Green living can often be perceived as being difficult to achieve. It certainly isn’t easy at times, but rearranging your lifestyle to accommodate your personal views is worth the work, especially when it’s in relation to the environment.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make every action you do eco-friendly and definitely not right away. Like most things in life, you can work your way up to your goal by doing a little bit at a time.
For those who want to begin living green and don’t know where to start, here’s a list of things you can do to be earth-conscious.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
You’ve heard it a million times, and you’ll most likely continue hearing it. It’s number one on this list for a reason, everybody can do it. Whether you’re an environmental activist who composts everything and never uses a plastic product unless it’s BPA free or a regular Joe who cares about the Earth, everyone can use the three Rs. Each one is relatively simple and can be used in the most basic daily actions that you wouldn’t always think of. When you write your grocery list on a used envelope instead of a fresh sheet of paper, you’re reducing and reusing. When you’re done with that envelope and you throw it in the blue bin, you’re recycling. Any opportunity you can take to reduce, reuse and recycle is worth taking and is a good way to introduce an aspect of green living into your daily routine. You can also refuse things like plastic bags, items you’ll never use, and other things that will just end up needing to be recycled anyway.
If someone ever tells you that going paperless is useless since the trees have already been cut down, they’re wrong. Not about the trees, that part is true, but they’re wrong about the fact that it’s useless. In truth, choosing paperless options for things like bills, files, and other items can make a big difference. You should also opt out of any type of junk mail lists to reduce the amount of physical junk mail you receive. Granted, 31% of the direct mail that someone receives contains content that the recipient finds useful, but the rest of the time these mailings just get tossed away. Do your best to get your address off of these junk mail lists so that way you only get the mail that matters, and paper isn’t being used just to throw away. You should also consider the opposite as well, i.e. sending mail rather than receiving it. Instead of sending a letter or gift box in brand new cardboard with fresh fillers, opt for eco-friendly transportation using recycled boxes, bags, and envelopes. That way you’re not only going paperless regarding what’s coming in, but also what’s going out.
Consider Your Home
Your house is a large consumer of energy, which can be very anti-green. Sometimes you don’t even know why your house is so energy-inefficient, and it’s often because of small things that can be easily corrected. For instance, gaps and cracks in a house cause air leaks which end up costing a typical family an average of $350 more than what they need to spend. Finding these gaps and cracks and getting them fixed will not only save you money throughout the year, but it’ll reduce the amount of energy your home consumes. You can also look at things like paint, structure materials, and even appliances to become more eco-friendly. Things like low to zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) polyaspartic coatings for your floors won’t negatively impact the air quality in your home, energy-star approved appliances can help reduce energy consumption, and UV resistant windows can help keep your home cool during the summer and warm during the winter to help reduce energy usage, are all great ways to create a “green” house to go along with your green lifestyle.
There are so many other little things you can do to help the environment, most of which are just small adjustments to your daily routine. Shorter showers, a few degrees less heat, and no bottled water are just a few examples of easy things you could be doing already that are eco-friendly. So if you’re trying to start your new green-living lifestyle, just remember to do what you can. Every little bit counts.