Ten Simple Steps to Greener Living
As awareness of this civilization’s impact on the environment increases, people are becoming more willing to accept clean lifestyles, than ever before. But some aren’t exactly sure where to begin.
One doesn’t have to start out with leaps and bounds. Installing a full solar power system on one’s home or switching to a hybrid car would be great. But large steps require planning and financing. Small steps can be taken right now.
In some cases, your choices might depend on several factors: where you live, the natural resources available to you, your lifestyle, and others. Therefore there is probably no “one-size-fits-all” solution to going green (or at least, greener).
But there are many simple things you can do to live a greener life, through your day-to-day activities, and most of these apply to just about anyone.
Learn more about sustainable living
This is the first and most important step in going green. You should read up on the subject of environmentalism, and how your personal carbon footprint can affect global pollution levels. There are plenty of resources available online, and you can visit your local library for books on related topics.
The most effective way to cut down on your carbon emissions is to conserve on energy in your home. Install energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs, turn off the lights when they aren’t in use, ensure your house is properly insulated and windows are properly sealed, and keep your energy consumption to a minimum. You will save energy and money at the same time.
Every drop of tap water you use consumes energy – for transport, filtering, and purification. It might just be water, but a lot of fossil fuel is consumed in processing it. In some places, water itself is scarce. You can turn the tap off while brushing your teeth, switch to more efficient washer and dryers, and collect rain water for use in your garden.
Use less fuel for transport
If a hybrid car is not an option at the moment, you can take other steps; walking or biking to work, or whenever you have to travel a short distance. If your work place is too far for a daily bicycle commute, consider using mass transit. You can carpool with a friend or coworker if that works. For long trips, consider the fuel efficiency of your different options.
Eat greener food
Eating is one thing everyone has in common. But did you know that eating the type of food can make an impact in the environment? The food industry contributes substantial carbon emissions in the process of shipping their products around the world. When you eat seasonal, local, and organic food, you help to conserve the environment – as well as improve your own health.
Instead of buying brand new wooden furniture for your home, you can search for good used furniture online, or even visit garage sales to find what you’re looking for. Think before making a purchase, no matter how big or small it is. Buying grocery items in bulk can save money and conserve on energy and packing materials. Also, be sure to buy high-quality products that will last for a long time and not just wind up in a landfill a year from now.
Do Your Shopping Online
Shopping online is another good way to conserve on fuel. When you receive a purchase by post, the amount of fuel used to ship that purchase is no where near the amount of fuel you would have used to drive to a store and buy it offline. Furthermore, you can also save a considerable amount of time and money by shopping online, and many online stores offer free shipping.
Proper waste management
Years ago, many considered waste management to be the main environmental issue of concern. As long as you reduced, reused, and recycled, you were a friend of the environment. Things are not that simple these days, but waste conservation is still a big part of living green. It takes a lot of energy to process and dispose of waste, whether it’s recycled or dumped in a landfill. So conserving on waste is important, even if you do recycle. You should also compost your biodegradable waste materials.
Wear the right clothing
Your choice of clothing can make a big impact on the environment. One of the most heavily sprayed crops across the globe is cotton. Chemicals which are used as insecticides harm the environment, and harm people’s health. Fortunately, there are other alternative fabrics available in the market; such as organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and flax. Try to find and purchase clothing that uses these natural and nontoxic materials. Wearing such clothing is also better for your health.
Avoid toxins and chemicals
If you look carefully at many of the products you use every day, such as cleaning and personal care products, you might be quite surprised at the harmful chemicals they are made from. Use products made from natural and nontoxic ingredients.
They aren’t hard to find – even Amazon has an entire section dedicated to green products. This section is called Amazon Green and it includes many household, personal care, home improvement, office, clothing, and grocery items. By shopping at Amazon Green, you can find nontoxic and environmentally friendly products more easily, while also saving money and conserving resources by doing your shopping online.