After decades of living in blissful ignorance, it appears to have dawned on humanity that we need to shift to a more sustainable living or risk making the planet uninhabitable.
While people have understood the need to go green, it isn’t always clear how one should go about this. Some changes are easier to make, while others might have a greater impact but come at a cost. There are many options out there, but where to start?
TV host and influencer Ben Camille, who has decided to shift his living habits in order to live as sustainably as possible, shared his experience with Lovin Malta.
“I think it’s our responsibility to take care of this world that we live in,” he starts off saying, insisting that rather than viewing the world as belonging to humanity, it was more accurate to think of it as borrowed.
“It has been lent to us to use with respect and to ideally hand over to our children in a better state.”
He also points to concerns about increasing air pollution and the impact of human activity on our oceans and the biodiversity of our natural surroundings.
“Global warming is another concern,” he says, acknowledging that like everyone else in the developed world he was used to luxuries that negatively impacted the environment.
Asked what he believed the biggest contributor to his carbon footprint was, Ben is certain it’s his use of air-conditioning in his home.
It was in fact one of the realisations that drove his decision to design his new family home as “off-the-grid as possible”.
“We made it a point to try to use as many of the location’s features and harness natural energy as much as possible,” Ben says. “For example, I have a system to collect rainwater and use that to water plants and in the bathroom flushing.”
The right choice of appliances can also make a huge difference, Ben adds, highlighting the considerable impact on energy consumption of buying appliances on the basis of their energy efficiency. “It also comes with the added benefit of lower bills!”
Ben says that while there’s a lot to be learnt by reading up on the subject online, for high-impact changes one also needs to consult experts, especially when trying to understand how to reduce a household’s overall energy consumption.
“I turned to professionals for help, and I don’t mean people who excel in upselling and nothing more, but professionals who actually had an interest in reducing our impact on the environment.
“Like the people over at Haier. They are quite simply experts when it comes to air conditioning systems and choosing the most effective and energy-efficient one for your particular needs.”
He explains how he’s actually in the middle of installing an air conditioning system that was tailored to his home, maximising its efficiency and sustainability.
“I turned to Haier for help and I was genuinely impressed by their service,” he says of his experience. “For example, I really hadn’t appreciated the impact of ventilation on a household’s energy efficiency before my experience with Haier.”
Titan International are agents for Haier here in Malta and provide a wide range of solutions for increasing household efficiency, from traditional air conditioning units to heat recovery systems, which cool down the house by transferring heat from one location to the next inside a house.
The company is also among the most environmentally conscious when it comes to its work practices. All installers are trained in the handling of air conditioning gasses, with an emphasis made on ensuring that none escape into the atmosphere while they are being worked on.
Titan also collects and recycles used units rather than disposing of them immediately.
Ben says he had had a similarly positive experience with another company focusing on solar panels and this experience has taught him the importance of choosing quality and experience over what might seem like a better deal at the time, but which invariably ends up being the more expensive option in the long run.
While he’s definitely living a greener lifestyle, going completely green is easier said than done. He says that if he had to point to one behaviour he would find it most difficult to cut out completely, he says it’s using a car.
He tries to use alternative forms of transport, like cycling or even walking, but this isn’t always possible. Ben says he recently needed to change cars and at least opted for a hybrid. “I feel that’s a good start.”
Are you ready to live a more sustainable lifestyle?