Earth Day - Tips to Go Green
How to Go Green
Being green has plenty of going for it: You're helping the planet, you save yourself money, you become healthier, and you feel better about yourself by simply going green! If you want to continue the journey toward being green, read on!
Being Green with Trash
Recycle your trash.Not doing so will build up landfills, but if you do recycle your trash you will be helping the environment! Many items can be recycled, including:
- Cardboard boxes such as pizza boxes, egg cartons, milk cartons, juice cartons, pet feed in boxes, etc. But before recycling the cardboard boxes you should first flatten them.
- Plastic bottles and containers such as dish washing liquid, bleach bottles, foam soap bottles, salt containers, milk bottles, ketchup containers, etc. Before recycling these you should rinse them out and remove the lids.
- Unclassified paper such as magazines, newspaper, etc.
- Glass bottles and jars such as alcohol bottles, vinegar bottles, jam jars, sauce jars, etc. Before recycling these you should rinse them out and remove the lids.
- Metal cans such as soup cans, surface polish cans, soda cans, tuna cans, etc. These should be rinsed before recycled.
Make items out of clean trash.Look at the item with a creative eye and turn that old boot into a planter, turn that egg carton into a toy dinosaur or come up with your own unique ideas!
Compost!Composting is a great way to reduce food waste from the kitchen.
- A vermicompost is essentially a box full of dirt and worms used to compost kitchen scraps like leftover fruit, vegetables, and other food waste (not meat) and is very good for composting when you live in a small space
- There are plenty of ways to compost food, so consider researching a few to find one that could work for you!
Helping the Environment
Pick up trash.Some places where you could go to look for trash are the beach, the park or just around your neighbourhood. Cleaning up in public areas is great for the environment.
Being Green with Transport
Cars are huge energy consumers, especially SUV's.If your car is old, consider buying a new car that is better for the environment. Some good choices are:
- Electric cars.They don't release emissions and are becoming popular throughout the market. They can cost a lot, but after that you don't have to pay for gas.
- Hybrids.They do consume gas, but release less emissions. You can find them just about anywhere. Plus, they cost only ,000 to ,000.
- Hydrogen cars. Like electric cars they do not release emissions. However, they are quite rare.
- If none of these ring your bell, try hypermiling, carpooling or living without a car.
Stop using your car.If you decide to do something other than drive, consider the following choices:
- Walking. Do this for short distances such as walking to the nearby shops or taking your kids to school. Walking also works well for people who are strapped for cash. Although walking instead of driving is quite slow, it's worth the effort and walking is actually really good for your body!
- Biking. A good bike normally costs between and 0 and folding bikes are portable and small enough to fit in your storage area. Just like walking, biking is very good for your body!
- Catching the bus. The fares are dirt cheap and eco-friendly buses are the way to go. But be aware of traffic jams, they can ruin your day and you may have to wait on a cramped bus filled with noisy people!
Being Green at Home
Turn off all lights when you leave the room.Lights use a lot of electricity and most of the time you don't need them! During the day, open the curtains and during the night, turn off all lights! You will be sleeping during the night anyway.
- You could purchase some motion sensor switches or use led lights or compact Fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). They last 12 times longer and consume 80% less energy. But take caution using CFL's, they contain mercury. You could also get a sunroof for natural light if you wanted too.
Use less water.
- Take shorter showers and turn off the taps properly and when you are not using them, especially when you brush your teeth!
- Putting a big bucket underneath the shower to collect water while the shower heats up is a wonderful way to conserve water and can then be transferred to the garden or used to wash clothing.
Wash your clothes by hand.Instead of using a washing machine, when you hand wash your clothes you are saving plenty of water and sometimes it's quicker to wash the clothes yourself.
- Also be conscious of the detergent you're using: there are greener alternatives to generic detergents, such as Method, who makes refillable bottles for their detergent
- Hang dry your clothes instead of putting them in the dryer. This way you will be saving energy and all you need to do is peg the clothes on a clothes line and wait until they dry! The only time you could use a dryer is if it is rainy out or you could hang your clothes under shelter.
- If you are going to use the washing machine, make sure you put in a full load and set the water to cold. This way is greener than washing a small amount of clothing and turning the water to hot.
Take short showers instead of baths.Baths use a large amount of water whilst a short shower doesn't. Showers are also quicker so think twice before taking a bath.
Reduce the usage of fans, air conditioning and heaters.Fans, air conditioning and heaters all use a lot of energy and you don't need them! Instead, when it's cold, put on an extra jumper and when it's hot, wear thinner and less clothing.
Invest in a multi-purpose water ionizer.Not only will you save water and money long term, but you will also reduce carbon footprint which is over drinking bottled water.
Being Green in the Garden
Purchase drought resistant plants.These plants need less water which means you will be saving plenty of water. When you do water your plants, water them lightly and don't soak them!
Grow your own food!
- This can be a long and sometimes frustrating process, but growing your own fruits and vegetables can save you both the time it took to drive to the store to buy them and the money spent trying to buy organic.
Start gardening.Plants filter out carbon dioxide and release oxygen whilst we do the opposite. Planting a tree or flower is a great help to the environment!
Water your plants, trees, and grass in the morning or afternoon.If you water your garden during the day the water is dried up from the sun meaning your grass, trees, and plants get less water.
Being Green by Taking Care of Yourself
Escape the modern world and get out and about.Take your dog for a walk around the neighborhood, visit the park, go for a hike, walk on the beach, etc. Plus, walking is a great exercise for you.
Maintain a healthy diet.Foods you should eat are fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, etc. Cut down on sugars and fats and try to avoid processed food or too much meat and only eat a fast food once every two or three weeks as a treat. Home cooked meals are always the best and fruits and vegetables are very healthy for you!
Consider going vegan or vegetarian.
- The impacts of eating meat on both the environment and on people are undeniable and hugely negative. Do your research and consider what exactly you are truly putting in your body and whether or not you're okay with it. There are plenty of meat alternatives that don't involve the abuse of the animals.
- If being a vegan or vegetarian is not an option for you, consider limiting your meat intake or researching to find free-range farms that take into account the quality of the animal's life and swiftness of the animal's death. Unfortunately, places like McDonald's and Burger King do not buy meat from the ethical meat industry.
- Learn to hunt deer for a year's supply of free-range meat. Deer meat is highly nutritious for human consumption, and hunting is the environmentally correct way to obtain it.
Reduce the amount of time you spend on electronics.Instead of watching the news on TV, read the newspaper or instead of researching things on the computer, go to the library! Books are very handy and reading is a great habit and time passer.
Being Green in other Ways
Use paper properly.Try writing a full page or using both sides of the page, millions of paper are wasted every year just by throwing away unused paper.
Reuse bottles.Instead of purchasing a bottle from the shops and throwing it away all the time, reuse the bottle by filling it up with water and putting it in the fridge.
- Keep in mind that bottled water should only be used when going out somewhere where there is no available water such as the park or to the beach.
Use your own bag instead of a plastic bag.When shopping, it's more green to use your own reusable bag instead of a plastic bag which will be thrown away as soon as you get home.
Buy sustainable and ethical clothing!
- Unfortunately, almost all clothing is made from sweatshops that abuse and mistreat their workers. There have been several incidents of terrible working conditions, including protests that took place in Cambodia against Walmart and the collapse of several sweatshop buildings, one of which killed over 1,000 people. Ethical clothing brands include Eth-ics, Stella McCartney, Naja (lingerie), Krochet Kids, People Tree, etc. These brands will be significantly more expensive (with the exception of Naja, whose prices are about equal to Victoria's Secret), but worth it to buy sustainable and ethical clothing.
- To find out more, watch The True Cost (a documentary on Netflix), and check out their website to find more sustainable clothing makers.
Video: 10 WAYS TO GREEN YOUR HOME || easy + sustainable + affordable
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