What does it really mean to go green, and how do you do it? Here are some tips to get you started with a greener lifestyle…
The term “going green” has become such a common phrase in recent years that it has sort of lost its meaning. What, exactly, does it really mean to “go green”? What’s the point? And how does one actually go green?
“Green” is a reference to nature and the environment. This phrase was adopted by the environmental movement starting in the 1990s. Working to preserve our natural ecosystems and environments is, quite literally, protecting what is green.
Due to concerns about the destruction of the green environment, many people are looking for ways to preserve it, either by engaging in active conservation or by making an effort not to contribute to its destruction.
What contributes to environmental destruction?
Practices like deforestation, chemical farming, and large-scale agribusiness are often cited as being environmentally destructive. Emissions of carbon dioxide are said to contribute to climate change, which is another environmental concern.
So “going green” means minimizing the destruction of natural environment and ecosystems, not supporting large agribusiness with the consumer’s dollar, and lowering personal emissions and not contributing to increased emissions by others (such as buying food that has been transported a long way). Going green also usually involves conserving energy and taking care not to waste natural resources.
By taking an active role in environmental preservation, you could be said to be “going green.”
So How Can You Go Green?
For one thing, you can recycle paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and metal. All of these materials use energy and natural resources to manufacture (particularly paper and cardboard, which uses trees), so recycling them makes sense from a green standpoint. When possible, purchase items made from recycled materials.
You can also take care to cut back on the energy use in your own home. Turn your thermostat down at night and when you’re not home, or even better, install a thermostat timer that will do the work for you by lowering or raising the thermostat at prescribed intervals.
Energy use in the home can be further reduced by taking some simple steps. For example, upgrade to Energy Star appliances where possible; turn off lights when you leave a room; don’t run the dishwasher unless it’s full.
Try to eat local, organic produce – local, because less fuel is required to get the food from farm to table, and organic because of the possible negative environmental impact of conventional farming practices.
Waste of resources can be reduced by conserving water and fuel. Shorten showers and minimize excessive use of water use, such as washing the car too often.
You can also browse our site for lots of specific tips on all of these topics and more. Check out the Green & Eco-Friendly Living, Alternative Energy, and Going Organic categories in particular.
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