Many people wrongly believe that saving the world is the task assigned exclusively to politicians and scientists. However, we can all contribute by simply deciding to go green. And, no, it doesn’t mean you have to move the mountains in order to help the environment. By changing the mindset, lifestyle and daily habits, everyone can play their part in the battle for the planet.
Pay attention to “three R’s”
Since the United States takes the first place on the list of trash-producing countries, the first thing every “go green” rookie needs to learn is to follow the law of “three R’s” – reduce, reuse and recycle.
There’re numerous things you can do to cut down on waste production. For instance, you can waste less paper and save the trees at the same time by paying the bills online, choosing a microfiber cloth over a paper towel, pack children’s lunches into lunch boxes instead of paper bags, bring the shopping bag every time you hit the store, etc.
Before throwing that item away, reconsider whether it can be used again for either the same or different purpose. For example, glass jars can be used for keeping spices in the kitchen, pencils in the study room or screws in the garage. Also, next time you want to declutter your wardrobe or get rid of the old furniture, remember the popular saying – “someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure”. So, instead of producing unnecessary waste, reconsider what can be reused, donated or even sold.
Luckily, today we can recycle a wide range of materials – paper, plastic, glass, metal, even fabrics. However, we have to do it responsibly. Let’s take paper recycling for example. Did you know that even paper with staples, clips, and spirals is recyclable? Or, that food-stained paper isn’t? Therefore, do the little research on recycling does and don’ts and don’t be too lazy to sort out your trash regularly.
Go green while shopping
If you want to start green living, you have to do it even in the supermarket. As environmental awareness is rising day by day, it’s not hard to find products with eco-friendly labels including detergents, cleaning products, cosmetics, …, the list is almost endless! However, the most important thing regarding your health is opting for organic food. Not only can pesticides and fertilizers harm the environment, but your health as well. So, visit the local farmer’s market and make sure you buy truly safe and healthy fruit and vegetables.
Go green while transporting
Although the most eco-friendly ways of commuting are cycling or using the public transport, sometimes opting for a car driver is a necessity rather than caprice. However, there’re ways to shorten your carbon footprint even if your budget isn’t high enough for purchasing a hybrid or electric car. First things first, slow down! Driving at higher speed consumes more gas. Every time you drive 10mph above 60 you’re paying about 50 cents more for the gallon of gas. Also, make sure you check your tires and fill them with the necessary amount of air every once in a month. Why? Because it can contribute to your mileage by 3 percent approximately. Another thing which can improve your mileage, even more, is the regular replacement of filters.
Invest in eco-friendly appliances
Due to the development of technology, it’s possible to have the appliances that pollute less and save more. Back in the time, refrigerators contained chloroform and hydrofluorocarbons – the ozone layer’s greatest enemies. Now you can opt for the fridge free of these hazardous chemicals and award with A+ energy star rating. Look for the Energy Star label on the clothes washers as well, since they waste 40 percent less amount of water and energy in comparison to conventional washers. Energy Star awarded dishwashers can even save more water than washing dishes by hand if they’re used properly. However, you won’t find Energy Star rated clothes dryers. So, go completely green on this matter and line-dry your clothes whenever it’s possible. When it comes to the cooking appliances, there’s a constant debate what models are better for the environment – gas or electric. While electric cooktops use more energy, gas ones release harmful substances into the air. Either way, they both require the installation of a hood and fire alarm product. Because, you have to worry about the safety of your own house, not just the planets.
Make your house as green as possible
By considering simple, but clever home hacks you can save both money and energy. For instance, save electricity by replacing regular light bulbs with LED bulbs, cut down on cooling and heating by planting the trees around the house, reduce electric bill by installing dimmer switches, save water by replacing the showerhead with one with lower water flow rate, save money by purchasing a water filter, etc.
Change your daily habits
Have you ever thought about how much water and energy you waste every day? Instead of spending them recklessly, try to change your daily habits. As up to 5 gallons of water can be wasted on 2 minutes long teeth brushing, turn off the tap while doing so. In order to save paper, stop buying the newspapers and magazines and read their online editions instead. Reduce the usage of “to go” cups, too, by taking a coffee travel mug with you. If you want to prevent phantom electrical draw, make sure you unplug all your devices before going to bed, and especially before going on the trip. And learn more about what other simple lifestyle changes you can make to help your environment.
The environment is one of the main issues of modern society. And, of course, one cannot save the world on his own, but if we all take a little more careful about our environment, we can help the planet and help ourselves. So, go green!
About the Author
Audrey Taylor was born in San Francisco, and moved to Adelaide at the age of five. Marketer researcher and social media manager on hold, full – time mommy of a cheerful two-year-old. Graduated from Queensford college, worked in a couple of marketing agencies across Australia, eager to learn more about business and share her experiences. Traveled across the Europe. Her hobbies include: home decor, fashion, travel, music, old movies.