Going Green – My Journey in Caring for Our World

Post a Day May – Day 6

A few years back, when the whole going green thing became big, I became very interested in the idea of it all, but I didn’t really know what to do.

Sure, there were a few obvious things that I knew about, like reduce, reuse, recycle, but I decided to delve deeper into ecological responsibility & do everything I could do to help.

With the help of books & the internet, I learned as much as I could about going green & recycling & reusing things. This reminds me – soon, perhaps as soon as my Post-a-Day-May challenge is over, I’ll make a daily post about how you can reuse various items! I’m already getting excited about this idea – but I’m also getting ahead of myself.

Anyways, one of the first steps I took to make my lifestyle more beneficial to the environment was was replacing all the bulbs in the house with florescent lightbulbs. The nice thing about florescent bulbs is that they use only a fraction of the energy that a regular bulb equally as bright uses. Florescent bulbs also come in different lighting “colors”, like regular, white, & daylight. The regular ones have the “warmest” looking light & the daylight, the “coolest”. Personally, I only use the daylight ones because the other ones are too yellow, in my opinion, but which type you use completely depends on what looks best to you. If you use traditional bulbs in a regular color, definitely get the regular florescent bulbs because they’ll be about the same color.

I also began using reusable bags. Did you know that plastic bags, like the ones you get from the grocery store, take anywhere from 15 to 1,000 years to disintegrate in the landfill? That’s an incredibly long time, considering how many bags are piling up in landfills at this very moment. Anyways, reusable bags are cheap, usually costing only about a dollar each, they’re much larger than plastic bags, easier to carry (most have a insert in the bottom so the bottom stays flat), they won’t rip & spill all your groceries onto the ground, they’re machine washable, long lasting, easy to take with you (most now are foldable & have a snap to keep them folded up, so they fit easily into a bag or purse), & they’re one very easy way to help the environment without spending a lot of time or money. If you have trouble remembering to bring them with you, keep them in your car. Tip – if you ever do forget to bring them to the store, get paper rather than plastic, because paper bags, although they use trees, disintegrate so much quicker.

In addition to that, I also began reducing, reusing, & recycling very diligently. First, reduce the amount of garbage you produce. This can be accomplished by having a compost pile or bin, buying products in bulk (which is almost always cheaper than buying single-serving sized products), & fixing/mending things when they break, rather than replacing them. When you do have “garbage”, try to find another use for it, like donating clothing to a charity, buying clothing from a thrift store (I really like shopping at thrift stores because you can find great quality & unique clothing for fantastic prices), & finding new uses for paper towel tubes, old rags, cans, & other “garbage” items (there’s tons of books & websites out there detailing everything you can reuse these things for). Finally, if you can’t reuse it, recycle it. If your neighborhood doesn’t have a recycling program, then your town or city will probably have a recycling facility nearby where you can take all of your recycling.

More Tips:

• Ride your bike or walk rather than using your car, or carpool to work, especially if you have a long commute.

• Cook meals at home rather than eating out. This saves you money & gas, as well as your health. When you cook food at home, you know exactly what’s going into it, as far as sodium & such, so you will ultimately benefit from this. I eat a very natural diet because I have sensitivities/aversions to eating chemicals like MSG (monosodium glutamate & its derivatives), artificial colors, & preservatives.

• Put leftovers in reusable plastic containers rather than plastic bags

• Take shorter showers or baths

• Buy recycled napkins/toilet paper & use a hand towel rather than paper towels

• Make or buy a natural diet for your pets (there’s tons of information online & in books about this).

• Buy natural shampoos, soaps, & other cosmetics. I really like Seventh Generation cleaning products – they make products like dish soap, dishwasher detergent, & laundry detergent

• Use things like vinegar, lemon juice, & baking soda for cleaning around your house. Research the various uses of these products. For example, vinegar is great for removing soap scum, sanitizing counters, killing mold, & removing stains.

• Buy BPA-free plastic containers (Rubbermaid is my favorite BPA-free brand)

• Eat organic/natural foods & buy locally grown foods whenever possible

There’s so much knowledge out there about being environmentally conscious that it makes it easy for anybody to go green with very little money & effort, & you usually end up saving money. For me, the best part about going green is that you not only save the environment, but save money as well. Enjoy, & please share your green tips below! I’d love to hear them!

Have a fantastic day! 🙂

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