Going Green for the First Time? Here are 5 Tips to Help You Get Started

Going green will be challenging in the beginning as you learn to become more conscious about your lifestyle choices. But, thankfully, it’s also a great time to go green and minimize waste because of the availability of various products and services that cater to the movement. Here are five tips to help you go green:

  1. Buy local

Supporting your local farmers is helpful in many ways. Firstly, you’ll be protecting the local environment by helping the farms and stopping the land from going into ‘development.’ Secondly, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint by reducing the distance your food travels. This is especially important if the alternative for the food suppliers is to purchase from overseas. And, finally you will be getting food that’s not only fresh but, in many cases, free from pesticide use. However, there’s a precaution with buying local – make sure the farmers at the market are local farmers and not resellers posing as farmers, as CBC Marketplace discovered in an investigation.

  1. Compost your waste

Composting is a cheap and easy method of repurposing your kitchen and garden waste. Composting reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and also improves the structure and aeration of soils. A dry place with shade and a water source is a suitable location for your compost bin, according to EPA. The smell of the compost will be another consideration. Also, not all of your waste will be suitable for composting – exclude items like meats, weeds and pet litter from your pile.

  1. Go paperless

Junk mail is a major environmental issue: it’s responsible for the destruction of 100 million trees and creates over 51 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, according to takepart.com. Opt out of junk mail so you can play your part in stopping this madness. Choose e-statements over paper when signing up for a service. Try developing the habit of typing your notes instead of putting them on paper. If you have to print documents, print on both sides of the paper if possible. For a large document, see if you can change the fonts and margins to increase the printing space. When choosing toilet paper, find one that is made from recycled paper.

  1. Buy biodegradable products

Take a sustainable approach toward use: recycle, reuse, and repair things, and buy things that

disintegrate instead of persisting as pollutants. A variety of everyday use products are available in the biodegradable form now. These include cleaning products, cosmetics, stationery, tableware, bags, etc. So, whether you’re looking to start slow or go green in all aspects of your life, there is a good chance you’ll find a product to meet your needs.

  1. Use energy-efficient products

When buying an electronic product, check its energy-efficiency credentials. The difference in energy consumption adds up to something substantial collectively, both in terms of money and environment impact. For instance, the government-backed Energy Star program helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 290 million metric tons in 2017 by helping Americans save 370 billion kilowatt-hour of electricity.

 

By Paige A. Mitchell

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