As you set out to make your life cleaner and greener by reducing waste and carbon emissions while supporting the local recycling program, you will see benefits well beyond the obvious ones. In general, by being green, you may improve your life in most areas.
These are a number of significant benefits of sustainable and green lifestyle on your family:
* Lower cost: Consuming less commodities – from clothes to water to electricity – means that you don’t need to spend too much money. You’ll find that less utility bills equals to a more flexible budget which allow you take better financial plans such as saving, investing and buying quality products that last longer.
* Higher profits: By performing green and ethical home/small business operations, you can find ways to improve your profitability in socially and environmentally responsible ways.
* Improving health: By cycling and walking, you can reduce the amount of airborne chemicals in your home, your food, and also allow you to gain improved immune and cardiovascular system, cleaner lungs and stronger muscles.
* Establishing legacy: Finding a way to save the planet for our grandchildren is possibly the most significant benefit of all. Try to take only what you need, live more naturally, invest carefully and reduce your trash, to create a comfortable planet that can benefit the wildlife and people for centuries to come.
What you can do now?
Obviously, you can’t save the planet or change the world single-handedly, but even the smallest difference counts, you should start immediately with whatever means available to you. Buying a hybrid-electric car can reduce fuel consumption and harmful emissions, however, only a few people can afford it (not to mention the need to get rid of the old one). There are plenty of ideas that are both affordable and easy, however. Beginners should take the smallest and easiest changes first and eventually bigger ones. Also assess where you are starting out from and find out what you should do to counter the feeling of failure if you are not able to make significant changes. Carbon offsets are a popular approach to reduce bad impacts: You compensate your own carbon emissions by purchasing offsets, to fund projects that can reduce harmful greenhouse gases.
Common green strategies you can do
These are four possible strategies you should do to make your family greener:
* Reduce consumption. Try to minimize the amount of resource that you use – from reducing car’s usage, turning down the thermostat a couple of degrees and choosing items with less packaging.
* Choose everything carefully. Understand where certain services and products come from by taking into account their entire life cycles from mining, to manufacture to disposal, which allows you to make the greenest and cleanest choices possible.
* Choose renewable resources. Using renewable resources and energy (such as adding solar panels or windmill in your house) can make a big difference. For example, collecting wind energy may only require cheap wooden propeller, a pole, some gears, some car batteries and alternator.
* Make your home greener. If you have a large expanse of land around your home, it is a good idea to plant some trees. If you live in a warm climate, planting fruit-bearing trees may give you free fruits (which save you plenty of money), better health (because you can eat more fruits) and better shade (no need to turn on the air conditioning often).
Taking the first steps
Try to make simple changes as you guide your family on the path towards a greener lifestyle. Attempting to go all at once can be counter-productive, in fact, green lifestyle is huge and growing continuously. Instead, consider about your priorities: Where you can start easier. Start from there and work on broader issues later.
You may need to deal with other people and their priorities are often not the same as those of others, but that’s not important.
Just be prepared to adapt to new changes. Your progress should expand to other areas of green lifestyle and arguing is often useless. At the same time, make a small step when you are ready, and continue to inspire others to become greener. Start slowly, for example by replacing light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps and replace your cleaning chemicals with something safe, organic and bio-degradable.
Another easy trick is to purchase items that use less packaging. Let’s say, what if you buy a package of toilet paper, containing four rolls of toilet paper instead of buying them individually. This reduces the amount of plastic needed to wrap the package and if you can recycle the cardboard tubes that would be even better. And if you tear the plastic wrap only on one side, you can reuse it, maybe as a garbage bag. Write a list of actions that you can do easily. If you have a list, it is easier to prioritize tasks so that you will not feel obliged to fulfill all of them.
Reducing, reusing, repairing and recycling are four best actions in adopting a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle, contributing to less utilization of resources. When it comes to minimizing waste, limit the purchased amount whenever possible – including choosing the smallest packages – which, of course, reduce the overall waste. Then check the garbage before you throw it to the trash can to know things that can be recycled or reused as some of them can still be useful for your neighbors, friends or a nonprofit group.
Your own home is one of the greatest places to start making changes toward greener lifestyle, because you can have more control in making decisions that suit you best. Because energy efficiency and water conservation are major issues and you can easily address them at home. Between the water reservoir and the tap, water must be pumped at different stages, and that requires energy, as the water is processed and distributed. You can help the Earth by using just enough water.
Water in homes is used either for cleaning, washing, or drinking, which require high quality potable water. If possible, use water taken from a well to run the lawn sprinkler and to wash your car. Overall, you can make a real difference by preventing high quality potable water from entering the sewers, then back to the treatment plant.
By introducing green lifestyle at home, all family members can participate. Children learn from their parents and spread the influence to their friends, who then forward it to their parents. Give everyone a proper role in the effort of making your home greener.
Green and ethical shopping
Shopping is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a more sustainable lifestyle. Opt for the greenest items available, for example organic foodstuffs that are locally grown to limit the fuel needed to transport them. Other options include buying green clothing made from organic materials and using products made from recycled materials instead of new materials that are extracted from the environment.
Ethical issues, including how animals and labors are treated in the production process should be an important consideration. Avoid products that involve child labor or manufactured in places with poor safety standards. Animal welfare is an ever increasing concern, therefore, consider choosing meat and dairy products from animals grown in humane conditions instead of from an industry-like farm that use overcrowded cages and pens. The poor condition of the animals may eventually have bad effects on human health and the environment.