Going green is the “in” thing to do. It is not only a trend, but a way of life that will protect our environment. Green is a great color, and having a green lifestyle, will save you money and you’re taking actively part in saving the planet. Here are 10 ways to have a green lifestyle.
The way you travel from and to work, has an enormous effect on the planet. If the earth could groan, it probably would groan every time a car’s exhaust fumes splutter into the air, polluting it. Gas for your car is expensive. Currently your monthly gas for your vehicle costs about $200-$400 dollars. By joining a carpool, you can save money and at the same time you are contributing to being eco-friendly. Besides it is fun having conversations on your way to work and back. Carpooling also decreases the amount of traffic on the roads.
Compared to what you spend on gas every month, public transport is very cost effective. You save a lot of money by buying a public transit pass for $60-70 instead of the hundreds of dollars you spend on gas. Once again you are taking an environment friendly action, because with public transport many people are transport in one vehicle, compared to one or two people per car.
The best option of all is to commute without polluting the atmosphere at all. A train, bus or tram also pollutes the air but to a lesser degree if you compare the amount of passengers to a car’s passengers. How do you get to work and back in a green as possible way? If your work is close enough, you can cycle or walk to work and back. It is healthy, a way to exercise while being green at the same time. You can enjoy the outdoors in a way you can’t when using public transport or a car.
-2- Reusable Containers
Every time you drink coffee from a paper cup, remind yourself a tree was chopped down to make that cup. There are other methods of enjoying your cup of coffee or tea, and water and staying green. Use reusable cups for your coffee and tea. You can also use water bottles that are reusable. You can bring a coffee mug from home to use, or even make a flask of coffee to take to work. Coffee shops are also going green. There are shops that offer you 10 cents discount on your drink when you bring your own reusable cup. Besides, your hot drinks stay longer hot in reusable cups. Reusable cups are more expensive, but keep in mind you are reusing it and it is eco-friendly.
-3- Reusable Bags
Be green and save money by bringing lunch to work. It is also by far healthier to eat a home cooked meal than take-outs. You can bring your lunch in air tight reusable containers. Remember, a tree is cut down to make the paper cups, lunch wrappers and containers that you order for the take-out you ordered. Use reusable napkins and lunch bags. You can also use reusable cloth. By changing your eating habits at lunch time, you can protect the environment, and at the same time be a good example to your colleagues. It is a horrendous thought that trees are cut down for unnecessary items; items that can be replaced with environment friendly products.
-4- Microfiber Cloth
Paper towels can be very handy. However, you forget how expensive it becomes by using paper towels ad-hoc and then throwing it into the trash. Microfiber cloths do the same job, but it is reusable and environment friendly. Paper towels take 500 years to biodegrade. Microfiber cloths are by far the greener option.
-5- Cleaning Products
Environment friendly cleaning material and products are available in your local store. These green products are biodegradable. Keep in mind that you want to use as little plastic as possible, which you can do when using environment friendly cleaning products. Another option is to use products you have in your grocery cupboard, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, for example. Vinegar is green, non-toxic, and harmless to animals and children, and it is a multi-purpose cleaner.
-6- Electrical Appliances Off
Electrical appliances use power, even if not in use but switched on. Be green and switch off and unplug appliances that you are not using at that moment, such as dish washer, washing machines, dryers, and computers. The fridge and freezer are the exceptions. You need to keep them working to keep your food fresh. Although the electrical appliance is not in use, but plugged in, it is still emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and it costs you money.
-7- Organic Purchasing
You have the option to purchase products grown locally at the farms instead of importing in plastic packaging. Variety of products are available that are organically grown. It is healthier than products that were sprayed with harmful insecticides. It is not only harmful to the environment, but to your body also. Supporting the local farmers helps them to stay in business to produce the healthy food items.
There are three R’s in Recycling, namely to recycle, to reduce and to reuse. Instead of throwing items you don’t want to use anymore away, sell it. Purchase secondhand items from various places. By recycling, products are reused, and pollution is reduced.
- Craiglist and Kijiji are great places to search for used items to purchase. Many people buy and sell on these sites.
- Thrift stores are perfect places to shop for household items and for clothing too.
- Amazon is another place for purchasing household items, CDs, DVDs, and books.
- Online websites such as Secondspin and Abundatrade you can sell your old CDs and books for cash. These websites purchase the items from you and resell the items again.
- There are websites and places that will buy your second hand computers, cell phones, appliances and used ink cartridges. Be green, protect the environment and sell to place that recycle these items instead of throwing it on the garbage dump. This items leak harmful chemicals, harming the planet.
- I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Freecycle! This is a great place to give away ( or recieve) items you no loner want, use or need.
-9- No Smoking
Smoking is unhealthy, not only for the smoker, but for the passive smokers around you and the environment. Cigarettes are very expensive, and are lethal to your body and the planet. It is a habit that releases 4000 toxic chemicals. If you really battle to quit smoking, there is an alternative – e-cigarettes. e-Cigartettes are an electric cigarette containing four harmless ingredients: water, nicotine, flavoring, and propylene glycol. It doesn’t release smoke when you exhale, but vapor, which doesn’t harm the environment. There are a wide range of flavors to choose from: vanilla, apple, chocolate, menthol, strawberry, coffee, and regular. You can control the nicotine amount you want to smoke from 0 mg to 16 mg.
-10- Make the Change to Cloth Diapers
Raising children are expensive, and babies are no exemption to the rule. You can raise your baby as an eco-friendly person by starting with their diapers. Replace the paper diapers with cloth diapers. Paper diapers can be unhealthy to the baby. These diapers contain chlorine, bleaches to whiten the diaper, and also aromas to give a clean smell. A paper diaper takes 500 years before it has degraded when dumped in a landfill. A tree was cut down to make these diapers. Do the math; 2000-5000 is the average amount of diapers used from a newborn baby until he is potty trained.
Cloth diapers on the other hand, are green. It doesn’t contain any dyes, fragrances, or other harmful products. It can be reused for the next baby. It is gentler on the baby, and on the environment.
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