Depending on where you live, putting on a green self-image can mean new friends or even better job opportunities. Some of you may think going green is being wimpy. Some others think that portraying yourself as pro-green can damage your image or make you look wimpy in front of your friends, say, like swapping your gas-guzzler for a Prius or carrying your water bottle around. The truth is that you drive what you drive in some part to tell the world who you are, to show that you’ve got a lot of money.
Whatever your reason may be, you need to know that it may be too late by the time you realize that the world you are leaving behind for your offspring may not be livable after a few years. It is possible to “go green” without seeming wimpy or making too many lifestyle changes. Here are seven easy ways to get started:
1. Say NO to plastic bags.
Plastic bags are everywhere, by the side of streets, flying in the wind, in flower beds, stuffed in your drawers. Try and re-use the bags that are lying around your home, on your shopping trips or at the grocery store. You could keep reusable bags in your car, for any unplanned shopping trips. Use these buys for your fruits and veggies as well. Microfiber bags are strong and can be used several times over.
2. Avoid drinking water out of plastic bottles.
Plastic bottles are everywhere—on streets, in lawns, in landfills, choking waterways, national parks and just about anywhere you look. So, besides littering the landscape how do you think these harm the environment? By consuming fossil fuels. To manufacture a plastic bottle, it takes around a quarter bottle of petroleum. And once you have “appropriately” discarded the bottle after drinking, it usually ends up in a landfill, where chemicals leach into the water table and to the surrounding environment.
Don’t want that on your conscience? Buy yourself an aluminum or steel bottle or reuse a glass bottle and fill it up each time you leave your home or office. Remember to rinse it out each night. If you don’t trust tap water, invest in a water filter, or reverse osmosis water filtration system.
3. Reduce water consumption at home.
No one besides you can control the amount of water you consume. Did you know that the flow rate of your faucet is set to use 2 to 3 gallons of water per minute? Shutting it off as you brush your teeth can help save up to 20 to 30 gallons every week.
Showering instead of leisurely baths can help save almost 30 gallons of water each time, since bathtubs hold up to 50 gallons of water. When you shower, you use less than 20 gallons.
Educate your children and your friends as well, you will realise that they will be more than willing to understand how this can help the environment.
4. Use regular dishes for a satisfying meal, instead of paper or plastic dishes.
Regular dishes are cheaper to use. Meals are more enjoyable out of regular dishes. Steel utensils are inexpensive, never damage, easy to clean and store. When cleaned and dried properly, steel utensils look shiny and new for a long, long time. Here are some added disadvantages of disposable utensils.
Why use paper and plastic to add to the huge mountains of waste?
5. Combine errands.
Every gallon of gasoline you burn produces 19 pounds of carbon dioxide. Save money on your gas bill by taking one less trip every week. You could also bike to work which, I realize, is easier said than done in many areas.
5. Shop at your local farmer’s market.
Here you can find incredibly fresh fruits, vegetables and meat. By supporting these farms, we’re buying less from the major manufacturers that don’t always have the best intentions of the environment, or the health of animals, in mind. It is wonderful to meet the people that actually grow the food you are eating. Buying their produce means they can continue to farm locally as well as keeping the money in your community.
6. Use cold water when washing clothes.
Did you know that about 80% of the energy used in your washing machine is to actually heat the water? You can save money and save energy by using the cold cycle as much as possible.
7. Share and save: Donate items you don’t use.
Hoarding does not make a pretty home or office. What you haven’t used in the last 6 months, you won’t need in the next, and there will be someone else who could gladly use your things. Make space at home by passing gently-used items to charities or recycle things that you cant donate. Un-clutter your life by being helpful to the others.