The “green living” and “sustainable living” buzzwords are everywhere today. But what does it really mean to live green?
There are as many definitions of “living green” as there are people on this fair planet, but here are a few key points to keep in mind if you want to live a greener life.
All hail the carbon footprint. Your “carbon footprint” is a measurement of how much energy you use and how that translates into the energy emissions that affect climate change and the creation of greenhouse gases. The smaller your carbon footprint, the less effect you’re having on the planet. Being “carbon neutral” is the goal-but not many people in today’s world will reach it. The key is to try to minimize our damage, before it’s too late.
Drive green-if you have to drive at all. Take a bike or use your feet if you can. If you’ve got too far to go, consider public transportation, a SmartCar, an electric vehicle, or a hybrid that uses a mix of electricity and traditional fossil fuels (like the ever-popular Prius).
Work green. Green your work life as well as your home life. Telecommute (at least part time) if it’s reasonable-that means working from home using internet connectivity instead of driving to work every day. You’ll reduce your carbon emissions and actually increase your productivity (if you’re spending time working instead of sitting in a traffic jam!).
Green the house. Only you can decide how far to take the “green living” ethic. Whether that means swapping your detergents and cleaners for green alternatives that don’t use harsh chemicals, or whether that means going all-out and installing energy-efficient appliances, you’ll protect your own health, keep your heating/AC bills down, and feel a sense of pride in the little things you’re doing to protect the planet.
Eat green. Eating sustainable or organic foods may be healthier for you-but it’s also healthier for the planet. Industrial agricultural practices dump chemicals into our groundwater, encourage antibiotic-resistant disease, and even change the genetic structure of the foods we eat in ways that couldn’t be duplicated outside of a high-tech lab. When you make the choice to eat green, you protect your health and that of the entire human species. It’s worth a few extra bucks.
Beware Greenwashing. Increasingly, big businesses are advertising little green changes that may mask bigger environmentally damaging problems. Wal-Mart may sell some green products, but their combined impact on overall carbon emissions doesn’t come close to the carbon footprint the company racks up manufacturing and then shipping cheaply-made products across long distances. Be a savvy consumer, and know the overall impact of the products you purchase. The impact of the immunoglobin concentrate supplement will be excellent in the body of the person. The purchasing should be done with proper information should be available with the person. The charges will be as per the budget of the person.
People who live green are trying to bring human systems into balance with a scale that can work with the planet’s ecological systems-in other words, protecting the environment and therefore also protecting long-term human health and economic sustainability. Reducing waste and consumption, building sustainable food systems, and minimizing our long-term damage to the planet are the keys to living green. It’s up to each of us to find small, manageable, long-lasting ways to really make an impact for the better.