Going green does not need elaborate appliances or costly solar panels. Instead, it just takes a little effort and co-operation on each of our parts to make a difference in our environment. The saying “Change starts with you” couldn’t be more true. Where do I start is the first question that pops into one’s head when the subject of “going green” comes up. Here’s how you can embark on “green” efforts:
1. Purchase and use green goods at home
Read the labels on products that you purchase and see if they are environmentally friendly products. Organic products may cost slightly more than usual stuff but isn’t that small investment worth to ensure we have a healthy future?
2. Reduce energy consumption at home
Reducing your electricity consumption is an easy way to start. Switch your light bulbs to energy saving bulbs, switch off the lights in the bathroom, kitchen and bedrooms when you leave the area. Set your air-conditioning temperature moderately cool – you don’t need to feel like you’re living in Iceland to be comfortable. The lower you set the temperature, the more electricity you consume. Don’t keep opening your refrigerator door unnecessarily because cool air will escape, which will rev up the motor to start the cooling process again – thus consuming more electricity.
3. Conserve water
Start with your sink – lower the pressure of the water faucet so that you don’t have water gushing out of your tap every time you turn it on. You don’t need that much of water to wash anything! Fix dripping water taps and pipes. Use a pail or a watering can to water your plants instead of switching on the tube and spraying generously. Don’t start the washing machine for just one towel and a blouse – make sure you have a reasonable load of laundry to start the machine. This way you not only save electricity but also water, detergent and fabric softener.
4. Bring your own recycle bags on shopping trips
Say “No” to plastic bags. Don’t just say “No” on weekends because the shopping centres do it but say “No” all the time. The less plastic bags you take home, the better your carbon footprint. Collect your plastic bottles, old newspapers, cardboard boxes and soft drink cans for recycling.
5. Buy sparing amount of fresh produce
Don’t blindly go shopping for vegetables and meat only to throw them out later. Calculate how many days you will need vegetables and meat in a week and buy just enough so that you don’t waste once they spoil or become too old to eat.
6. Save on fuel
Switch of the engine and wind down the windows when waiting for someone. A little inconvenience from the lack of air-conditioning will go a long way to save fuel and emit less carbon gasses into the air. You will also save money on petrol.
These are just six simple steps that we all know but do we actually DO IT? Think about it and audit your lifestyle from a “green” perspective. Going green is definitely not expensive. In fact, by doing the above, you also save on water, electricity, fuel and household products.
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