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Practical tips for living green

Going green is easier than you think!

 

Green is no longer just a color these days. Nor is it merely a word used to describe a certain – less savory – state of mind. Green means a lifestyle dedicated to sustainability and eco-friendliness. Green means Earth Warrior. Green means friend of the Earth. Green means urgent: as in right now; as in yesterday, even! Green says “I care!”

 

With the earth toiling under the heavy burden of industrialization, modernization, and other gigantic “-izations,” we, as its inhabitants need to jump on the green bandwagon and activate lifestyle changes which help lighten the load Mother Earth bears. We are already seeing the dramatic effects (unfortunately, not in positive ways!) our collective unchecked living has taken on the earth: global warming, El Niño phenomenon, climate change, ozone depletion to name a few of the nasties. There is no longer time to waste.

 

Lifestyle changes towards sustainability or green living are not only eco-friendly, they can be friendly on your budget, as well. Aside from monetary savings, other benefits of green living include a healthier lifestyle, less dependence on external systems which may be prone to eventual collapse, a more intact sense of community, and a more down-to-earth way of life. In short: green living is good for the Earth, and good for YOU!

 

The number one thing green living entails is personal commitment towards this change in lifestyle. Begin with small, determined steps in areas that are of most significance to you, and allow these small but committed steps to eventually evolve into patterns of life. Then move on to other areas.
Here are a few practical, easy to apply tips for greener living:

 

Plant plants

 

This play on words provides an easy and important tip towards cleaner surroundings in your home. Houseplants not only look pretty in your home; they serve as natural air-filters, as well. Keeping one houseplant for every 10 square yards helps absorb pollutants in the area. Use a general mixture of plants (Philodendrons, Gerbera Daisies, English Ivy, for instance) to absorb different pollutants. If ground space is an issue, house plants in pots will do the trick.

 

Don’t be a garbage monster

 

Though Oscar the Grouch may have loved his trash, we must be aware of the amounts of garbage we generate on a daily basis. Keep this in mind when buying groceries, for instance, opting to buy in bulk whenever possible to avoid excessive packaging, which turn into garbage-producing materials. Also, be aware of which garbage is recyclable, biodegradable and able to be composted. Dispose of these in separate containers. Learn how to compost, if possible. Your houseplants will love you for it.

 

Use homemade remedies and natural solutions

 

There are many remedies and products now available in the market, which no longer contain harsh chemicals that can harm the environment and prove hazardous to your health. Do simple research on “do-it-yourself” home remedies, utilizing natural disinfectants (like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice), and make your home a safer and greener place.

 

Create a green environment at work

 

Green living isn’t just for the home, but for work, as well. Be mindful of the paper you use, especially when printing. Try to work in a “paperless” fashion as often as possible. Reduce your waste by bringing your own mugs and cups for coffee and water. Be conscious of your office supplies, and use reusable materials whenever possible (for instance, paper clips over staples and tape).

 

Reuse whenever and wherever possible

 

Some simple ways to reuse include: find new uses for plastic bags (use them as garbage liners, for instance, or save them and take them back to the grocery store next time around. Use washable rags instead of disposable paper towels for cleaning up spills and messes. Use rechargeable batteries to avoid hazardous materials from disposable ones. Regularly donate old, unused clothes and shoes to charity.
Beloved Muppet Kermit the Frog once sang, “It’s not easy being green.” BUT once you get started, you will find that it’s not difficult, either. Go, GREEN; GO GREEN!

 

 

By ANGIE DUARTE

Photo courtesy of Themeefy Inc.

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