10 ways to go green – simply
Stephanie blogs at Good Girl Gone Green, a site that inspires you to simply live better for the earth. It’s unjudgemental and informative, and you come away from her posts thinking, “Oh, I could totally do that!” I asked her to write up the top ten(ish) ways someone could make their life a little greener without having to make drastic changes. Because it starts small, it really does.
As a family, we started with recycling. Now we compost, cloth diaper, eat mostly organic, shop famers markets, line dry some of our clothes, and went plastic bottle free a few months ago. But not all at once – just small steps to big differences. Here’s her smart, carefully crafted ideas for how to start (if you haven’t already!)
10 easy ways to add some green to your life:
- Plastic bags are so last decade. They sit in landfills and pollute our waters. They never fully biodegrade; it is even questionable whether the so-called biodegradable ones are toxic when composted into our soil. How about investing in some cloth bags? Leave them in your car so you always have them handy.
- Most people have coffee or tea as part of their morning routine at work or on the road. Skip the disposable coffee-shop cup or the Styrofoam cup from work and buy a reusable mug to divert all that waste from a landfill. So, when will you be making the switch?
- Ditching the disposable water bottle dependency keeps Mother Nature happy and our wallets green. Using a glass or stainless steel water bottle can potentially divert 60,000 water bottles a year from our landfills and will help provide a solution to the “disposable” culture we have created over the years.
- Recycling is one of the most common and thought of ways to live green. However, have you ever thought of recycling when not at home? Most people still use recyclable items outside of the house. So, next time you buy that juice in a glass bottle, maybe think of bringing it home instead of just tossing it away.
- Organic foods can be expensive and not always available to everyone. Buying organic has health and environmental advantages: fewer pesticides are sprayed in the environment and are less ingested when eating that apple. Try buying items on the dirty dozen list first (apples, celery, strawberries, spinach, nectarines imported, grapes imported, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce, kale/collard greens). During the summer months, look out for the local farmer’s market, where produce is less likely sprayed and will be a cheaper option.
- If every American skipped meat and cheese one day a week, it would have the same environmental impact as the country driving 91 billion fewer miles a year. Give Meatless Monday a try and maybe it can be a weekly occurrence for your family.
- Not only is walking and biking good exercise; it is equally as good for the environment. Take a nice walk to the store instead of driving.
- Living a more green life is as simple as remembering to turn off your lights in the home. You probably do not need every light on, so why not think to turn them off when not in use? Another trick is to plug your appliances and electronic devices into a power bar. That way, just flick the switch on the bar to stop the “fantom energy” from being sucked from the power grid. Believe it or not, even when your electronic devices are off, energy is still being used.
- The good old energy-guzzling appliance: the dryer. The dryer is a great invention, but it uses a lot of energy to dry your clothing. The alternative is to hang your clothing outside or in the home, just like our grandparents did many many years ago. And your clothing will smell nice and clean after hanging in the sun. Why not give it a try and add it to your laundry routine? If not all the time, do it at least some of the time. A little goes a long way.
- Cold water is the way to go. No need for the super-hot water to clean your clothing. Cold water works just fine.
- We all want to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter, but the planet doesn’t have to pay the price. Try increasing the temperature by 2 degrees in the summer and lowering it by 2 degrees in the winter.
Going green doesn’t have to be difficult and inconvenient. Taking small everyday actions can help the planet enormously. If everyone did their part, the impact would be significant.
How green are you? And which ways will you choose to green up your life?
She is the Good Girl Gone Green. She is a tree hugger; she is almost vegan; she is trying her best to make a difference on this planet. To say she is passionate about “all things green” and environmentalism is an understatement! She wants to be the voice of change that will help others make their positive contribution to the environment.
- USA today : http://yourlife.usatoday.com/fitness-food/diet-nutrition/story/2011/07/Forgo-meat-cheese-once-a-week-to-save-energy-EWG-says/49472038/1
- Pacific Institute: http://www.pacinst.org/topics/water_and_sustainability/bottled_water/bottled_water_and_energy.html