Here is how we can get closer to nature. Explore green ways to stay healthy while reducing energy usage.

The daily headlines, updates on news channels, continuing protests from environmentalists — all these point to one thing; our environment is under direct threat. The impact is already visible in the form of shortage of water, power and resources combined with ever-increasing temperature and pollution ; all these indicate that our existence is going to be at risk.

Keeping this in mind, let's go our way around a ‘green weekend'; if each one of us follows even half of the things said here, it will be a big step towards protecting our environment.

Reduce electricity usage

Probably the best way of going green would be by installing a solar panel in your home. With the government promoting the use of solar energy by offering a loan with just four per cent interest , there is no reason why you should keep using that geyser that contributes the most to the electricity bill.

Ditch that vacuum cleaner and pick up the broom and swab. It takes care of every corner of your house and your waistline too.

Purify your indoors by placing small potted house-plants (one in each room) like snake plant, gerbera, daisy, Christmas cactus, rubber plant and mauna loa.

Turn off the AC. Instead, go to the terrace a few hours before bedtime and throw a few buckets of chilled water. This will take care of the heat that builds up during the day leaving you with a natural coolness.

Of course everyone knows about low watt light bulbs (available easily everywhere), so replace all those fancy ones ASAP.

Make friends with the staircase instead of taking the elevator especially, if you're alone and give your butt a workout in the process.

Adjust the temperature of your refrigerator according to the weather. Even in summer keep it only as high as you require thus saving power.

Don't use the flush every time you use the bathroom; pour some water instead, and install commodes with dual knobs to avoid wasting water.

If you've worn a tee for an hour (and it's still relatively clean), don't dump it for a wash. Leave it outside on the hanger to wear once again; save every precious drop of water.

Natural fertilizers

Sorting out your wet and dry garbage takes just an extra minute. The wet one is the best fertilizer for those newly planted vegetables, or even your precious roses.

Make a compost pit in your garden and dump all the wet waste, add earthworms to get organic manure (which you can sell later!). Earthworms are easily available with any vermi-compost supplier.

Fresh from nature

Use your backyard or lawn as your workout space; skip, spot jump or even do aerobics. The fresh air aids your metabolic rate and the grass/ mud surface is friendlier towards your knees and ankles.

The city is a hub of various ongoing exhibitions; pick up affordable and environment-friendly show pieces made of jute or sandalwood to perk up your home.

Rearrange your reading chairs and study desks to face natural light to avoid using bulbs during the day. Keep windows and balcony doors open till sunset (before the mosquitoes start their mission) for some natural ventilation.

Wear eco-friendly fabrics like cotton, linen or jute (line it with a softer tissue if the material is very coarse).

Use earthen clay pots or matkas to cool water instead of adding ice to every glass and re-filling trays hour by hour.