Going Green is for Everyone
“Going green” seems to be the buzzword of this generation. It refers to making changes in your life that will help the planet and slow down the negative effects that have been impacting the environment. For some, going green might seem like a “hippie” movement, and they might dismiss it as a lifestyle that is not for them. While there is a variety of different ways to go green, you don’t have to go to extremes — like becoming vegan or living in a commune — to develop a lifestyle that improves your health and the planet. Anyone can make simple changes in their lives to have a positive impact on the world.
Going green starts with small steps that can be done inside the home on a daily basis. For example, turning off lights when you’re not in the room helps. So does using rechargeable batteries and setting electronic devices to energy saver mode. Have some appliances in your house you don’t use every day? Unplug them until you need them to save on energy. You can also make small adjustments to conserve water. It is one of the most important elements on the planet to sustain life. Without it, you can’t grow food or hydrate your body. It’s crucial for survival. Water is both a renewable and nonrenewable resource, so it’s imperative to preserve it — and you don’t have to turn your whole way of life upside-down to accomplish that. Some small things you can do to go green with water include installing low-flow shower heads and toilets, turning off the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth and changing your landscaping to plants that are native to your area so they use less water. Native plants also help conserve the natural environment of your area. Other ways to start small with going green include walking or riding a bike when possible instead of driving a car. This will reduce emissions released into the atmosphere and put you on the path to healthy living through exercise.
Make It a Family Affair
No one said you had to go green on your own. Get your family and friends involved. After you’ve started with the small steps, gradually adding more ways to be green will be easy and will have a huge impact on the environment. Here are some ideas:
Does your community have a recycling program? If so, participate and have your kids help separate the trash from the recyclables. Even toddlers have the ability to separate plastic, cardboard, glass and paper into individual bins for pick up. If it all goes into one bin, even easier!
Grow a garden
Planting a garden as a family has so many benefits. Kids will learn where food comes from and how to eat healthily. Having fresh fruits and veggies reduces the amount of food you have to buy from the grocery store, which in turn reduces the amount of package waste and the impact of shipping products from one area to another. In addition, you’ll bond as a family and teach your kids responsibility.
Use reusable bags and containers
When you make your trips to the store, take reusable bags with you. When you pack a lunch for work or for your kids, use reusable containers. This small practice reduces the amount of waste in landfills.
Another way you and your family can go green is by reusing paper at home. Whenever you have to print a document, print on both sides. If you only print on one side, use the other side for art projects or cut the paper into smaller pieces to make your own note pads. If you have old toys, furniture or clothing that your kids have outgrown, find ways to recycle them instead of throwing them into the landfill. Going green doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It is definitely the trendy thing to do, but it has so many benefits for you and the environment. Saving the planet is going to take all of us. Start small and go from there — it will add up to make a huge impact.
About the author
Jane Marsh is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co. She covers topics related to climate policy, sustainability, renewable energy and more.