Health

Baby Steps to Going Green

 

While there’s controversy over the validity of global warming, I think almost all of us can agree that going green is crucial. It can only benefit us to recycle, use less waste, conserve our resources, etc. But if you are like me, just hearing those words—“go green”— can be daunting.

Just recently I started recycling. My mother even nagged me about it. How ironic when I used to be the one, as a child, trying to convince my family of the importance of recycling, and that was decades before the green movement. My justification to not recycling was this: I live in an apartment and we do not have a recycling program, so it seemed to be more work to take the materials somewhere. Ultimately, it’s not an extra trip to the store, plus this saves me work as my garbage doesn’t fill up as quickly, so less trips to the dumpster.

It got me thinking, how truly hard is it for us to be greener? Even if we take small steps towards this, we can achieve so much. I believe everything is connected—nature, animals, humans— so we must respect that. Here are some easy things I’ve taken to reduce my carbon footprint:

  • Save cans to organize items like craft supplies, hardware, or reuse glass jars as cups or for food storage. (The latter may be especially key if BPA really is found to be toxic to us.)
  • Wash your hair only once or twice a week instead of every day. You can actually train your hair/scalp to need a shampooing less frequently.
  • Use a baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice to clean. See this site for info: http://www.aboutmyplanet.com/daily-green-tips/cleaning-products/
  • Organize your errands/shopping trips to locations that are close to each other.
  • Set up online bill payments or checking so you can eliminate paper, save costs for the company, and provide you with more storage space if you were keeping copies of the bills.
  • A big one to me: DON’T LITTER. Rarely are you anywhere that you cannot wait to pitch something in the proper receptacle. And don’t forget, gum is not biodegradable. You ever see how long it stays on a sidewalk or in your hair?!
  • Sometimes I fill a glass of water up to drink, and let it sit out. Water doesn’t taste the greatest after sitting out, so I reuse it to water my plants.
  • Got a lot of CD’s? Transfer them to an electronic format, store them in a booklet, and/or recycle the cases. This also gives you much more room for storage.
  • Check out thrift stores, Craigslist, garage sales, estate sales, etc. when you need furniture. Not only are you likely to save money, you can find something with more character and save it from a landfill.

This website also has cool info to reference: http://www.re-nest.com/. What are some other small yet important ways to go green?

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