Sometimes it seems like going green is enough to drive you crazy, but it does not have to be that way. You do not have to go to extremes to help the environment – it is the small changes that make a difference. Not only are small changes easier to sustain, but the more you do, the more you will want to do.
Austin Alexander Burridge’s 10 Ways to go green without losing your mind:
1. Invest in a reusable water bottle. Water may be good for you, but disposable plastic water bottles are bad for the environment and add up quickly. A reusable water bottle means you can rehydrate without the guilt.
2. Enjoy a meatless Monday (or any other day). Eating low on the food chain is right for your health and the health of the planet. Set aside one day of the week to explore your vegetarian options. Your tastebuds will thank you as well!
3. Get off those junk mail mailing lists. If your mailbox is overflowing with catalogs and other junk, contact the companies involved and ask that you be taken off their list.
4. Open the windows in the summer and close them tight in the winter. Maximizing airflow reduces the need for air conditioning, while an airtight home lowers those winter heating bills. If your budget allows, think of investing in double-pane windows to improve your home’s insulation.
5. Choose products with minimal packaging. When you shop, give preference to products with a minimum of packaging and remember to bring your reusable tote bags to reduce your use of plastic bags.
6. Buy used products whenever it makes sense. Buying used is good for the environment, keeping usable products out of landfills – and saving you money.
7. Recycle everything you can. If cost is an issue, your local waste company may offer a recycling option in addition to your weekly trash schedule for as little as $5 a month.
Sorting your trash is a great way to go green, so fill your recycle bin with plastic, paper, cardboard and anything else your hauler will accept.
8. Start a home compost bin. Instead of throwing food scraps in the trash, compost them at home. You will end up with a smaller trash bag – and a rich source of enriched soil for your garden.
9. Bunch your errands. Instead of running here and there and wasting gas, group your errands to reduce the amount of gas you use. If you are visiting multiple stores, try parking in a central spot and walking from place to place.
10. Walk or bike to work one or two days a week. If the distances are reasonable, walking or biking to work is a great way to go green and get a healthy dose of exercise. You may enjoy the ride so much you ditch the car altogether.
Living a more sustainable lifestyle does not have to be difficult, or expensive. If you are concerned about your health and the health of the environment, making a few simple lifestyle changes may be all you need to do. The little things can make a huge difference, especially if everyone does their part.
About Austin Alexander Burridge:Austin Alexander Burridge is a student at Winona State University in Minnesota and is currently pursuing a Major in Environmental Science, with an emphasis in Biology, and a Minor in Sociology. He has a deep interest in understanding the relation of sustainable ecological systems to the environment and is an impassioned advocate for the conservation of natural resources.