As awareness of the civilization’s impact on the environment increases, people are becoming more willing than ever before, to accept clean lifestyles. But some people aren’t totally sure where to begin.
One doesn’t have to start out with leaps and bounds. It would be great to install a full solar system on your home, or switch to a hybrid car. But, while large steps require planning and financing, smaller steps can be taken right away.
In many cases, your choices will depend upon various factors: where you live, the natural resources available to you, your lifestyle, and others. Therefore there is probably no “one-size-fits-all” solution to going green (or at least, greener).
But there are plenty of things you can do to live a greener life, through your day-to-day activities, and most of these apply to just about anyone.
Learn more about sustainable living. This is the first, and probably the most important step. You should read up on the subject of environmentalism, and how your personal carbon footprint can affect global pollution levels. There are plenty of resources available online, and you can visit your local library for books on related topics.
Save energy. The most effective way to cut down on your carbon emissions is to conserve on energy in your home. Install energy-efficient light bulbs, turn lights off when they aren’t in use, make sure your walls and floors are properly insulated and windows are fully sealed, and keep your energy consumption to a minimum. You will save energy and money at the same time.
Conserve water. Every drop of tap water you use consumes energy. Remember, it needs to be transported, filtered, and purified (even before it reaches your tap). It might just be water, but a lot of fossil fuel is consumed in processing it. In some places, water itself is scarce. You can turn the tap off while brushing your teeth, switch to more efficient washers and dryers, and collect rain water for use in your garden.
Use less fuel for transport. If a hybrid car is not an option at the moment, you can take other steps; walking or biking to work, or whenever you have to travel a short distance. If your work place is too far for a daily bicycle commute, consider using mass transit. You can carpool with a friend or coworker if that works. For long trips, consider the fuel efficiency of your different options.
Eat greener food. Eating is one thing everyone has in common, everywhere in the world. But did you know that eating the type of food can make an impact in the environment? The food industry contributes substantial carbon emissions in the process of shipping their products around the world. When you eat seasonal, local, and organic food, you help to conserve the environment – as well as improve your own health.
Buy smart. Instead of buying brand new wooden furniture for your home, you can search for good used furniture online. You can even visit garage sales, where you might find exactly what you need. Think before making a purchase, no matter how big or small it is. Buying grocery items in bulk can save money and conserve on energy and packing materials. Also, be sure to buy high-quality products that will last for a long time and not just wind up in a landfill a year from now.
Use proper waste management. Years ago, many considered waste management to be the main environmental issue of concern. As long as one reduced, recycled, and reused, one was a friend of the environment. Things are not that simple these days, but waste conservation is still a big part of living green. It takes a lot of energy to process and dispose of waste, whether it’s recycled or dumped in a landfill. So conserving on waste is important, even if you do recycle. You should also compost your biodegradable waste materials.
Wear the right clothing. Your choice of clothing can make a considerable impact on the environment. One of the most heavily sprayed crops across the globe is cotton. Chemicals which are used as insecticides harm the environment, and harm people’s health. Fortunately, there are other alternative fabrics available in the market; such as organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and flax. Try to find and purchase clothing that uses these natural and nontoxic materials. Wearing such clothing is also better for your health.
Avoid toxins and chemicals. If you look carefully at many of the products you use every day, such as cleaning and personal care products, you might be quite surprised at the harmful chemicals they are made from. Use products made from natural and nontoxic ingredients. They aren’t hard to find – even Amazon has an entire section dedicated to green products. And what's more, by shopping at Amazon you can find nontoxic and environmentally friendly products more easily, while also saving money and conserving resources by doing your shopping online.
Learn about how your happiness and well-being are interconnected with other people and the natural environment. You can increase your happiness and it doesn't have to cost the earth. This is called sustainable happiness.