Going green is not a current trend that you should embrace, it is a lifestyle change that can help preserve our planet for the decades to come. Thinking that you don’t make a difference is wrong, every individual who chooses to be conscientious about their environment can make a huge impact in the long run. Deciding to go green is a process, it is not something you can do overnight, it takes a lot of adjustments, starting with your own habits and then spreading to your home and family.
Last year the U.S Department of Energy stated that if buildings were all green-improved the U.S. would use $20 billion less energy every single year. This is quite a large number. Now, starting the change in your home will take time. Investing in solar panels is great, but not everyone can afford it. However there are several things you could do to lower your home’s energy consumption. Start with the little things, unplug your appliances when you are not using them, yes, even the phone charger. Put your washing machine on eco time, that will save both the water and the electricity consumption, and don’t forget to run it on full loads. Opt for LED light bulbs, something as simple as this can significantly cut down on your electricity bill as well as lower your home’s energy consumption.
Living in a developed country, we tend to take water for granted and are not that careful about the amounts we use or what we put in it. In a couple of decades drinking water is bound to become a commodity, so it is imperative that we become aware of the impact we have. You can start by turning the faucet off while you brush your teeth, or by cutting down on your shower time. Next comes the change in the products that you are using, all the chemicals that are contained in your detergents, shampoos and shower gels find their way to the rivers and oceans. Just remember that the microbeads in our shower gels and toothpastes end up killing of the fish population. The harmful chemicals are not just in your products, a lot of fabrics that we use are chemically treated, and not good for our health and the environment. You can get an eco-friendly jute rug instead of one that is made from artificial materials, switch to natural cotton for your upholstery and avoid any and all fabrics that have been exposed to dangerous chemicals during production. You do not need the additional toxins in your home and opting for eco-friendly products isn’t just beneficial for your own health and that of your family, it also benefits the environment significantly.
This might be the biggest lifestyle change you are faced with when making your home greener. Our consumer mentality is driving us to spend more on new things and we have totally put the idea of reusing and repurposing on the back burner. As for recycling, it is hanging in there, with the amount of exposure it is getting in the media more and more people are actually making an effort to recycle. Now when it comes to reusing, for most it is easier to pick up a disposable plastic bag or bowl and just throw it away afterwards. In order to truly go green we need to get the plastic out of our homes, it is not healthy for us and it damages the environment on all levels. So start by getting healthy alternatives like glass or stainless steel containers, don’t forget to always bring your own bag to the store and say no thank you to the plastic ones. Finally we can come to repurposing. In most cases it is our old clothes that can be repurposed for anything from cleaning rags to something as imaginative as food wraps, all it takes is a little time and imagination. So look around your home and see what it is you have that can be recycled, reused or repurposed and you can be sure that the list is a lot longer that you could have imagined. You can start making your home greener right now.
So there you have it, it takes baby steps but you will eventually get there. Having a green home is not a lot of work as one might think, it is more about changing our habits so as to preserve this beautiful planet for the generations to come. So if carrying a cotton bag to the shop can save even a single animal's life it is the least we can do while we share this plane with other living things.