Green Living Tips

Cutting down on pollution starts with you. You can live a greener lifestyle by reducing the ways you pollute and your carbon footprint. These tips aren’t only good for the planet, they can save you money too. Every Individual can make a difference in preserving our environment by taking small steps at a time.

Recycle. Recycling—substituting scrap for virgin materials—not only conserves natural esources and reduces the amount of waste that must be burned or buried, it also reduces pollution and the demand for energy. Recycling proves better for the environment than burying or burning waste. It makes sense to reuse products, of course, and to reduce consumption altogether, as well as to improve initial product design. But given the rising mounds of waste worldwide, it also makes sense to recycle. (ngm.nationalgeographic.com)

Energy efficient products. Reducing energy use reduces energy costs and may result in a financial cost saving to consumers. Reducing energy use is also seen as a key solution to the problem of reducing emissions. According to the International Energy Agency, improved energy efficiency in buildings, industrial processes and transportation could reduce the world’s energy needs in 2050 by one third, and help control global emissions of greenhouse gases. Energy efficiency and renewable energy are said to be the twin pillars of sustainable energy policy. (wikipedia.org)

Reduce what you throw away. Americans generate trash at an astonishing rate of 4.6 pounds (2.1 kilograms) per day per person, which translates to 251 million tons (228 million metric tons) per year. The trash production in the United States has almost tripled since 1960. Landfills are not designed to break down trash, merely to bury it. The more people can recycle the better, and less product packaging businesses can use the better. (science.howstuffworks.com)

Don’t drive so much. According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), public transportation in the United States saves approximately 1.4 billion gallons of gasoline and about 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. According to Treehugger.com, if just one in 10 Americans used public transportation daily, U.S. reliance on foreign oil would decrease 40 percent. Riding a bus is 79 times safer than riding in an automobile, and riding a train or subway is even safer. Studies have shown that people who use public transportation regularly tend to be healthier than people who don’t, because of the exercise they get walking to and from bus stops, subway stations and their homes and offices. According to an APTA study, families that use public transportation can reduce their household expenses by $6,200 annually, more than the average U.S. household spends on food every year. (environment.about.com)

Enjoy the outdoors more. A recent study found that an improvement in mental well-being, compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. Participants also reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and stated that they were more likely to repeat the activity at a later date. Being active outdoors will also tune people in to their surroundings and give them better reason to protect it. (sciencedaily.com)

Where does your food come from? Local purchasing is better for the environment and better for working conditions. Local purchasing and contracting enhances local job creation and wealth while strengthening community cohesiveness. Bringing goods from afar generally requires using more energy than transporting goods locally, and this is a serious environmental threat. Small-scale growers tend to be more environmentally friendly because industrial-sized agriculture uses genetically modified crops, monoculture production, and chemical fertilizer intensive processes to grow crops — practices that local farmers typically avoid. (wikipedia.org)

What goes down your drain? Where does it end up? Waste water treatment plants take care of everything that goes down your drain, but many of the chemicals found in toxic household cleaners simply do not break down. For example, a class of chemicals known as APEs (alkylphenol ethoxylates)  are added to laundry detergents, disinfectants, and many other household cleaners. When they break down, they turn into nonylphenol and octylphenol which are not only very toxic, but they don’t biodegrade. Eliminate harmful cleaners from your home and replace them with simple eco-friendly solutions. (seachoice.org)

Where do your clothes come from? Again, local purchasing is better for the environment. Bringing goods from afar generally requires using more energy than transporting goods locally. We’ve got plenty of suggestions here…