Whether you’re a bohemian and organic yogini or just a person wanting to be a little more green, there are a few things you can always do to make a difference. Even for the greenest of us, remembering some basics can help to reignite and remind us of simple things to make our lives a bit better.
Let’s face it: even in tough economic times most people live in somewhat of a state of abundance, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. We also could all use for a little reduction in how we buy and how we consume.
Use less paper, print things less often, open the windows, don’t make as much food, actually eat your leftovers, put a timer in your shower, don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth, etc. Look at your life and find at least 3 ways today to reduce your use.
The best part of reusing anything is in the creative opportunities that can be found. Not only can you get in touch with your inner artisan, but there are also real-life practical ways to reuse household items.
Use your old socks as cleaning rags, make a blanket or quilt out of old t-shirts, old bills and junk mail can become crap paper for notes, jars can become flower vases, and more. Next time you go to throw things away, take a moment and get creative before you toss that junk in the garbage
Many communities offer a diverse recycling program that can keep many things out of our landfills. I recently learned about a service in my community that will even take away old appliances AND provide you with a credit off a utilities bill if a new energy efficient appliance is purchased.
Electronics are also in high demand right now for recycling. Check out EPA.gov for more information about local recycling electronics efforts.
4) Shop smarter – Shop greener
Shopping greener doesn’t necessarily mean buying organic goods from your local mega supermarket. So many day-to-day products now offer eco-friendly, safe, and (often) organic alternatives; sometimes these alternatives may be a bit more pricey, but the positive difference they make over heavy chemical brothers and sisters.
You can also find green alternative products that have been recognized and approved by various organizations like Green Seal.
5) Power down
Most everybody has fallen asleep with the TV on, or left a light on in the bathroom while leaving the house in a hurry. Mistakes happen, but being conscious and powering down really DO make a difference.
Beyond being aware of simple things, there are several little things that we often overlook: don’t leave things on the charger after they have finished, turn off your computer when you are done, take advantage of cooler days and turn off the AC, etc.
The editor of Ethical Living, and pursuer of relatively interesting information, Simon has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales, and is a photo-journalist and writer whose written and photographic work has been represented by the AFP news agency and appeared in newspapers across Europe and Asia.