Going Green

The term “ Going Green ” has exploded into popular culture. We hear it everywhere, yet what does it mean? Basically, going green means eliminating products and practices that pollute and deplete the environment, and choosing instead to use products and practices that enhance life, are natural, safe, renewable and non-toxic.There are easy ways you can Go Green and improve your quality of life and longevity in the process.

Everyone seems to be doing it, and for good reason. The benefits of going green are endless, and just by making a few simple changes, every person on the planet can help to contribute. Going green isn't just about the choices you make in purchasing; it's also about reducing the level of consumption in all aspects of your life. You will find that by making these changes, you will save money and use less of the earth's resources.

Did you know that the sun creates enough energy in one day for the entire world to use for a complete year? Think about how much we each waste everyday. Well, use solar power whenever possible.

Another way to become more environmentally friendly is to begin purchasing organic products. For example, instead of buying chemical based hygienic products, purchase those which state they have been made with no harmful chemicals. Did you know some pillows are treated with toxic flame retardants? And you lay your head on it all night!! Now, unless you smoke in bed, I really can’t see why you would be concerned about your pillow or your head catching on fire. Huh!!!

The same goes for food. Practice going green by leaning toward foods which state they contain no preservatives or hormones. Food tastes just as great, if not better without all of those harmful substances, and while it may cost more, you are saving your health in the long run. Think about it like this: Would you rather spend extra money on medication or a few extra dollars here and there on food? Food which is cheaply made is usually full of preservatives, refined sugars, and other harmful chemicals that can contribute to the development of deadly diseases. Also buy food that is “in season”. It is usually more nutritious, cheaper, tastier and better for the environment. Check out these 2 short videos on why we should “Eat Seasonably”.

Vehicles are a primary source of air pollution. You can help keep air pollution down in the following ways: Consolidate trips, telecommute, carpool, use mass transit, walk, bike, rollerblade, skate, or even run. Also keeping your car tuned up will save you money and keep emissions low. Try to avoid Drive-Thrus, as idling your vehicle wastes gas and pollutes. The damage that burning gas does to the atmosphere is evident. It may not seem like much, but when one person practices going green, it certainly makes a difference.

Begin recycling your garbage instead of tossing it all off to the dump. Recycling generally prevents the waste of potentially useful materials. You can recycle food scraps by composting. There are several easy to use and effective "composters" you can use.

You'll be surprised at how much going green in one aspect of your life can flow over to the other parts as well. Do not look at going green as a job or duty, think about it as a change in lifestyle.

Here is a list of a few other simple things you can do in your daily life to make a difference:

Fill the Dishwasher: - Run your dishwasher only with a full load.

Adjust Your Thermostat: - Start by lowering the thermostat one degree in the winter and raising it one degree in the summer. If you are reasonably comfortable with this, then increase the adjustments by another degree or two. It will cost nothing to make these changes, and you can save money on your heating and cooling bills.

Inflate Your Tires: - Keep the tires on your car adequately inflated.

Change the AC Filter: - Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters as recommended.

Install a "Low-Flow Showerhead": - Using less water in the shower means less energy to heat the water.

Take Shorter Showers: - Showers account for most of your water heating costs.

Plant a Tree: - Trees suck up carbon dioxide and produce oxygen/clean air for us to breathe.

Unplug Electronics when not in use:- Even when electronic devices are turned off, they use energy. Many appliances like televisions and VCRs continue to use small amounts of electricity for things like their clocks and remote controls. Invest in a "kill switch". Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water:- Most modern liquid laundry soaps are designed to work well in cold water as well as hot. Most of the energy involved in washing clothes by machine goes to heating the water, not to running the machine.

Line Dry Your Clothes: - Line-drying your clothes can give you fresh smelling, static-free clothes. Try this in the spring and summer instead of using the dryer. You can even run a line in your garage or wherever you have some space.

Bring Cloth Bags to the Market:- Using your own cloth bag instead of plastic or paper bags reduces waste and requires no additional energy.

Put on a Sweater:- Instead of turning up the heat in your home, wear more clothes.

Buy Products Locally:- Buy locally and reduce the amount of energy required to drive your products to your store. Visit a local Farmer’s market. Or, enjoy the convenience of America's Online Farmers Market, FromTheFarm.com for all your fresh meat and produce, straight from the farm to your door.

Weatherize Your Home:- Caulk and weather strip your doorways and windows. Most houses and apartments have small gaps around doors and windows that can be quickly sealed.

Turn off the computer:- Shutting down computers at night, on weekends, and when not in use for several hours will save significant energy without affecting the performance.

If you use Compact Fluorescent Bulbs: - CFLs should not be used in lamps that children could tip over easily and break the bulb. Use LED bulbs instead.

Gotta Green Baby?

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