If you told someone ten years ago that you were trying to go green their heads would immediately be filled with images of hippies chaining themselves to heavy machinery or joining eco-villages. Now a days, the term “green” coincides with much needed environmental awareness and you can’t even cross the street without being bombarded by advertisements claiming green products or bumper stickers screaming “Save the Earth.” There is a clear need to “go green” but what exactly does that mean and how does one even start to accomplish such a goal without growing dreadlocks or living without power? Being green is not anything tangible that you can go out and purchase but it is rather a dedication to yourself that you will live in a more harmonious way with the planet. Alright I hope I didn’t lose anyone at harmonious way, but if you are trying to go green but don’t know where to start there are a few quick and easy lifestyle changes that you can begin today that will help you to play your part in the “green” revolution!
11) STOP buying single use plastic bottles!
Alright I know this doesn’t sound like a big global issue but the fact that American’s alone buy on average 167 bottles of water every year and only recycle 38 of them. This coupled with the fact that plastic can take up to a thousand years to decompose makes plastic bottles a real environmental threat. On the bright side it is also an environmental threat that only the everyday consumer (like you) can help solve. So if you want to start helping the environment today just stop buying bottled water from the convenience store down the street, instead carry a multi-use water bottle that can be thrown in the dishwasher and used time and time again.
22) Become a Conscious Consumer
This was sort of touched on in number one, but is so important I thought that it deserved its own category. As we are part of the western world, consumption of products and services is part of our everyday lives. Now that we are beginning to look at the world in a “greener” way we must also alter our consumption habits to match our change in mindset. This means looking at the products in the store in terms of their entire life cycle. Will you be able to use a product for years or will you get a weeks’ worth of use out of it and toss it in the garbage by the end of the week. Also you must begin to think about what it took to make the product. Was it made in in some factory in Thailand with poor working conditions and then put on three different cargo ships and five trucks to eventually make it to the Walmart in your home town. Now I am not saying that these decisions are easy and or that you should stop shopping at Walmart, just simply becoming conscious of your own personal habits and making a few changes in product choice will be enough to put you well on your way to an overall greener life philosophy!
Yep I went there, back to the basics. Everyone knows they should recycle yet the majority still choose not to. WHY?! This is by far the simplest, easiest way you can play your part in helping the environment. Yes you are going to have to put in a little extra effort in sorting the paper from the bottles and the plastic from the glass but I promise it is not that hard and will eventually become second nature. If you are having a hard time getting motivated to sort your recycling you can find solace in knowing that the plastic won’t be going to a landfill where it won’t decompose for a thousand years and that the metal for new aluminum cans won’t have to be ripped out of the ground through not so environmentally friendly mining practices. So if you are going to do anything to become just a little greener, let it be an investment into a green recycling bin.