So Just What is Green Living, Anyway?
We’ve heard it used to death on the television, on radio, and in the newspapers and other media. Everywhere we hear about living green, or green companies or processes. Confused? You have a right to be! Read on and find out what the whole “green” thing is all about.
Green Living Described
Green Living is a lifestyle that embraces the idea of sustainability, which reduces society’s use of the natural resources of the earth and of the people living on it. Green Living is also described as an attempt to live in an “eco-friendly” manner that is environmentally responsible. This has been popularized with the phrase “leaving the smallest possible ecological footprint.
Beyond the actual definitions, Green Living is a method of helping our environment through a number of processes, not the least of which fit in the spirit of “reduce, recycle and re-use” whatever and where ever we can.
Depending on where you live, your actions may be considerably different than someone else.
Green Living for Rural Folks
Grow your own vegetables. If you have sufficient area and fertile soil, one of the things you can do that can reduce your need for money is to grow your own vegetables. Even a small garden can make a significant contribution to reducing the costs of your food, and you may be eating more healthy food as well.
This can be extended for such things as milk and meat if you have space and are so inclined.
Most people living in a rural environment have a larger amount of space than the typical urbanite, and this gives you the opportunity to explore alternate methods of generating at least some of the energy that you use. This could be solar electric or solar water heating, wind generation, or even hydro-power. With a properly sized power generation facility and/or an eye on reducing your energy needs, you may even be able to produce all the power you need.
Beyond producing some or all of the energy you use, there are numerous ways you can conserve, and save money along the way. Seemingly simple things like turning lights out when you are not in the room or changing from incandescent to energy-efficient CFL twist lights (or both) can save significant amounts of energy.
Consolidate trips to town, getting everything you need on a single trip instead of several single-purpose ones.
Green Living in the Urban Environment
While the rural dweller may have the room to be able to produce some, if not much of their food, people living in an urban landscape have some significantly reduced opportunities. This doesn’t mean that you can blame it on your location, you just need to be a bit more creative. In fact, some of the same things the Urbanite can do are also applicable in a Rural setting.
Though it may seem a minor contribution compared to what can be accomplished in a rural setting, having plants around can help. First, plants convert carbon dioxide to oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis. Even a small number of plants can help in regenerating the oxygen content in an urban area. Bear in mind that every little bit helps.
To save energy, as with the rural folks, turning off unneeded lights and replacing all bulbs with new energy-efficient ones can make a significant difference. Recently the price of CFL twist bulbs has come down to about the same as the old incandescent bulbs of yesteryear. Check your home and increase ceiling insulation to at least R30. Most homes are only insulated to R19, and many still do not have any insulation. Insulating the ceiling (usually in the attic or crawl space) can have the best return for the money.
If your utility district or fire department does home assessments, have yours done. They come in with a high sensitivity infra-red camera that can see even the smallest heat leaks. You’d be surprised to see just how much heat energy you lose through air exchange from outlets and switches and other unnoticed holes in your home envelope, like where pipes come into your kitchen. Inexpensive gaskets around behind outlet and switch plates, and expanding foam insulation around pipes coming through the wall or floor can go a long way towards making your home more energy-efficient and comfortable too.
As with a rural dweller, try to consolidate trips, and if possible, use public transportation or even a bike for shorter trips. You will get into better shape while you save money and help the environment.
No matter where you live, there are ways you can conserve energy, leading to a more green approach to life. Everywhere you look, you can probably see ways to conserve, and though this article has focussed on mostly reducing your need for energy or reducing the waste of energy, there are numerous other ways to help live a “green” life. Recycling our cardboard and paper, glass and other sortable wastes reduce the need for landfills, thus providing a benefit to our environment. Re-using what we can is yet another way to reduce the need to produce new products, thereby saving us money and our environment at the same time.
Tips For Green Living and Why They Are Important
Going “green” has turned into a significant social movement these days. More and more people are realizing that we don’t live on a planet with inexhaustible resources and at some point, perhaps even as soon as our children’s lifetime, we will either start exhausting resources or producing so much waste that our planet will be in serious trouble.
This article discusses the positives and negatives of going and not going green. There are many simple green living tips that are easy to implement, have significant potential to change our current course, and help you save money and resources. It is certainly worth giving some of these simple lifestyle changes a try.
Some of the general categories of adopting a “green” lifestyle include what products to use to clean your house, saving space and energy at home or at work, eating organic food products, and/or choosing produce grown organically. There is also a whole host of other green living items including foods, organic household items, organic rust removal products for safer and more natural rust removal, turning to alternative fuels and power sources. The list goes on and on.
There truly are so many green living ideas available that will get you started living the lifestyle that is healthier and safer.
Why the necessity to go green these days?
It means safe and healthy living. Many toxic and dangerous products have a large impact on Mother Earth, particularly our atmosphere. Damage to our atmosphere is perhaps one of the most pressing and urgent problems we face today. With all of the organic and natural products readily available these days, there’s really no excuse to use potentially damaging products.
The more people that go green, the faster and easier we, as a society, can begin to enjoy the cleaner air and healthier planet that will result. We will be rid of the dangerous chemical exposure that inflicts risk to our well being. Additionally, we won’t be faced with the problem of disposing of dangerous chemicals and other waste products that result from a non-green lifestyle. This is not an insignificant by-product of the “going green” movement.
Green living also inspires a new attitude in those people who adopt the lifestyle. It will soon become a habit to turn off lights or appliances and be aware of other wasted energy in your household.
Recycling and reusing products is one of the easiest things you can do to reduce garbage and waste.
If you are serious about adopting a green lifestyle, there are plenty of resources on the Internet that can get you started, whether you are just beginning or have already been living green for a while. There are forums, membership sites, and plenty of other resources that can make you a green living expert in no time.
How to Go Green and Save Money
Green living is now on almost everyone’s agenda. As surprising as it may sound, even kids are leading the way in some households. But there are still some people who think that green living is beyond them as it’s perceived to be too expensive. We’re not talking solar panels and wind turbines here folks! Everyone can practice green living each day without breaking the bank with just some simple tips. Here they are…
Green living tip # 1
Throw out the Dryer!
Okay, that might be a little extreme. But seriously guys, one of the best ways to go green is to stop using or reduce the use of your dryers. They use an immense amount of energy and I’m sure you feel it in your pocket each month when you get the electric bill. If you have just 2 people living in a household and you wash every other week, you still have to do multiple loads. I do like 4-5 loads on average, so using the dryer does add up.
You really don’t need to use the dryer to dry your clothes. If you live in the tropics like I do or even if you live in warm climates, hang your clothes out to dry. The sunshine and air are great for drying clothes. Shrinkage and discoloration are also reduced, so you save money on clothes as well. How cool is that? Some of you may be concerned about bird droppings. I have big trees in my yard, a matter of fact all the clotheslines are under trees which harbor lots of birds, but I’ve never had that problem. Chances are you won’t either.
And if I don’t live in the tropics or warm climates, you ask. Simple, you can still reduce the use of the dryer. Unless you live in Alaska maybe, I’m sure it doesn’t rain and snow all the time. So make use of the good days and only use the dryer on those days when you don’t have a choice. Your pocket will still say, thank you!
For Green Living, you may have to get creative or do some rescheduling like wash more on the weekends instead of during the week so you can take your clothes up. But in the end, it will be worth it, you can even get the kids involved.
Green living tip # 2
Reduce water use
Want to live greener and save money? You should check all taps for leaks regularly and fix those you find. Take shorter showers. Yeah I know, that can be a real damper. I had to adjust to taking shorter showers myself but, there was a real difference in my water bill once I started practicing it. Go a step further and invest in an energy-saving showerhead. Oh, and those bubble baths, you might want to give them up totally or reduce the number of times you have them. Save them for special occasions, that should give you something to look forward to. While you’re at it, if you don’t already have one, think about getting a new toilet cistern that uses less than two gallons of water per flush. Standard cisterns use about three and a half gallons. Using less water uses less energy and saves you money!
Green living tip # 3
Forget driving for very short trips, walk instead!
Have you ever noticed how some people seem to drive everywhere, even around the corner to pick up the newspaper? Have you ever wondered what on earth did they do before they had a vehicle? Yep, I’ve wondered myself.
Well for the sake of the environment and your own, you need to develop the habit of walking more. As long as it’s safe for you to do so, walk for those shorter trips. The health benefits of walking are great, it keeps you fit and keeps you in shape. Ladies, you know where inactivity can pack on those pounds, right where we don’t want them to go. Walking can also eliminate or help to reduce circulatory problems.
For moderate trips consider using a cycle. What, you don’t know how to ride? Life is an adventure! Grab yourself a helmet, some knee and elbow pads, and go learn, you’re never too old to learn new things. Moreover, it can be so much fun!
So, only rev up that automobile when it’s absolutely necessary. Gas is precious and it pollutes the atmosphere. Save on burning it and you can save on your cash, as well as help the environment.
These are just some simple things you can do to practice green living that won’t put you out of pocket and you can have some fun while doing them too.