In 2019 going green is a big deal. Even if you’re just thinking about it, getting informed, or have started out, every action will be a big step towards a greener, safer Earth.
Going green by no means has to be complicated, and nowadays there is easy access to products, services and communities dedicated to facilitating the going green movement.
If you’ve got that itch saying “small green habits won’t do much”, scratch it right off! Because these habits have the potential to make a huge impact. Collectively speaking, you are not the only one taking up these habits, maybe you’ve just started but hundreds of people in your neighborhood already have other tasks they are taking up as well.
Going green is about the impact we can make with small, easy actions, that will be a part of a bigger movement.
Table of Contents
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Chapter 1:Go Green With Your Family
Going Green is a family activity. Get your kids involved and teach them healthy habits of going green and preserving the earth is as a collective learning experience. These habits will make them grow into conscious adults and will pass on green habits to their children as well.
Before We Start: Don’t Be Hard on Yourself. Start Small.
Going green is progressive. Start small and slowly implement activities to your daily household routine. Don’t forget that this is a learning process for all, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Once you begin, it will be practical to keep a calendar or list of chores assigned to everyone in the household, especially as you are progressively adding more activities.
Are you ready to start? Let’s get into our complete guide for going green at home:
Chapter 2:Going Green in Numbers
There are many ways of going green, from using environment friendly products, to recycling, to going vegan, etc.
During 2019, the numbers have risen considerably in many of the global green markets that offer such products and services. When looking into the consumption of green products, we are able to notice how that reflects into daily lifestyle choices of more and more people.
Industry Dollars in Green Products & Services
- $640 million are designated to green cleaning products
- $2 billion on energy saving light-bulbs
- $10 billion for clean-diesel, electric and hybrid vehicles
- $29.2 billion for organic food.
Surprising right? We can assume that the world is slowly shifting towards prioritizing the earth through a more green lifestyle. This is your time!
Millennials are Leading the Way
Widely considered to be “The Green Generation”, they are driving the movement towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Hey, the numbers speak for themselves. Millenials are driven to consume green products, go vegan or vegetarian, more so than other generations.
Here, percentages of those who would pay more for eco-friendly products:
GEN Z (16-21): 50%
MILLENNIALS (22-35): 61%
GEN X (36-54): 55%
BABY BOOMERS (55-64): 46%
The Benefits of Going Green at Home:
Try imagining every home as a tiny beating heart in Earth. Done? Ok, now imagine trillions of tiny beating hearts that keep our Earth alive and well. Every heart fraction is represented by our home. If you think of your home as a reflection of the Earth, how happy are you with the way it functions presently? How much water are you spending? How much food waste are you producing? Do you recycle? These are the important questions!
Let’s get head on into some of the green activities you can start doing with your family.
Chapter 3:Start Going Green at Home:
In a world where most of the things “needed & desired” are at our fingertips, it’s time we start analyzing what we really need and how much of these are excessive behaviors.
For example: Still accepting plastic bags at the stone, not recycling nor separating waste, buying new instead of reusing,etc.
Going green is a behavioral change. Going by the laws of the necessary to live comfortably, because at the end of the day, the excessive consumption of objects we don’t actually need, produces waste and resource loss.
Consider Other means of Transportation
Families with one car per member is a comfortable and convenient, but how necessary is this? Can we make a change here? Try using public transportation, carpooling and biking.
Do you have to go just a couple of blocks away? Take your bike or go for a walk, be a healthier you. According to UCSUSA “In 2013, transportation contributed more than half of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, and almost a quarter of the hydrocarbons emitted into our air.”
Commit yourself to taking up reusing activities. Have one water bottle, one coffee mug for your coffee and coffee shops, when going for take out, take your own container instead.
Do it at home too! Are there cleaning product packaging constantly being replaced? Find ways of reusing packaging to reduce waste and just refill, refill, refill!
Less Water, Better Earth
Shorter showers, turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, energy-saving dishwashers. Make sure your appliances are optimized for a greener lifestyle.
Run your laundry when a full load is ready and choose the “eco” setting always. Be a spy! Make a list of all wasteful habits in regards to water and energy and create green habits out of each of them.
Rely on rechargeables, remove devices that are not in use from their sockets. Surprisingly enough, anything plugged in, but not in use adds more than 10 to your electricity bill.
E-waste refers to any electronic waste in the form of devices, gadgets or electrical resources no longer in use. For instance, batteries, old phones, old repairs lying around at home. These spread pollutants such as polyvinyl chloride, beryllium, mercury and lead, all very harmful to the environment, humans and other forms of life. Find a verified recycling source in town instead.
Going Green means going Veggie
Meat production requires huge amounts of water and energy due to the worldwide demand for meat consumption. There is such a high demand to grow animals, not only in horrid conditions but to also maintain the farms in which they are raised, fed and reproduced.
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According to PETA ”It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef.” Plus, all this process contributes to the overall carbon footprint released into the atmosphere. Slowly going vegetarian or cutting off meat at least to 50% will still be doing a lot for the world. You can also try to consume from small farms and rely on your farmer’s market and produce.
Second Hand Items
Abiding by the “excess down” behavioral change, when going out and buying “new” think about buying “used”. By just imagining the resource waste that goes into producing every single object at home, you can start making a list of new changes of reusing items.
Try to invest in a backyard compost, this allows food waste to be used as reusable energy. If not looking to take this step yet, donate your food waste to a local compost program, if any in town.
Wow, have you ever thought of how many paper towels you’re wasting per week?
According to Ocean Conservancy “In the United States alone, 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used each year.”
Imagine the impact it would make if each household would lower their usage by at least 50%? A huge change. Try dish towels all-around your house and dry your hands with this instead.
Also, napkins when eating lunch or dinner that can be washed are also a good option to reduce waste produced.
Chapter 4:Let’s Talk Recycling Tips
- You can recycle anything with staples, clips or spirals intact, anything metal will be filtered by machines.
- Remove all bottle caps from plastic bottles. These are made from a different type of plastic and will disturb a whole batch of recyclables.
- Return all plastic bags to the store. You can find somewhere to leave your plastic bags here: http://www.plasticbagrecycling.org. Or simply take a reusable bag with you every time you go.
- Remove paper with food stains on it when recycling, for example, take out food packaging, this can cause contamination to a whole batch.
- Remember to rinse out bottles, jars, and cans. You can throw away or recycle caps. Labels will burn off at the plant and you don’t have to worry about them.
- You can include foils, metal caps, coat hangers and scrap metal in your recyclables.
- As to furniture, make sure you’re going by the “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”, before going to the town dump, you should definitely try freecycle.org, Craigslist or leave it somewhere someone can pick it up and re-use!
Chapter 5:Paper Recycling Tips
Sort out your junk mail
What are you subscribed to that is getting you receiving so much junk mail? Can you convert these subscriptions into online ones? Do you have an e-book of some sort, is there a way your subscriptions can go on there? Find out and cut the paper clutter, and most importantly, stop receiving junk mail.
Have a handy recycling bin
Close to your mailbox in order to toss junk mail in there as soon as you receive it. You can even keep it outside so that you’re already separating your waste.
Bills on paper is so 15 years ago
Pay your bills online, set up notifications on your email, or automatic check paying from your bank account.
You can save each ticket online as well, and don’t have to have them scattered all over the house. And more importantly, you are staying green in the process.
Chapter 6:Green Car Tips
Take it Easy and Slow Down Partner!
Higher speeds equal to higher gas usage. If you’re driving 10mph above 60, this is adding about 50 more cents to the price of a gallon of gas. Wow. Imagine how much money and gas you will be saving if you slowed down a bit.
Check your Tires
Once a month, make sure to check the pressure on your tires against the guidelines listed in your car’s manual. This can improve mileage by 3 percent.
Check the air
Make sure you’re replacing your filters regularly, as a new oxygen sensor alone can improve your mileage by about 15 percent.
Chapter 7:Going Green is the Way to Go
If you’re really wondering how much of a carbon footprint with your daily activities you are generating, you can always go on www.footprintcalculator.com and find out how many Earths we would need depending on your lifestyle choices.
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The small steps and habits you take on about going green at home will be huge steps for the world because collectively, we can all make this earth a better place to live in. Even if you’re just starting to recycle, sorting your waste, turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers, or consuming used objects, each small step will make a huge difference.
At first, you might feel that these small tasks are not making any difference, but soon, it will!
This Earth is our only Earth and it will be so for generations to come, it is our responsibility to keep it safe, alive and well. Don’t forget it. Every home is a reflection of how we are taking care of the Earth.