Thursday, March 14, 2013

Get Green

This planet is all of ours to share. In order to protect it (and, by extension, in order to promote cruelty free living), we must all pitch in and do our part. Here are some of the very both simple and effortless ways that you can go green and participate within your own community and/or home.

Reuse Grocery Bags 

Paper or plastic, grocery bags are extremely overused and are a huge waste of environmental space. These bags generally end up as street litter, in water (which can, of course, harm fish and other animals), or in landfills. Decomposition of these materials can take a century or more to occur. We can all opt to reuse our own grocery bags while shopping to help cut down on these problems. 

If you are accustomed to using disposable bags and can't seem to get on board with the idea of utilizing reusable ones, I would encourage you to save your paper/plastic shopping bags for other home usage before trashing them. Find great ideas for reusing plastic bags here

(Additional tip: If you send your child to school with a lunch from home, make sure he/she is using a reusable lunch bag/box instead of brown paper bags. Be sure to do the same if you bring a meal to work!)

Pick Up Trash

Yes, it is a nasty job, but someone has to do it! This is a great way to get your kids to acknowledge and appreciate the idea of protecting the earth. Get a group together and pick up garbage around your neighborhood or in a local park or forest district. This task is guaranteed to give you a great sense of self, while setting a great example for others (especially children). You should always emphasize to little ones what an effect each individual can have on the environment. 

Save From Home 

Oh, your parents didn't own the electric company either? Fortunately, there are many easy ways to go green without even leaving your home. (Dad: please continue reading for proof that these are lessons learned!)

It is so easy to start making a difference from home. If we are all a little more conscious of the ways in which we use energy and water we can collectively make a huge difference. The following tips will not just help save the environment, but will also save you money. Read on and save up!

One of the simplest energy savers to get in the habit of is being sure to turn out the lights when you are leaving a room. If you don't need the light, don't leave it on! 

If you can adjust your memory to remember to turn off unnecessary lighting, you should try to do the same with appliances that aren't in use. Items such as toasters, blenders, lamps, hair dryers/flat irons, cell phone chargers, and stereos/speakers only need to be plugged in while in use. It can be hard to get in the habit of unplugging electronics all the time, but especially if you are leaving the house or will be gone for an extended period of time (weekend trip, vacation, etc.), you should always remember to unplug your appliances back at home. 

I am sure you are aware of one of the most obvious ways to save water: take shorter showers. You can save huge amounts of water by cutting even a minute or two off your shower time. It really is as simple as that!

If you tend to take long showers, there are other ways to conserve water at home. When doing laundry, try to avoid washing one single item or very small loads of clothes. The water and energy it takes to wash/dry is not worth wasting on just a couple of items. If you live alone, wait until you have a larger load of clothes to wash before doing laundry. If you live with others, combine laundry when possible. This is a small effort that can make a huge difference! 

Here are some great water conservation ideas that take very little effort to observe. 

Carry a Reusable Water Bottle (...and use it!)

Sure, the convenience of buying bottled water at the checkout counter while on-the-go is always tempting, but bringing your own reusable water bottle/container with you as you go about your day has more benefits than you might think. 

First of all, the amount of plastic that goes into making bottled water is completely unnecessary! Many people do not recycle, so these plastic bottles wind up sitting in landfills of garbage for a ridiculous amount of time. 

Forget the coffee and soda! If you don't drink water on a regular basis, you probably don't realize how refreshing and energizing it actually is.  Keeping a reusable water bottle on you will encourage you to drink more water automatically. Check out the benefits of getting your daily dose of H2O here.

Also keep in mind that bottled water is expensive. Filtered water is so easily accessible these days and you can keep hydrated by refilling your reusable bottle throughout your workday free of charge. (What could be better than benefitting your health, helping the environment, and saving money all at the same time?)

Aside from these ideas, please always try to recycle and avoid littering whenever possible. Here are some other awesome ideas to Green Up Your Community.

Thank you for joining me in protecting our world, 


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