Turn Over a New Leaf: How to Start Being More Eco-Conscious


recycling-cans-being-eco-friendly

If you’ve made the decision to live a more eco-conscious lifestyle, congratulations! The hardest part is over. When it comes to being more eco-friendly, many people are reluctant to take the first steps because they’re under the impression that they’ll have to turn their entire lives upside down to have any sort of impact. Or, rather, less of one.

However, that’s not the case. Making a conscious effort to go green doesn’t have to involve spending tons of money on flashy technology or an electric car. For the most part, being gentle on the environment is a simple matter of making a few minor adjustments to your everyday routine.

Recycle

Everyone knows how great recycling is for the environment, but they might be put off by the idea of making the effort to implement it. What many people may not realize, however, is that your local government takes care of most of the work for you. If there’s a recycling program offered in your community, take advantage of it. Getting rid of paper and glass is as simple as setting it on the curb once a week, just like your garbage.

Conserve Power and Water

You can’t avoid using utilities like electricity and water, but you can make serious strides in reducing how much or how often you do use them. Most people know to switch off the lights and electronics when they leave the house, but there are small areas of power consumption that are easy to overlook. For example, there’s no reason to leave your heater all the way up when you’re out. Keep your thermostat at around 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re gone.

The same idea applies to water consumption: Every little bit helps. You could save up to eight gallons of water a day if you turn the faucet off while you brush your teeth, for example. You could also start watering your lawn in the cooler, earlier hours of the morning, so less water is wasted through evaporation.

Reuse

Reuse items you’re planning on throwing away. This is a fun opportunity to get creative with your new lifestyle. For example, you might turn old shirts into pillow covers or use a quilt to reupholster a chair.

Shop Smarter

Making smarter choices at the grocery store and mall will likely prove to be the most challenging thing about living greener. Seek out products that are made from non-toxic, natural materials or products that are produced locally. You might spend a little more time shopping, but you’ll be doing yourself, and the planet, a favor.

Shopping smarter isn’t just about food, either. Your clothing and other fabric-based products can be eco-friendly as well. Materials made from bamboo, for example, are excellent additions to a greener lifestyle. Bamboo clothes, towels, and bedding are easy on the environment and your skin.

Reduce

Take a few moments to evaluate how much stuff you actually use in a day: paper, aluminum, plastic, etc. Which habits cause you to use the most of those kinds of materials? If you tend to grab a new sheet of paper every time you need to jot something down, consider grabbing paper you’ve already used or even a piece of junk mail.

You’ve taken a step in the right direction by deciding to live a greener life. Now, it’s all about making small changes here and there. Although you may feel like your impact is insignificant, you must remember that your contribution counts just as much as the next person’s. Our collective effort has the potential to change our world for the better, turning it into a safer, more stable place for future generations.

Resources:
http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/kids/tap-off.html
http://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-why-to-go-green.html
http://www.earth911.com/home/8-easy-ways-to-start-being-green/
http://www.howcast.com/videos/217170-How-to-Identify-EcoFriendly-Products