Adopting a greener lifestyle is one of the best ways to work towards mitigating the damage that has occurred to the environment as a result of climate change. While not all damage is reversible, such as the depletion of fossil fuels, other environmental damage can possibly be reversed by taking action now.
You can do your part by implementing some of the following green ideas at home and at work that can help lessen your impact on the environment.
1. Keep it Local
Support your local farmers, especially those that embrace organic growing methods without the use of pesticides. Not only will you be consuming “cleaner” products without harmful pesticides, you are promoting farming that has less of an impact on the environment since pesticides have been linked to the decimation of bee colonies that are crucial to our food supplies. Additionally, buying locally cuts down on the need for transporting products from long distances, which requires fuel for trucks and adds to air pollution.
2. Making Your Home More Energy Efficient
Upgrading your home’s HVAC system is a big step toward conserving energy and lessening your carbon footprint. The more energy efficient your heater is, the less fuel it will use and the less pollution it will release into the air. Switching to energy efficient LED lighting helps reduce your home’s electric usage. However, there are additional benefits to be had because LED bulbs last much longer than fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. This means fewer bulbs ending up in landfills and contributing harmful chemicals into the environment.
3. Be a Greener Shopper
When food shopping, opt for items with the least packaging. This is referred to as “precycling.” You are making a conscious decision to reduce the amount of waste that you are sending to the landfill. For example, if you must purchase drinking water, purchase larger containers and use them to fill a reusable water bottle.
4. Get a Water Dispenser for Home or Work
Instead of purchasing smaller bottles or jugs of water, get a water dispenser for home or work that uses larger five-gallon jugs. Your water supplier will reuse the jugs instead of sending them to the landfill or to be recycled.
5. Reducing VOCs
When it is time to remodel or repaint in your home or business, make sure you choose paints and materials that contain zero or minimal volatile organic compounds. These chemicals release gases into the air and have a negative effect on air quality. VOCs can be found in adhesives, flooring, fabrics and even your furniture.
6. Smarter Landscaping
Instead of using pesticides or herbicides, adopt organic methods for maintaining your landscapes. Use organic fertilizers instead of chemical fertilizers that present a danger to the water supply because of runoff. Instead of bagging grass clippings, mulch into your lawn as an organic fertilizer or start your own compost pile. Compost can be used as an organic fertilizer in your garden. It also reduces the amount of waste that you would otherwise send to the landfill.
7. Drive Smarter
Choose vehicles that are more fuel efficient for your commute. If you have a business, opt for a cleaner fleet. Pay attention to keeping your vehicles regularly maintained, including making sure that tire pressures are at the correct level. Properly inflated tires can reduce your fuel consumption and prolong the life of your tires, thus cutting down on landfill waste. Watch your speedometer because lower speeds can improve your fuel efficiency.
8. Go on a Fashion Diet
Instead of discarding clothes every year for the latest fashions, extend the life of your wardrobe. Choose clothes that can go from season to season. This helps reduce the amount of clothing that ends up in landfills each year. If you do need to discard clothing items, donate to thrift stores where they can be reused.
By adopting some of these green ideas, you can help improve the environment and make the world a better and cleaner place for all.