When we talk about going green, we imagine expensive, organic foods and things. Some think about the effort required and impracticality involved. In retrospect, going green is not as difficult or expensive as it may seem – if you know the ways. After all, we are the residents of the Earth and it is our responsibility to take good care of it NOW and for the FUTURE.
Did you know?
- 95% – energy saved by recycling an aluminium can versus creating the can from raw aluminium.
- 61% – women’s lipstick, out of the 33 popular brands tested, found to contain lead in a test by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in 2007.
- 60% – reduction in developmental problems in children in China who were born after a coal-burning power plant closed in 2006.
- 40% – energy saved by recycling newsprint over producing it from raw materials.
- 5% – world’s carbon dioxide emissions produced by air travel.
You can gradually make the change by carrying out one change each week:
1. Turn your computer off at the end of the day. It’s still sucking up energy although you may have put it to sleep mode.
2. You’re probably doing this already – donate old newspapers to animal shelters and participating groups. Take your plastic shopping bags back to participating grocery stores. Better yet, purchase cloth or canvas grocery bags and skip that part altogether.
3. Bring your own mug to the coffee kiosk. Some give discounts for this!
4. Save your e-ticket instead of printing our boarding passes when travelling.
5. Rent a hybrid car on your next road trip.
6. Schedule your errands back-to-back to save petrol and time or walk when possible.
7. Cancel your newspaper subscription and read the news online instead.
8. Share your magazines after reading by passing them to your friends or doctor’s office.
9. Pack your lunch and your kids’ in an insulated lunch bag instead of paper or plastic bags.
10. Use rechargeable batteries and learn how to dispose old batteries properly.
11. Make very effective, non-toxic home cleaning products. All you need are a few simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and soap.
12. Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. Instead of using a dryer, hang-dry them on a clothesline or rack.
13. Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins at dinner.
14. Have a go at having one meatless meal each week. Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can.
15. Ditched bottled mineral water and use a water filter to purify tap water instead.
16. Bring a reusable water bottle, preferably aluminum rather than plastic, with you when traveling or at work.
17. Plant drought-tolerant local plants in your garden. Many plants need minimal watering.
18. Instead of buying new, get gently used preloved items. Check out garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops for clothing and other everyday items.
19. Wear clothes that don’t need to be dry-cleaned. This saves money and cuts down on toxic chemical use.
20. Borrow from libraries instead of buying personal books and movies. This saves money, not to mention the ink and paper that goes into printing new books.
21. Invest in high-quality, long-lasting products. Although you might pay more, you’ll be happy when you don’t have to replace items as frequently (and this means less waste!).
Have you got more tips on how to be more environmentally responsible? Share with us!