We hear a great deal these days about Living Green, which means Living Naturally and more earth friendly. Most of the time it involves a drastic life change and thousands of dollars. Opposed to what many may think about it, Living Green is not this complicated. There are a number of things the average person can do to help. In fact, doing these things can actually save you money.
I truly believe that every person should think about each item they are buying something- either food, cosmetics, clothes or other stuff. Every small thing you throw in your basket will effect many different aspects like the environment and your health. Think of the journey these items have gone through, especially the processed things. Think of what amount of the item you are going to use and what are you throwing away (like cosmetic and food packaging, plastic bags, paper checks etc.) Do you really want to support animal testing by using regular cosmetics and put all kinds of chemicals and toxins in your body just to look good from outside? Do you really want to use all the home cleaning chemical to pollute the water and harm your family’s health? Do you really need to waste your money on plastic bottles and jars, that have been made using toxic chemicals and are made with using enormous amount of energy, material and fuel.
Buying things like coffee, sugar and cacao you can choose fair trade products to support the families who grow these things instead of supporting the hunger and poverty that big companies cause by selling cheap products. Usually fair trade is also organic which means you are also supporting environment and good agriculture instead of ruining nature and soil etc. Do you really want to eat processed foods, meats and dairy that are also affecting your health and environment in so many ways and supporting animal cruelty in factory farms.
What I want to say with all this, is please think before you buy something- do you need it, why do you need it, where did it came from, what it contains, how is it made, how does it affect the environment, what happens with it after you have used/eaten it. Take interest on what is your food made of, what are in your cosmetics, how is plastic harmful, what happens with the garbage after thrown away etc. You really vote with your wallet- so please vote for your health, our planet health, fair trade and all animals well-being.
These are the things you can start doing for green living:
- Avoid plastic packaging all together.
- Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins and dish rags or old T-shirt squares instead of paper towels.
- Use wash cloths versus disposable sponges.
- Buy a stainless steel or glass water bottle and thermos.
- Pack lunches in reusable food containers.
- Don’t use straws unless they are biodegradable.
- Compost your food scraps.
- Use biodegradable trash bags.
- Start shopping at thrift shop. The clothing won’t last long or captivate your interest forever anyway.
- Donate unwanted clothing to goodwill or a homeless shelter.
- Have a clothing swap with friends. Doing this two or three times a year will be a ton of fun and will cure the need to shop constantly.
- Do online banking and go paperless.
- Ask not to print receipts in store if you don’t need it. This simple choice can save a lot of paper.
- Go paperless with your bills all together.
- Buy recycled paper products.
- Only print what is truly necessary off the computer.
- Use scrap paper for quick notes.
- Avoid using paper cups and plates.
- Support organic farmers and buy organic produce as much as possible.
- Shop at your local farmer’s market to limit how far your food is shipped.
- Buy groceries items in bulk like rice, nuts, veggies, beans, fruit etc. By buying in bulk you are avoiding excess packaging that fills landfills, and the extra products and energy needed to create the packaging.
- Make your own juices and use a glass bottle or a jar.
- Put large size produce in your cart without a plastic bag and smaller size produce in biodegradable shopping bags.
- Make your own almond milk versus buying it in a container.
- If you must buy frozen food buy organic.
- Become vegetarian, or at least eat 50% less meat and dairy.
- Buy only whole foods, not processed.
- Use reusable shopping bags and always have some in your purse at all times.
- Become a minimalist and learn to live with less.
- Stop consuming just to consume. Buy only what you need and treat yourself on occasion.
- Reuse containers at least once before recycling.
- Recycling saves energy! One recycled glass bottle is equivalent to lighting a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.
- Recycle any and all things that possible. Clean all your recyclables before sending them off.
- Buy rechargeable batteries.
- Use cloth diapers or biodegradable diapers.
- Take a fancy reusable shopping bag to all stores, not just the grocery store.
- Use earth friendly cleaning supplies and protect our water! Make your own, it also lot cheaper.
- Donate your junk! An old computer may become a treasure to a library or an after school program.
- Turn off and unplug any and everything that you aren’t currently using.
- Don’t leave water running when washing teeth, dishes etc.
- Grow your own herbs.
- Borrow books, CD’s, and DVD’s from the library, friends, and family.
- Continue to search for more ways you can make a difference to better our planet.