It seems almost inconceivable to think that starting my car and letting it run for five minutes to get the heat or air conditioning going has any effect on the earth’s pulse, but when you multiply that millions of times, there’s no doubt that it has a serious effect.
Simple things that we do, or don’t do, have an effect on our planet’s precious atmosphere. How many times a week do you go to the coffeehouse and get your coffee in a paper or cardboard cup? You might have thought about how many years it takes for that cup to decompose, but have you thought about the energy that went into the production and transportation of that cup? Multiplied by…?
Do you reduce, re-use and recycle? Make it a goal to reduce the amount of garbage you produce by recycling and composting. Your town office or city hall will provide you with a list of how to separate your items for recycling. Every item that you can re-use or recycle is one less item in the landfill.
One of the simplest ways to help is to purchase and use cloth shopping bags. The hard part is remembering to take them out of the car and into the store, but once you get into the habit, it becomes second nature. Resolve to not accept plastic bags in a store.
Traveling in a gas-powered vehicle as little as possible is a great way to conserve. Walk or bike whenever and wherever you can; it’ll help the planet and your health. If you live in the city, use public transportation. Likewise, if you live in the country, carpool to work and instead of making several trips a week to run errands, save them for one trip.
If you take the time to think about your daily activities, and how you can do them a little differently, you may find yourself not only helping the environment, but helping your wallet. Do only full loads of laundry and dishes; cut your shower by two minutes; switch to energy-saving light bulbs; turn your refrigerator and air conditioner up a single degree and turning off your electronic devices at night are all painless ways to help.
Challenge yourself to think before you act for a few days and you will surprised at how easy it is to begin the process of going green.