The following ways to go green are among the first and most impactful steps you can take toward sustainable (and meaningful) living. Most of these ideas are simple to implement, cost little to no money and can have a huge impact on the environment and our natural resources.
Go through this list one at a time, see what you're already doing and what you can implement or increase:
Stop Junk Mail:
Put an end to incessant mailers and waste and save 69 lbs of junk mail sent to your home each year. Opt for e-newsletters, online catalogs and paperless billing whenever possible. Learn how to stop receiving junk mail, as well as ideas on what to do with all that junk mail you've already received below.
Read More: How to Stop Receiving Junk Mail
Drink Tap Water:
Nearly 30 billion plastic water bottles are sold annually in the U.S. with less than 20% of them being recycled (which still wastes unnecssary energy). Ironically, many bottled water companies use municipal water sources - that's right, tap water. Save how to save resources and money by drinking from the tap or home filtration system instead.
Read More: Choosing a Safe Stainless Steel Water Bottles
Reduce Your Waste:
Reducing the amount of waste you bring in and the amount of trash that goes to the landfill is an important part of any green lifestyle. But there's a lot more to it than just recycling plastic or throwing your trash in a bin. Although nearly everything in our site covers ways to go green by reducing waste, we have a collection of ideas below.
Read More: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
From oil to natural gas, energy is getting harder to produce and more costly. It accounts for 21.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and over 90% of all greenhouse gasses. Do your part to conserve energy and save money (you could reduce your bills by 50%) by reading the articles linked on the ways to go green below.
Read More: 85+ Energy Saving Tips
An estimated 50% of all household water usage is wasted. It goes down the drain while we wait for it to warm up or evaporates too quickly. In an era when our fresh water supply is diminishing due to pollution and drought, it's important to conserve all the water we can, as well as learn about and put to use greywater recycling practices.
Read More: 108+ Ways To Conserve or Recycle Water
Green Your Transportation:
Bicycling, walking, carpooling or riding the bus are the best ways to commute sustainably. Inflating your car tires, driving slower and combining trips will help you save gas when driving is necessary. And for long distance travel, take the train or purchase carbon offsets which invest your money into alternative energies.
Read More: Save Money AND Travel Greener
Eat Organic, Locally-Grown Foods:
With food being a huge part of our existence, this is one of the most important ways to go green. Most of our meals come from a minimum of 1,500 miles away. Some of what ends up on our plate has traveled around the world to reach you. And way too much of it is unhealthy for us.
Read More: Advantages of and Tips for Healthy Eating
Forego toxic chemicals and choose sustainable options. You'll not only limit disposable containers, and save money; you'll create a healthy living environment for your family.
Read More: Natural Household Cleaners
Read More: Organic Pesticides
Choose Natural Personal Care:
Simplify your personal care with natural products. Take sink baths to reduce water, use organic products or no products at all, opt for an easy to manage haircut (or learn to cut it yourself at home). Also remember that healthy food leads to healthy skin and body.
Read More: Natural and Organic Personal Care
Raise Healthy, Conscious Children:
Raising our kids to be healthy and aware of the environment is simple and can be fun. Model with your actions and talk about the choices you make. Don't nag or lecture, but instead make it interesting and interactive. Breastfeeding, healthy care and good relationsips more ways to go green.
Read More: Simple Living Tips for Families (and Pets)
Support Locally-Owned Businesses:
Small businesses are more likely to support other businesses within the community, care for their environment and conduct business in an environmentally-responsible way. They also work harder for your business, contribute more to charitable causes, create more jobs, limit outsourcing and keep money circulating within a community. Sustainable communities rely on locally-owned businesses to prevail. And locally-owned businesses rely on you to succeed. Sacrifice a slightly higher price tag and get more than what you pay for.
Read More: Why You Should Think Global, Act Local
Continue to Educate Yourself:
As you're practicing these ways to go green you'll likely spark a lot of conversations. Get familiar with the reasons why green living matters.
Read More: Why Go Green?
Read More: Green Living Books
Read More: Green Living DVDs
The biggest influence you can have on others is through your actions and your attitude. Be open and honest about your choices, but without judgment. Work the topic into conversations without overdoing it. Let your example be inspiration and keep the lines of communication open so that friends or family will have a seasoned pro to turn to when they are looking for ways to go green.
Reconnect Within Your Community:
We live within a very disconnected generation. We're overscheduled and rushed and have among the lowest life satisfaction in the world. But those living a sustainable lifestyle often say the opposite while giving credit to the interconnectedness of their lives. Make time to care for yourself and find enjoyment in your life. Make talking and laughing with loved ones a priority. Volunteer and help those in need. Be a part of your community. And rediscover the wonders of the world by enjoying nature walks, planting trees or organizing neighborhood cleanups.
Contact Your Representatives:
Write or call your local city officials and ask them what your city or town is doing to go green. Do the same for state and federal leaders, demanding they hear you out on the environmental issues that matter most. Remain in contact with them, attend local or state meetings and vote with your conscience. Encourage others to do the same.
Invest in Solar Energy and Carbon Offsets:
Even the greenest lifestyle still has an impact. Lessen yours by easily switching to or investing in carbon offsets. The money you spend to go solar quicks pays itself back in rebates and monthly refunds and purchasing these credits will be invested into alternative energies or other sustainable ventures.
Once you've covered these basic ways to go green, it's time to move on to taking the Big Strides. Guess what? You've already covered some of those Big Strides in the actions above! Look at you go! Before long you're gonna be unshaven, living in a yurt and naming your kid Moonbeam!
Let's keep going!
That should be enough to get you started with new ways to go green, or you can find more options in the left sidebar above.
#1-174 For references on this or other pages, please visit environmental articles.
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