Yesterday I was a guest lecturer and led a GED online course and we talked about going green. I was truly surprised that so many people want to know simple ways to go green. Luckily, living green can be easier than you think.
Simply changing some of your daily routines and creating a home that is low in energy consumption and waste production can have a big effect on your environmental footprint. If you are looking for ways to help in the global campaign to make our planet stay green, you should examine at your daily life and ask yourself the questions – where am I unnecessarily wasting resources?
How am I contributing to pollution through my consumer choices? What more can I be doing? Here are a few other suggestions for making your environment greener:
Start in your Home
There are several small things you can do in your home to lessen your impact on the environment. Have you looked into energy-saving light bulbs? These light bulbs usually last longer, shine brighter, and use less energy than regular light bulbs – helping you save a few bucks.
You can also cut your energy usage by lowering the thermostat just a bit in the winter. You might have to wear that extra sweater grandma got you but you’ll be using less energy and spending less cash.
Another easy way to go green is by making your home more self-sufficient by installing solar panels and/or rainwater collecting tanks. Both of these environmentally-friendly innovations have been around for decades but only recently became available cheaply for personal consumers.
Take advantage of this technology to slowly end your own dependence on traditional energy and water sources, all the while learning to appreciate the value of these resources and the effort that goes into procuring them. Having a green home is the first step towards helping the world become more environmentally sustainable.
Save on Transportation
You can also easily go greener on your daily commute. Opt for a car share to half your gas and vehicle costs, not to mention your impact on the environment. If possible, bike or walk to work to get yourself in shape, see a bit of sun, and save on commuting costs and pollution outputs.
If you do need a car, make sure to pay attention to your fuel efficiency and air pollution ratings. Electric cars have become more popular every year, requiring a bit of investment but getting incredible gas efficiency ratings and producing much less pollution. Investing now in a more efficient car will save you money in the long run and keep the planet cleaner.
Water is one of the easiest essential resources to use less. Never leave the water running while you brush your teeth or wash dishes. Make sure your washing machine is water efficient. Add a few more baths into your routine in place of showers. Don’t flush the toilet every time – wait until it needs to happen to save the three gallons of water required to flush. Get a faucet aerator to better control the pressure and temperature of the water, removing wasteful warm-up time.
Avoid buying too much bottled water (unless you have a special health concern that requires it) – the energy, materials, and transport requirements for transporting bottled water are estimated to be 2,000 times the monetary and environmental cost of drinking tap water. Water is already a rarity in some parts of the world – do your part to make it available to as many people as possible by not overusing.
Although not everything organic is necessarily more environmentally-friendly than ‘normal’ products, many products are. Buy more organic food to support small farms (that are usually much less detrimental to the environment then mega-farms). Look for furnishings for your home that are made from natural material and did not require great deals of energy usage for manufacturing or transport. Wear clothing made from organic, unprocessed materials.
Buy local to eliminate the need for resources used for transportation and storage. Going back to your roots by using organic products will easily help you and your family become a greener, environmentally-friendly family.
Following these tips will make you healthier inside and out, while extending the lifetime of our beloved planet. Going green also saves you money in the long run by cutting inefficiency and waste from many processes and products.
If you are a business owner that use mass amounts of input products, you can even track your savings on websites like Quickbook’s Financial Dashboard to quantify the benefits of going green and to demonstrate to others the positive economics of the trend. Go green and make an impact on your environment today! For more tips on staying green, see Worldwatch.org and Better Homes and Gardens.