid shampoo (there are some for all hair types) 
  • Waste
    • Sort your waste
    • Repair rather than buy (household appliances)
    • Return expired medication to the pharmacy

 

Ecology is within the reach of each of us. Becoming an eco-citizen is possible by setting up simple but effective recurring actions. It can even trigger new interests. Sharing these values of preservation of the planet with your friends or your grandchildren is priceless!

 

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Sources (mostly in French):

https://mairie-de-fauverney.fr/cadre-de-vie/le-developpement-durable/devenez-eco-citoyen.html

https://fas.umontreal.ca/environnement/quest-ce-que-lenvironnement-et-le-developpement-durable/

https://youmatter.world/fr/definition/definition-developpement-durable/

https://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/apropos/planification-orientations/developpement-durable/

https://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/%C3%A9cologie/27614

https://youmatter.world/fr/definition/ecologie-definition/

https://www.bazaaretcompagnie.com/737/pourquoi-etre-ecolo-dans-notre-monde/

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89cocitoyennet%C3%A9

https://www.notre-planete.info/ecologie/eco-citoyen/

http://www.vedura.fr/social/education/eco-citoyennete

https://pousse-pousse.com/blogs/astuces-ecoresponsables/devenir-eco-responsable-les-bons-reflexes-a-adopter

https://www.xn--cologique-93a.net/quelles-sont-les-bonnes-gestes-pour-devenir-un-eco-citoyen/

https://www.mamanpourlavie.com/mieux-consommer/ecolo/9239-10-actions-pour-devenir-une-famille-colo.thtml

https://lessentiel.macif.fr/8-astuces-pour-maison-verte

https://blog.pharma-gdd.com/50-gestes-ecologiques-pour-proteger-notre-environnement/

https://messagefactory.ca/blogs/mode/10-gestes-ecologiques-qui-font-une-difference-au-sein-de-notre-entreprise?gclid=CjwKCAjwn8SLBhAyEiwAHNTJbXLvlZEVNj5q8csFkQv_Ct7y403v-PDUYo1nXphKOxLTrwl_IlDS6xoCy2MQAvD_BwE

https://www.protegez-vous.ca/boutique/guides-et-hors-series/100-gestes-pour-la-planete

https://www.ecopeinture.ca/blogue/5-petits-gestes-ecologiques-qui-ont-un-grand-impact/?gclid=CjwKCAjwn8SLBhAyEiwAHNTJbX2KiLr9fjwnkejwcrBRamfE2GTvePZGKgc8jDdOmSvdGxVOxUdtuRoCgtgQAvD_BwE

https://oopla.fr/22-petits-gestes-ecolo-a-mettre-en-place-au-quotidien/

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