Because of my quest for knowledge, and the desire to make positive changes in my daily life, I come upon many green websites and blogs. Although I applaud any person or business that is taking a stand for the environment and sustainability, I am seeing a trend that troubles me. It seems that no matter how hard someone tries to do the “green” thing, there is always someone else accusing them of not doing enough. Sometimes it almost makes you feel like “what’s the use”. Well, I believe that any positive change is a step in the right direction, and I applaud your interest in looking for ways where you can make a difference.
For those of you who are seeking a greener lifestyle, I found five easy ways to get started. The funny thing is, as you learn to make positive choices, your concepts change. You start to look at the world differently and realize that your choices affect the people and the earth around you. Don’t be overwhelmed-just commit to making a few changes at a time. Collectively, we can all accomplish great things when we all take responsibility as individuals.
- Carry reusable totes to use instead of plastic or paper at the checkout line. In my opinion, American made and organic cotton is the best. However, any reusable bags you already have will work fine! For my weekly grocery shopping, I use 5-6 carry totes. This saves about 20 plastic bags per week, and over 1000 per year just for my family!
- Save on electricity in any way possible. This may mean doing some wash cycles in cold water, line drying clothes, using a toaster oven instead of the big oven, unplugging appliances when not in use, or turning off lights when not needed. Also, compact fluorescents use about 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs. Now that’s a great reason to switch!
- Find ways to save on gas. Some tips: drive at the speed limit, keep tires properly inflated, schedule regular tune ups, combine errands so you make less trips, carpool.
- Shop your local Farmer’s Market. By supporting local farmers, you can save gas by shopping closer to home, use your dollars to help keep farmers in business, and the added benefit is fresh, delicious and nutritious food for you and your family! And while I’m on the subject of food, make sure that you eat all that food instead of letting it sit and go bad! You can freeze leftovers for soups or casseroles, or have a weekly “leftover smorgasbord”.
- Use filtered tap water instead of bottled water in those pesky plastic containers! Invest in a reusable bottle to refill. I love to refill in glass bottles, however that is not always appropriate, especially for children.
Hopefully, you found a few things to get started on. Please share your ideas-I would love to hear them! Happy Earth Day!
Please go to http://www.thedailygreen.com/going-green/latest/going-green-5-first-steps for more info.
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