Going Green This Summer is officially here and it’s the perfect time to think about ways to reduce your environmental impact.
From food and shopping to traveling and entertainment, we’ve got you covered with tips for going green this summer.
What is going green exactly?
Read on to find all about the benefits of going green and going green facts.
The buzz word of late seems to be going green.
Everyone from automobile makers to mobile phone makers seem to be flaunting their green credentials.
But what does going green mean for you and me?
What are some of the smaller things that we can all incorporate in our lives and encourage others around us to make those choices?
Table of Contents
What is ‘Going Green’ to the average person?
It basically means maximizing your finite resources by utilizing only as much as necessary.
Here are some of the things that all of us can do and proudly join the going green wagon.
This is the simplest thing that all of us can aim for in our lives.
Get of that couch!
Walk that small distance or ride a bike.
It will help cut down on the automobile emissions and get you in shape.
Chances are that all your bills are available online so there really is no sense in having all those bills delivered to you every month.
Contact your utility companies, your phone companies and the rest and tell them that an e bill will be sufficient for you.
Water conservation is going to be one of the big struggles ahead of us down the line.
Using low intensity showers, switching off the faucet while brushing your teeth or shaving are all small but extremely useful things that all of us can incorporate in our daily lives.
Reuse what you ask?
Reuse everything that you can.
Use reusable coffee mugs, reuse the packages and shopping bags, glass water bottles…. You get the idea.
It is now mandatory in large parts of the country and the world to have a green rating on all your appliances.
Look for the ones that have a good energy rating and try and buy that one please.
It may cost a little more but it will pay for itself over its lifetime of use in energy savings.
A lot of appliances are available that help you save energy.
The Nest thermostat is one that has attracted attention over the last year or so that is ‘intelligent’ enough to understand your energy needs to adjust itself accordingly and save energy.
This is just one example of the most popular one, however there is no dearth of other companies offering similar advantages.
You may ask what is going green in that?
Well, it’s the transportation cost to the environment of shipping food across the world that needs to be cut down rather than ‘organic’ food.
Take an interest in where your produce is coming from and try and buy local.
Shopping at your local farmer’s market is a useful way to go green: Traveling Locavore
It is old school and not as glamorous as filling your car with vegetable oil but it works.
And everyone can do it.
Make sure you distinguish between what can be recycled and separate your trash accordingly. Does your recycling make a difference?
All of these things do not require any investment on your part other than an interest in saving the environment.
Or, at the very least, not worsening it.
All about the benefits of going green
The benefits of going green lie in the well-being of our planet earth.
“Going green” is the new catch phrase that we find in everywhere; be it a TV commercial, or a poster or a book or in our favorite TV shows.
Its existence everywhere has somewhere reduced the very importance of its purpose in our minds.
Let’s have quick refresher on the benefits of going green.
Commercial Benefits of going green:
Reduce in expense:
Any green activity causes reduction in use of energy, money and other resources which in turn helps organizations to reduce on their expenses
Any organization following green measures are looked up as a reliable and responsible brand to go with.
Hence it enhances the brand value of the organization.
It is observed that workforce in an eco-friendly work place produce better output and reduces absenteeism.
5 Simple Ways to Recycle Your Electronics
Appreciation of building:
The value of green workplace has minimum depreciation and in fact it appreciates with time and tenants are also more attracted to get such places for happier and productive workforces
Natural Benefits going green:
Benefits of going green activities results into betterment of air and water quality that we consume every second.
That is a pollution free environment for a healthy society
It helps to reduce the huge waste a society accumulates over time.
And promotes recycling of the same to be reused.
By using alternative energy sources like solar electricity, hydro electricity, wind tunnel etc and reduce the waste of electricity consumption green initiative helps us conserve precious energy resources.
Reducing, reusing and recycling; the three pillars of green initiative prompts to reduces the use of all the resources.
Conservation of water & forest eco-system:
By cutting less trees to make papers, stopping animal hunting and recycling water we can establish the ecosystem of forests which is currently under threat.
Go-green measures to increase the benefits of going green
Reducing means cutting down on waste by using less in the first place.
For example, we could use less packaging. Some food are wrapped in plastic, but instead we could buy them without packaging.
Also, while going for shopping if we carry a shopping bag with us, we would reduce the use of a plastic carry bag for or shopped items.
Or for instance, we can reduce a huge load of papers available online by not printing them.
We can always read and share those papers online by email etc which will in turn save a lot of tree to remain alive.
Reduce the use of water for bath by just turning the tap off in the right time.
We can use things again instead of throwing them away.
We can promote reusing as a practice starting from our homes.
There are god examples to get inspired.
You can donate your unwanted clothes, books, toys to orphanages or other social centers for under privileged people.
You can start having an exchange program within your friends.
If you are done reading a book, you can exchange it for a book that you have not read from your friends.
Instead of buying containers for kitchen ingredients, you can reuse the bottles of empty ingredients to store the new ones.
After the consumption or use of the material it can be reformed to be used again.
And the Importance of recycling is huge when it comes to the well being of our planet.
There are several ways we can do recycling at home.
For example, we can keep our kitchen organic wastes in a pot to reform it to become organic compost for our garden plants.
Another way of recycling could be to use hard boxes and colored wrapping sheets to be used as handicraft items.
Benefits of going green is holistic and makes things better and healthier all around us and for generations to come.
It surely worth that one extra step to go ahead and do our bit to give it back to the nature.
Going green facts
There is a lot of misinformation that is floating around everywhere when it comes to facts about the changing environment.
Everyone seems to have an agenda and a propaganda that they want to further.
So in a situation like this what are the facts that you and me can rely on?
Keeping this in mind we have compiled some essential irrefutable going green facts.
Climate Change is the gravest threat to humanity.
You know all the movies which show some space rock coming in and destroying the world.
Yes it seems scary and it is.
But is also highly unlikely that such an even will ever occur.
There is a mathematical chance of course but there is not really much we can do about it.
On the other hand there is environment change which is slowly progressing to irretrievable levels every single day.
It is the slow and insidious nature of this threat that has kept it from capturing public imagination till now.
All scientists agree on this fact now.
Climate change is a reality that we will all have to face, quite possibly within our lifetime.
Every little counts
There is a feeling that what little we can do is probably insufficient to cause any change whatsoever and so probably not worth doing it at all.
No, that is definitely not the case.
Small changes that all of us incorporated in our lifestyles will add up to real and significant lessening of strain on our resources.
Take that small walk to the convenience store, carpool, take shorter showers and reuse as much as possible.
You are making a difference, and don’t let anyone tell you any different.
Environment change affects all of us.
This is not something that anyone of us can run from.
Not the richest or the strongest or the most politically well-connected.
Environment change will affect all facets of industry and all levels of society.
It is up to the educated ones among us to make the others aware of the danger.
Changing weather patterns have already emerged.
Everyday you read something about bizarre weather patterns in some part of the world.
This is not just coincidence and is not something that will go away.
Change in temperature, rainfall and other such local weather conditions affect the crops, vegetation and animals of that area.
All of these changes directly affect us.
These are signs of more significant things to come.
The sad part however is that we fail to learn even after repeated warnings.
Our ecosystem is unstable right now, and there is no way that it can sustain this level of imbalance over a long period of time.
These are some of the going green facts that no one in the world can argue against.
The difficult part is to impress upon people the danger that lies ahead of all of us and our generations to come if drastic and immediate changes are not made.
Future generations will look at us as the ones that failed them if we do not act now.
Now that you know what is going green, all about the benefits of going green, and some going green facts, you surely can do your part to help the world.
All About the Benefits of Going Green This Summer
Go to the Farmer’s Market
Eat local this summer by getting your produce, meat, eggs, and baked good at your local farmer’s market.
That squash from the farm 20 miles away will have a much lower environmental impact than a grocery store
Bought squash that was shipped across the country.
Plus, fresh, local food tastes better.
Shop at Garage Sales
Tis the season for scavenging for used goods.
Garage, rummage, and yard sales abound.
Take advantage of them and buy what you need there.
Not only will it save you serious money, you’ll be able to re-use perfectly good items.
Plus, your find will be free of the excessive, wasteful packaging that accompanies new items.
Get Outside and Save Electricity
Spend time away from the TV and computer and wile away the summer gardening, reading outside, and walking around the neighborhood.
You’ll save electricity by turning off the TV, turning up the A/C, and shutting off the lights.
Plus, you’ll get to experience summer outdoors.
image credit: Ecstatic Mark
Opt for a Staycation Over a Vacation
Avoid airports, congested roads, and crowded resorts.
Instead, have a family “staycation”.
A vacation without leaving your home.
Set some ground rules (no work for the entire weekend, no friends/just family time), plan your itinerary, and get started!
Grow Your Own Food
There’s no need to trek to the grocery store when you have lettuce growing in your backyard.
Your meals can be made with fresh, organic, local produce — grown by you.
It’s easier than you might think to start a home garden.
It will save you trips to the store and time.
How to Start a Greenhouse
Stay in the Neighborhood
Instead of driving to the fancy park across town, spend time in your neighborhood park.
Opt for restaurants and grocery stores that are close to home.
You’ll reduce your environmental impact and save time because you won’t have to travel as far.
Bike and Walk More
Now that the weather is lovely and sunny, opt to bike or walk to your destination instead of hopping in the car.
It might take a little longer, but you’ll get exercise, spend time outside, and better experience summer.
Search Out Local Entertainment
You don’t need to travel far to find good summertime entertainment.
In the warmer months, music festivals, neighborhood art shows, and movies in the park abound.
Take advantage of your neighborhood’s offerings.
You’ll meet new people and have experiences you would otherwise miss out on.
Best of all, most of these offerings are free and nearby.
What is Going Green – Significance of Conserving Energy
So what is Going Green? Going Green is a popular term used by environmentalists today.
You may also have heard the term in the news or must have read it in your newspaper.
You must have also seen a group of people protesting against industries and the pollution they create, in the streets holding slogans that say “Go Green or Go Home!” or “Protect Our Environment”, etc.
But have you ever really thought about what is going green?
What is Going Green
Well for starters what is going green?
Going green refers to actions which result in the promotion and protection of the environment and the climate.
Do not forget about the protection of endangered species and other animals.
For example, due to global warming, the arctic ice is melting and the climate is getting warmer by a few degrees each year.
This directly affects the habitat of that region.
Many polar bears die each year due to lack of food and warmth.
Another instance can be the endangerment of honey bees due to increased use of pesticides.
Pesticides kill honey bees and that can be increasingly dangerous for the planet’s biodiversity.
Without honey bees pollinating the plants, almost 80% of the planet’s plant life will disappear which will directly affect the global populace as agriculture will suffer.
Without honey bees there will be no honey and without honey many medications and treatment will cease to exist.
Going green is an important thing but what is going green without knowing anything about it?
People often say that they want to participate wholeheartedly in cleaning up the environment but do not know where to start.
Well, you can start going green right from your home.
Going green involves developing systems and processes which work in harmony with the environment and to reduce the use of chemicals and toxic substances which pollute the climate all around you.
The ozone layer is slowly depleting due to increased industrial activity in the world.
China, for example, is known for its mass industrial power and the pollution that is destroying people’s lives.
Majority of the Chinese population have to work wearing breathing masks to avoid inhaling smog and smoke.
What is going green if you do not implement necessary measures?
Everybody can start giving something back to the environment.
After all, there is hardly any person who can say that he/she does not pollute.
This planet is your only home.
Unlike in sci-fi movies where when earth is destroyed by man, colonies of men are shifted to another planet; that is not going to happen with you.
If the planet ceases to be the way it is and the environment deteriorates further, the future generations would suffer.
Moreover, the Earth will become uninhabitable to a large extent.
Going green means discovering and implementing alternative energy sources and preserving fossil fuels so that fewer pollutants harm the air around you.
What is Going Green: Global Awareness
Governments all over the globe, along with nongovernmental organizations, propagate and circulate public awareness regarding what is going green and what each individual should do to protect the environment.
Note that the pollution which was a direct result of the industrial revolution was the first cause for concern regarding the environment’s survival.
Today, due to urbanization, globalization and industrialization, the environments is suffering a painful blow resulting in extreme weather conditions and global warming.
Governments all around the world are trying to find ways to promote the health of the environment by cutting down industrial pollution but so far nothing positive has come out of the efforts.
There are still trees being cut down in numbers reaching thousands each year for the production of various industrial and common use products.
With fewer trees around, there will be deforestation and with deforestation, millions of species of animals will go extinct.
It is their natural habitat which is being destroyed.
Without trees there will be no circulation of clean air, trees have the ability to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.
Once a tree is cut down, a source of clean air is killed which could have served its purpose for many years to come.
How is the Planet Being Affected?
The planet’s eco-system is affected in a number of ways as a result of man-made pollutants.
Previously, when there were no major regulations or laws against chemical waste disposal, various companies used to dump their chemical waste into rivers to dispose them off.
This resulted in the marine life of many water bodies going extinct.
People who used the water from these sources also suffered as a result of the contamination.
But nowadays, industries are regularized and are legally bound to set up water treatment systems to convert and treat the waste water from factories and households into more pure and usable water.
In many cases, the water that is treated can be recycled and used for other applications, or the waste can even be recycled to be used as applications for industrial purposes.
For example, you can recycle glass, paper, plastic, etc. Recycling is a major part of what is going green.
In what is going green, the major source of pollution is the heavy usage of oil, gas and other fossil fuels mostly used to power industries.
These fossil fuels will someday run out (adding to the damage).
The use of these fuels directly results in the emission of dangerous fumes and gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone and nitrousoxide.
These are known as greenhouse gases which pollute the air and the environment.
If you want to know what is going green, then it is imperative that you understand that burning fossil fuels in order to harness energy from it also produces a lot of carbon dioxide.
According to research done recently, it is indicated that the total percentage of carbon dioxide which is produced by burning fossil fuels, the environment can only process half of it.
This percentage is expected to decrease with each passing day due to deforestation.
The other half of the carbon dioxide produced is left unprocessed and that is what damages the environment and increase health risks.
This is in turn damages the planet’s ecosystem and thus results in global warming which pertains to drastic changes in the climate of the planet.
But there are steps that are being taken to prevent this damage and other forms of renewable and alternative energy are being implemented.
What is Going Green and How can You Help Save the Planet
Replenishing the Damaged Environment
Just knowing about what is going green won’t do any good.
You have to practice and implement ways to lessen the burden on the environment.
If you live in one of the hotter areas of the country you can learn more about heat tolerant plants in Gilmour’s article.
You can go green starting with your house.
Tell your kids and spouse to switch off the lights when they are not in use.
Try and avoid switching lights on during the daytime to conserve energy.
Walk to work or school if it isn’t far away.
Otherwise, take the bus instead of driving there.
When you go to get groceries, ride a bike.
Taking a car means burning fuel which means more emissions on your part.
Following these simple steps can help reduce your carbon footprint.
Secondly, you can actively participate by planting trees and other forms of flora and fauna in your backyard or your lawn.
Reforestation is important if you want to help combat the harmful effects and damages caused by logging.
Try to do some reforestation in both urban and rural areas.
Did you know that the major causes of floods and landslide is heavy logging and deforestation?
Widespread flooding and huge landslides which wipes off entire cities and towns off the map, killing and displacing thousands of people in the process, is the result of logging and heavy deforestation.
Trees also act as nature’s shield against landslides and flooding due to heavy rain.
Taking down the shield will no doubt result in destruction.
And because of this, some species have already gone extinct and many are on the verge of extinction.
In what is going green, the trash you throw on beaches and in the water affects marine life.
Each year thousands of birds who come to get fish from the waters are killed due to major oil spills and other contaminants in the ocean.
The fish that they eat also suffer because of the rampant pollution.
To combat this, conservationists have developed a routine to clean up beaches all around the world on a daily basis.
Oil spills, on the other hand, cannot be controlled.
It is surprising to discover what is going green and the different ways in which you can give back to the planet.
All you need to do is play your part in any way you can, big or small it doesn’t matter.
But it is your duty to do your bit to preserve the environment and prevent further damage.
Many people are aware of what is going green and they know that some things are good for the planet and yet they do not do anything about it and instead turn a blind eye to it.
Going green is healthy and it can be a really noble cause.
Knowing more about what is going green can save you money and lead you to a better and healthier life.
A cleaner environment today will lead to a cleaner future tomorrow.
Going green is all about restoring nature and conserving resources.
It is imperative that you save resources so that the future generations can use them to go about their lives.
At the rate the world is going, it is not impossible to state there will be a scarcity of natural resources in the years to come.
When in need of a shower, try not to waste a lot of water by taking long showers.
When washing your face with soap or brushing your teeth or even shaving, it is a good idea to turn off the water.
Get all the leaky faucets fixed so that there is no dripping water, which only ends up being wasted.
You see, going green is all about replacing your old habits and adopting new ones that not only result in your satisfaction but also help save the environment.
Each time you decide to do something about saving natural resources, you take a step towards helping make the world a better place.
Recycling is an important and fundamental way to promote environmental protection.
Recycling involves the process of turning waste into reusable products.
For example, empty glass bottles or plastic plates or rubber can be recycled.
Glass can be recycled into a new glass bottles, ready for reuse, and so on.
The process of recycling ensures the conservation of scarce resources and also reduces harmful emissions.
You can reuse some of the things that you intend to throw away.
For example, you can reuse old clothing as cleaning rags.
You can turn containers into pots and plant some flowers.
You can even donate old clothes to a church or charity so that they can be used to clothe the needy.
Change Your Lighting
You can switch to using fluorescent bulbs which use less power and are long-lasting.
Bring Your Own Grocery Bags
When going out for grocery shopping, you can Sachi Insulated Market Totes, Set of 6 with you so that you don’t have to take plastic bags.
If everybody starts bringing their own bags, there won’t even be a need to manufacture more bags.
Try to grow your own food through homesteading.
Considerable greenhouse gas emissions can be avoided this way as there will be lower demand of processed foods.
Ride a Bus or Carpool
You can also reduce your carbon footprint by carpooling or riding a bus or a bicycle.
Pick your co-workers if they live nearby so that fewer cars are used.
Vehicles are a major source of pollution.
Knowing what is going green can be a wonderful thing, it is important that you also spread some awareness among your community so that they can go green too.
Easy Ways to Go Green at Home and Save Money Too
Sometimes it’s the small things that make the most difference.
They are often the easiest to implement and to stick with long term.
Here are some very easy ways to go green at home and even save some money in the process.
Guide to Going Green for Busy Mothers
Use smaller plates, pots and bowls
The smaller the pan, plate, glass or whatever, the less water you will use when it’s time to wash it.
You will also need to use less plastic wrap if you are covering food to save for later.
It will take up less room in the dishwasher.
And whenever possible, opt to buy, use, wash and keep your drinking glasses.
Even when you buy recyclable cups, it is still a drain on the environment.
Bundle your Amazon purchases
I know, we strive to shop local but Amazon has practically everything we could ever want, and it’s so darn convenient.
If you have Amazon Prime, shipping is free for so many products which makes it tempting to order items as we think of them.
Strive to break the habit of ordering one or two things at a time.
Yes, you have Amazon Prime so it’s easy to click, click, click and in less than 30 seconds you can order whatever you want with free shipping.
But it’s better for the environment to put them in your virtual shopping cart until you have a few items.
So many times smaller items can be boxed together. It also saves on the shipping and handling in order to transport the items to your home.
Think of the planes, trains, and trucks it takes to get your item to your doorstep.
While it may be “free” with Amazon Prime, it’s still taking a toll on our earth and taxing our resources.
Delay shipping for your Amazon purchases
Another Amazon earth-friendlier practice is to not automatically opt for the free 2-day delivery.
You can opt to wait 4 – 5 days or a week or more to not rush your items.
At times, Amazon offers a digital credit to your account as an incentive.
A few weeks ago I added something else to my Amazon cart and decided to pay/checkout.
By delaying my shipment to the next week, I earned several dollars in credit toward an Amazon Pantry purchase.
Use the quick cycle on your washing machine
I’ve had my washer and dryer for five years.
While I despise doing laundry, they are beautiful front loading machines, highly rated from Consumer Reports.
How did I not notice the Quick Cycle until recently, I do not know.
Now, in addition to getting laundry done faster, the washing machine is only running for 36 minutes instead of 62 minutes.
It’s using less water too.
I also try to use it later in the evening during high-energy use times during the hot and cold months.
Consider your dishwasher
I appreciate my husband cleaning up the kitchen but sometimes see he will take up valuable dishwasher space with a big bowl that maybe just had fruit in it and could easily be rinsed.
Dishwashers use lots of water and energy too.
Use it, but use it smart.
Run it in the evenings instead of peak periods, especially during seasons of high-energy usage, like 100 degree or 15 degree days.
This goes for your washer and dryer too.
Use what you have
So many times I’ll be in Target and just start filling up my cart with things I don’t really need.
Do I need to buy another nail polish, or could I use what I already have at home?
When I’m at Costco, this happens a lot too.
I don’t want to make another trip, so I fill my cart without giving it much thought.
This happens with lots of purchases we make.
Before you put something in your cart, consider: Do you really need it at this time?
Have you ever tried to eat everything in your freezer before buying more things to freeze?
Have you eaten all the boxed, bagged and canned foods in your pantry or cabinets?
It’s a goal and can be an accomplishment to even eat through a shelf of food.
Use a shower timer
My son brought home a shower timer from school after a presentation on water conservation.
What a great idea!
My kids love it and are sticking to it most days.
Even if we can’t keep to the strict 5-minute shower limit, it is great to be mindful of how long we are running the water.
We love eco-friendly bamboo straws and stainless steel straws.
These one-time purchases keep waste out of the landfills.
Maybe this seems obvious to you, but I rarely think to do this.
I’ll go to Costco when I’m low on produce and buy their organic spinach and kale mix, a large container of strawberries, a bag with 8 colorful peppers, and 5 – 10 pounds of carrots.
So many times, for whatever reason, I just know we won’t be able to finish what I bought.
I’ve made it my new year’s resolution to never waste produce again.
I’m taking half of what I come home with and wash it, chop it (if necessary) and put it in freezer bags.
Yes, freezer bags are plastic and considered wasteful but I save them for future use.
If the bag is empty before I have more vegetables to refill it with, I keep the empty freezer bag in the freezer for the next time.
Since buying a NutriBullet, our family has been consuming a lot more produce, and we are needing to freeze less and less.
Reuse gift bags and tissue paper for immediate family
I’m a big believer in wrapping paper from the dollar stores.
The problem with it is that because it’s so cheap, I tend to be wasteful with it.
I still buy and use it but in an effort to save paper, I have started a small stash of gift bags and tissue paper, especially for gifts in my immediate family.
We use the same 4-5 gift bags and the same tissue paper gift after gift, and it lasts a good year at least.
Sometimes when I have a little surprise for one of my kids, I’ll even “wrap” it in a cloth napkin or tea towel.
Save the coffee
You can freeze& your leftover coffee from your coffee pot for iced coffee.
My husband sticks to the tried and true coffee pot and hasn’t been interested in the Keurig and other fast-brewing coffee makers.
He likes saving money by using the big container of Folgers and thinks it tastes better.
He usually drinks the entire pot.
But for the times he doesn’t, I’ve been encouraging him to pour it into our ice cube trays, and I use the cubes when I have iced coffee.
Or put it in your compost.
Don’t have a compost?
Sprinkle the grounds outside in your garden.
Spend on others
Do you exchange gifts with someone just because you always have, even if you both don’t need anything?
Is it a challenge to keep coming up with something?
This past year, instead of my family of four buying gifts for my out-of-town brother’s family of four, we spent that money on those less fortunate in our area.
You can seek out a family through a school or a church or donate to a cause.
We went to our church and picked four names off the tree in November.
It was a great lesson for our kids.
It was wonderful how they were carefully considering what to buy as what we were giving them were most likely the recipients’ only gifts.
We Face-timed with my brother’s family and showed each other what their “gifts” were.
It was great.
Next year we are going to have the kids use some of their money too.
We have too much and don’t need to buy more things just to buy them while so many people could use help.
Share magazine subscriptions
This sounds basic but when I realized how many duplicate magazines we had coming into the house, I was shocked.
My two boys EACH get the free Lego Club Magazine, the ever-fun Highlights Magazine, and a Boys’ Life magazine from Cub Scouts.
They get the Exact Same Magazine!
I seriously couldn’t believe it.
The Lego one was free so I never really thought much about the exact same two Lego Club magazines coming into our house every other month.
But after my boys joined Cub Scouts they both started to receive the same magazine also.
A few months later it was the gift-giving holiday season, and a thoughtful somewhat distant relative asked for our address so she could send my kids a subscription to Highlights Magazine.
When I realize she paid for two subscriptions, I felt terrible.
It seemed to be a waste of money and also paper, not to mention the impact, albeit minimal for just one magazine, of getting that magazine to our home.
So we had six magazines coming in our the home — duplicates of the same three magazines — and now we have three without missing them at all.
I’m not a big magazine reader, mostly because I prefer books.
However, when I do want one, assuming it’s not an impulse buy at the checkout counter, I get them from the library.
Sure they are a few months old, but the types I’m interested in mostly aren’t timely like a Time Magazine.
They are more like Real Simple, Oprah’s magazine, etc., so reading them a few months later doesn’t matter.
You could even have a magazine exchange at your next book club meeting; bring your kids’ magazines too.
Make a rain garden
It’s simple to start a rain garden.
Learn how and harvest your rain for when you need it.
Buy at thrift stores and secondhand
Your attitude on thrift stores and Goodwill shopping probably depends on what kind of experience you have about the thrift stores near where you live: If they are good, you probably like them.
If they aren’t – if they are too expensive or not organized or smell or just a bunch of junk – you won’t like them.
Working full time, I never had time to go to garage sales.
Once I stayed at home and had kids, I sought them out and bought lots of toys and clothes at them.
When we moved out of state, I mourned the good deals I found at garage sales but found my new town offered good consignment shops.
They weren’t too high-end but they only took decent things.
I bought lots of my clothes there and also shopped at the children’s consignment shops in town.
It was a great place to bring our outgrown items as well.
Secondhand shopping is earth friendly
When we left that state and moved again, I mourned the loss and convenience of consignment shops.
It was like an always-open garage sale.
But I found something even better!
There was a Facebook group that was for our town that people used to sell things.
You would leave whatever you were selling in a bin outside your door or garage, and the person would pick the item up and leave the money.
It was all done through Facebook, and you didn’t have to meet face-to-face.
It was convenient shopping from your computer or mobile device.
I could search “boy’s winter coat” or “soccer ball” or anything.
Everything was cheaper, was convenient, and was able to be reused… so earth-friendly!
Another great thing in that town was the Goodwill stores.
My children’s entire wardrobe of dri-fit shirts and sweatshirts, including Nike and Under Armour, are all from consignment shops, that Facebook group, and Goodwill.
My husband finds camping and sports equipment, tools, electronics… pretty much anything at Goodwill.
And the best part?
It’s a lot easier to part with stuff you no longer use when you paid just a fourth or less of the retail price.
We can just donate it back and eliminate clutter in our home.
It is a hit or miss and when time is of the essence, you usually have to buy it new, but we LOVE buying secondhand and not creating more demand.
Don’t buy sugared drinks
One of the best habits you can do is to drink water.
Help your family become healthier and eliminate juice boxes, soda and sports drinks.
Using fruit infused water bottles is a healthy habit and easy to implement.
Carry a reusable insulated water bottle.
Unique and easy ways to go green at home
There are so many positive things that come from going green.
These easy ways to go green at home sound simple and they are.
They also don’t seem like they will add up to much difference, but if you do them all the time, for a year and longer, imagine the significance they will have, on our earth and on your wallet.
Guide to Going Green for Busy Mothers
Your children have to be off to school by seven.
Your youngest daughter is refusing to brush her hair, the baby needs a diaper change and everything seems to be falling apart.
You are likely packing whatever you can find into their lunch bags at this point and calling it done.
There’s probably not a thought in your mind about going green, or supporting the environment.
Even if you want to live in a more green manner, it may seem patently impossible on your time constraints.
However, as I have learned through raising my three children, green living doesn’t have to be a time-consuming endeavor.
Today, I will give you some tips that will allow you to live a green lifestyle while still having time to do what you need to do as a mother.
Don’t focus on the entire world
The first thing you need to do to prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed while figuring out your green lifestyle is to narrow your focus a bit.
Even though we wish the whole world would live in a more environmentally friendly manner, that isn’t likely to happen any time soon.
For this reason, it’s necessary to narrow your focus down a little and think of your own children first.
Start by giving them the best possible environment to grow in.
You can control what goes in their mouths, at least when they are home.
You can control what goes on their skin, and the air they breathe, to a degree.
There are easy ways to go green at home and save money too.
You are what you eat
Your children eat what you put before them.
This means that if you put junk in front of them, they won’t be as healthy as they can be.
Providing organic, natural meals may seem very overwhelming. It may be tempting to snatch something convenient — prepackaged and processed — from the supermarket and feed it to your kids.
Start at the supermarket
When buying food, it is important to try to buy as many organic options as you possibly can.
Think about what your kids consume most often, and start there.
It is difficult to afford a 100% organic lifestyle, so try to get the most value for your dollar.
Taking a quick glance at the label will help.
Try to avoid frozen or prepackaged meals as much as possible.
Opt for whole-grain breads, organic meats from ethical farms, and fresh vegetables and fruit as much as you possibly can.
Another great thing you can do is bring some reusable bags with you.
Even bringing one or two bags will save on plastic and add up throughout the year.
Preparing the meals
Cooking can be time-consuming.
For that reason, set aside a bit of time once or twice a week so it doesn’t feel like you are always making meals.
Cook a few versatile, large meals.
These should be foods that will last for a week and that are versatile enough to make good leftovers.
For example, the hamburger meat left over from the organic patties you have on Monday can be used the next day to make spaghetti, and after that you could put it on an organic, homemade pizza.
When you have leftovers, bag them up and freeze them.
That way, you can always have a healthy, organic meal whenever your family needs one.
Furthermore, it only took a little time to make enough food to last a week.
Preparing school lunches
Buy reusable lunch containers and skip using those small plastic bags each day.
You will save dozens of plastic bags each month, which will help our environment.
Making homemade baby food
If you have a baby, you can even make your own homemade baby food.
Figure out which foods puree best in a blender and which need a food processor and then grind up what your family is eating.
Spoon the puree into BPA-free ice cube trays and freeze it.
One cube is one ounce of food.
When it’s time to feed your baby, you only have to warm up the puree.
In this way, your child can have a healthy, nutritious meal… even better and often more affordable than from a jar.
Make your own juice
A juicer is something is a very practical item to have.
It allows you to make healthy juices for your children from any fruits and vegetables you have.
It also allows you to control the amount of sugar, if any, that your children are consuming.
If a juicer seems overwhelming with all the parts to it, you may opt for a NutriBullet.
This wouldn’t be for juicing necessarily; however, it’s great for smoothies and for getting your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.
It’s small and simple to use and clean.
Use safe cleaners
Though cleaners don’t go directly into your child’s mouth, they can indirectly go there.
That is why having an organic cleaner is important.
When selecting a safe cleaner, look for one which lists all its ingredients on the label.
Make sure they ingredients are nontoxic.
If you’d rather make your own, that is also an option.
Vinegar, lemon juice and Borax are all good choices.
They will easily kill bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew, and you don’t have to worry if someone gets into it.
Make sure to mix up a batch when you start to get low and keep it in spray bottles.
That way, you can easily and quickly clean up any mess, saving yourself some precious time.
You won’t have to worry about breathing in toxic chemicals.
This is especially important as your kids get older, and you give them more responsibility.
You don’t want them ingesting toxic fumes and coming into contact with unnatural chemicals while they are completing chores.
What goes on their skin
Another area you as a parent can control is what goes on your children’s skin.
For example, you can find organic soaps at most natural health stores and many specialty stores.
Look for soaps, lotions and other skin care products made from as many organic ingredients as possible.
Avoid those with perfumes or additives as much as possible.
Your child’s skin is delicate, and perfumes, dyes and other additives can irritate it.
As a rule, try to avoid products with sulfates.
You know babies go through a lot of diapers.
However, the mass-produced disposable diapers aren’t the only option.
There are actually environmentally-friendly diapering options.
The first option is eco-friendly diapering.
These are actually the best for busy moms.
They work just like the normal disposable diaper.
However, they are made from recycled materials, without the use of dyes or perfumes.
Cloth diapers are also an option.
Today’s cloth diapers are washable.
Simply rinse them out and put them in the wash.
This does involve more effort.
The air they breathe
It may seem like there are no ways to control the air your children breathe.
However, there are actually several fast, easy, inexpensive things you can do.
Flowers like gerbera daisies and chrysanthemums can actually clean the air by removing harmful chemicals.
For example, these houseplants can reduce the amount of formaldehyde in the air by 90%.
As an extra bonus, plants release oxygen by a process called photosynthesis.
With little care, they will continue to purify the air for your family.
Living a Green Lifestyle
Even though living a green lifestyle while being a busy mom may seem like an impossible task, it doesn’t have to be.
There are many things you can do to incorporate good environmental practices into even the most hectic day.
You can feel good about taking care of your family and for modeling a healthy, environmentally-conscious lifestyle that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
New Year’s Resolutions for Green Moms
If you’re making New Year’s resolutions for 2013, why not make them green?
Below, we offer ten easy green tips to get you started.
Don’t worry: we’re not suggesting you try to tackle all of them (although if you do, let us know and we’ll send you a shiny gold star!).
Take an ‘Eat Local Challenge’
For one month, attempt to eat all local foods, including all groceries and prepared food.
Or do as my sister did in Northampton, MA: try it for a year, eating 70 percent local.
Make your home as efficient as possible
Even if you can’t afford to complete remodel your home to include geothermal heating or solar panels, you can have a home performance for energy efficiency conducted by a heating and air professional, saving you money as well as help the earth.
Make 2013 the year you buy used
Can you do it? Buy only used and recycled items for a year?
If you take on this huge challenge, remember there are a few items families should never buy used, such as bicycle helmets, car seats, cribs, and computers, unless refurbished.
Make your local farmers’ market a routine weekly stop
If you divide your regular grocery shopping between a number of stores, add the farmers’ market to the list, and consistently shop there.
It takes time to get to know what foods are regularly offered and to get to know local farmers and artisans.
Leave your car parked at least one day per week
Pick a day of the week that works for your schedule, and vow to not drive.
Maybe a weekend day is best, during which you’ll ride a bike, walk, or just stay home.
Maybe a weekday works, on a day your kids don’t have obligations or are picked up by others in a car pool, or you carpool to work.
Recycle more than you throw away
In the past year, my recycling bin has consistently been fuller than my trash bin, and I couldn’t be happier.
Check your local garbage service details to make sure you’re taking advantage of all you can recycle.
I didn’t realize so many items were eligible for recycling until I asked for a full list.
This is on my personal New Year’s list!
Composting is inexpensive and easy once you get the hang of it, and even if you don’t have space or time for a garden, many local nurseries and farms will buy your compost to take it off your hands.
Many cities, such as Seattle, now have composting service.
Hang clothes to dry
I’ll admit it: this is one that seems like way too much work.
However, with three school-aged boys, we go through a lot of laundry each week, and it seems like the dryer is always turning.
We’ll switch to a low-energy dryer such as those sold at Laundry Alternative or hang clothes on a line in the spring and summer.
Volunteer with a local outdoor effort
You don’t have to wait until Earth Day to plant a tree or build a trail. Parks and Rec departments and local forest services also run programs in many areas.
Ban processed foods from your house
Once you’re trying to avoid them, you’ll be shocked to see how many of the foods we buy are heavily processed.
Not only are processed foods terrible for us, but they almost always involve extensive packaging that is harmful to the environment.
Replace snack food purchases such as granola bars, fruit leathers, chips, and store-bought frozen waffles with their homemade counterparts for healthier options.
What are your eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions?
We’d love for you to add to this list in the comments!
What Makes a Home Eco Friendly
So you wanna reduce your global footprint and learn more about eco friendly home?
Not only is your decision great for the environment, it can reduce your monthly expenses and be great for your wallet.
Taking the steps to live more eco friendly is easy if you know where to start.
Let’s begin with some background on this catchy “eco” term.
What the Heck is Eco?
Is eco short for environment or economics?
Nope. In fact, eco is short for ecology which is the science of studying the earth and environment.
Since ecologists have been pushing for a “greener” environment, the term eco caught on and now is used for the whole green movement.
Not to mention the Green Party was once named the Ecology Party.
Photo credit: PhoTones_TAKUMA
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s move on.
What Makes an Eco Home?
I’ve got two words for you: energy and waste.
Reduce these and you’ve got yourself an eco home.
It’s that simple… well, sort of…While the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) has developed the Green Building Rating System™, in general eco homeowners use the following:
- Solar energy
- Recycled materials (like Environmentally Friendly Green Furniture)
- Natural light and/or high-efficiency lighting
- Rooftop gardens (helps with insulation and water runoff)
- Rain water tanks
- Non-deforested woods or other materials all together
- The sun for natural heating
- Double paned windows and glass doors
- Fully insulating roofs and walls
- Dimmer switches for lights
- Ceiling fans
- Water heaters wrapped in insulated blankets or tankless water heaters
- Vegetable gardens
- Recycling programs
- And anything that doesn’t create waste or use more energy
Photo credit: lmpicard
Best Places for Green Consumer to Buy Vacation Homes
Can I Convert My Home to an Eco Friendly Home?
And applaud yourself for taking the next step to a more sustainable future.
Most people think that eco friendly homes are built from scratch.
However, that breaks the whole concept of eco-friendly, reducing waste and energy.
You can recycle your home into an eco home.
Making the eco change doesn’t have to be a major construction project.
You can start making these small changes today.
- Unplug appliances when not in use
- Air dry sheets on outdoor clothes lines
- Air dry dishes
- Change your light bulbs to high-efficiency lighting (CFLs and LEDs are the most popular, but ask a local hardware rep what’s best for you)
- Buy an insulated blanket for your water heater
- Visit a weekend garage sale instead of going to Bed Bath and Beyond
- Start a vegetable garden
- Start using a compost system (you can buy compost systems out-of-the-box or use recycled wood materials to build your own)
- Recycle (if your neighborhood doesn’t have a program, contact your local waste management company to get more information)
Think Big When going Eco Friendly
Once you’ve made all the small adjustments around your home, you can start to plan some of the bigger projects.
- Have solar energy panels installed (you get a huge tax break and will save bundles on your monthly electric bill)
- Build a rooftop garden (if you have a flat roof, start a rooftop garden to insulate your home, reduce rain runoff, and provide fruits and vegetables)
- Install rain water tanks to use for the garden or in-home
- Install roof windows for added natural light
- Replace old window and glass doors with double paned options to help with insulation
- Fully insulate roofs and walls
- Install light dimmer switches and ceiling fans
Going eco doesn’t have to be an overwhelming project.
It’s really your day-to-day choices that make the biggest impact.
Remember being eco is simply a matter of reducing your energy and waste.
With every decision you make, consider if you’ll be consuming or reducing.
Have you made any eco friendly home improvements?
If so, share a comment below.