What does green living mean to you? For me, it means taking small steps each day to tread lightly on our precious planet. For the most part, I grew up this way. I was taught from a very young age that we need to preserve our natural resources by reusing items, recycling every recyclable item and to conserve water and electricity. There are so many things that you can do in order to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, such as recycling, using less electricity and water, eating a healthier diet, using less chemicals, reusing what you have and reducing your consumption. It can be overwhelming, but I believe that if you just make one small step, it will empower you to continue on your green journey.
Being green just makes sense. Not only does it help the environment, but it helps your health and pocketbook! Listed below are a few of the choices that I feel would make a large difference in a small amount of time:
- Invest in a good quality water bottle. This will last you a very long time and you save an incredible amount of money by not purchasing bottled water. Did you know that tap water is more regulated than bottled water? Chances are, your tap water is healthier than the over-priced bottled water.
- When doing any sort of shopping, use a tote, rather than accepting a plastic or paper bag from the store.
- GREEN CLEAN! Please, put away the endless bottles of toxic chemicals and the harsh smell of bleach for a gentler, easier on the body, green cleaner. Simple homemade solutions can be made in mere minutes or you can simply use baking soda, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide for almost all types of cleaning.
- Save water! Taking small daily steps greatly add up over time. Shorten your showering time, turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, lather up your hands with the faucet turned off, use Watersense toilets (rebatable through the City of Austin), use rain barrels (also rebatable) in the garden, only start the dishwasher with a full load, etc.
- Save electricity! Turn off the lights when you are not using them, use CFL bulbs, use powerstrips to turn off your electric machines at night, etc.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle. Reduce what you buy (I know .. so un-American, but who really needs all this stuff that we tend to accumulate?), reuse what you have and recycle all the rest.
- Eat less meat and processed foods! This is a biggie! Not only are these items completely unhealthy for you, but they cost a lot of money and cause many future medical issues! Prevention is the key! Regarding processed food, do you know how to read a label? Do not be misled by what the packaging states, but learn how to read a nutrition label!
- Be present! Be mindful! Enjoy what you have!
So, now that you have some tips, I challenge you to make some positive environmentally friendly changes in your life!