The word green may have seen its luster fade, since everyone started using it to describe sometimes commendable and sometimes laughable efforts to help the environment. But if green means healthy for you and healthy for the planet, than it is still very relevant.
“Going Green” is basically a term for the little (or big) things that you can do to make an impact.
The purpose here is to give you ten relatively easy things that you can start doing right now to make an impact.
1. Get a Reusable Straw and Say NO to Straws
2. Recycle! - Make your office/school get a recycling bin, use it properly (there are more things than you would image that can be recycled) and often.
3. Ditch the Plasticware with Takeout - You have a fork at home, don’t you? Bring a fork to work if you plan to grab takeout for lunch. If you do have plastic ware, you can always wash it and reuse it.
4. Flip the Paper Over - It is easy to write on the back of a sheet of paper or to cut it up to use for grocery lists etc.
5. Compost - If you can compost on your own, great! There are some really great resources on how to use compost to really amp you your veggie and herb gardens. Don’t have a garden? Don’t worry! Many services will now come to your office to pick up your compost on a weekly or bi-weekly basis based on your needs. Research what is in your area, and maybe work with some neighbors to mitigate pick up costs by sharing compost bins.
6. Shut the lights off - this is such an easy one, but if you have kids, it seems nearly impossible. Assign one of them the chore of turning the lights off. Adults should be doing this already.
7. No air, don’t care, not there - Turn the AC or heat down or up when you are not home, you can adjust it quickly upon your return. This will save on electricity bills and also use less power/emit less carbon down the road.
8. Don’t assume, check - Look at your local recycling facilities to see what can be recycled. A lot of people assume you can’t recycle styrofoam packaging, but in many cases you can. Look for the triangle (if you have them, teach your kids to recognize the symbol) and see if that number can in fact be recycled.
9. Bag it Up - Ideally, you have your own reusable bags, good for you! But sometimes you forget, or your friends come over with plastic bags with clothes, food or (hopefully) a six pack of microbrews. Many grocery stores accept plastic bags now. So collect all your loose bags inside one another along with other loose plastic that is designated as recyclable at these facilities and bring them back on your next shopping trip. This is a great way to make sure those grocery bags don’t end up floating in the oceanic plastic vortex of shame.
10. Think about ways to reuse - If you need to discard something or if you see an industry that is wasting a resource by throwing it away, think about ways it could be repurposed. Pallets are made into picture frames. Chopsticks are made into shelves. Discarded blue jeans are made into insulation. The options of what can be done with some waste are unbounded, and using your imagination may just prove to be a stroke of green genius.
Share your ideas by tagging #createbetter.