Five Easy Ways to Be Green Year Round
Earth Day is all about honoring the planet that we love to live and play on. So what better way to honor the planet than by committing to greener living year round! It’s easy to be an environmentalist in the new millennium if we can learn to adopt a higher level of conscious thinking which follows these five green living tips:
1. Live Sustainably: Buy Local & Organic Products
Be sure to buy from a sustainable brand whenever possible. A sustainable brand is a company (large or small) which has committed to environmental best practices that have a positive impact on people and planet. This can include corporate energy conservation initiatives, locally sourced products and the greening of their supply chain. These socially responsible organizations are run by passionate individuals from around the world, all who are committed to leveraging environmental and social innovation to deliver exceptional business performance and shared value to those they impact.
Not only are these sustainable choices easy to make, but they also provide lasting mutual benefit. Green products lack harmful chemicals and some even perform better than their toxic alternatives. These products are also becoming more affordable as companies embrace the cost saving benefits of a truly sustainable business. Buying local organic food products is also easy with farmers markets and eco-businesses springing up everywhere. Buying locally also cuts down on product transportation costs and fuel consumption which makes for healthier air quality. Learn more about sustainable brands at this year’s Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego.
2. Green Travel: Ride Bikes & Take Public Transport
Speaking of transportation, getting around green is easier and more fun than ever. Try sharing a ride with a friend, taking public transportation or riding a bike when travelling locally. Go for walks/hikes in nature, but don’t veer off marked trails and maintain a safe distance from any animals you encounter. If you have to fly, book non-stop whenever possible since a significant percentage of a plane’s carbon emissions come from takeoff and landing.
You can also purchase hybrid or electric vehicles as well as cars with high MPG. The next time you need to go somewhere nearby, try walking or skateboarding and be sure stop at the local farmers market or Acai bowl shop while you’re out! Stay hydrated on the go with reusable bottles instead of plastic ones which travel thousands of miles before you buy it and often ends up in a landfill or as waste pollution.
3. Conserve Energy: Turn Off Water / Lights & Unplug
Energy conservation is another easy way to reduce our individual impact on the planet. Little things you can do at home and work include turning the lights off when not using them and installing water conserving appliances. Unplug appliances or cell phone chargers when their not in use and try incorporating LED lights where you can. Conscious Connection is a big fan of our super efficient FLOS Kelvin LED Green Mode which we use to illuminate our creative work space. Also be sure to leverage natural sunlight to brighten your day and try not to run the water while you brush your teeth!
The U.S. Department of Energy also recommends installing compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in your outdoor porch light and bathroom vanity which are the most frequently used fixtures in a home. Proper ventilation of the attic also keeps the roof deck cool and dry, extending the life of roof shingles and preventing ice dams without using the energy needed to run an attic vent fan. Use your microwave or toaster oven to reheat or cook small portions which can reduce cooking energy by as much as 80%.
4. Community Care: Work With Volunteer Groups
Volunteering is a great way to get involved in your local community, meet new people and have a positive impact in your area. Look into local environmental groups, animal shelters and even organizations which lend help to other people in need. There are many volunteer opportunities for a variety of interests and specialties. Some are as simple as joining community clean up efforts while others involve clean water courier missions to remote parts of the world.
Getting involved in eco-tourism is a great way to change the world and have fun doing it. There are many organizations which allow you to travel the globe and have a positive impact on the communities in which you’re visiting. Other green travel tips include flying wisely, travelling lightly and booking responsibly. Learn more green travel tips from the experts over at eco-tourism.org.
5. Earth Love: Recycle, Plant a Garden & Give Thanks
Show the Earth some love! Never litter or throw trash anywhere, be conservative with your waste and always recycle. Our recommendation is to use the simplehuman rectangular recycler can which conveniently separates trash and recyclables in your home while remaining stylish and functional. Outside the home, try planting a space conscious organic garden to grow your own local organic food. Many people today are also collecting rain water for their gardens and even composting waste to fertilize their plants.
Conduct a short gratitude meditation each morning that gives thanks for the beauty of this incredible Earth. Spend time in nature and feel the connection you have to the entire planet. Feeling appreciation for Earth is not only a great way to send good vibes to the planet, but it also feels great and inspires you to remember to live with these greener habits!
Embrace These Green Living Tips To Create A Sustainable Planet!
As we continue our evolution from industrial nation states to an advanced global civilization, it’s up to us to embrace a greener habits which lead to a sustainable world. Tackling the issue of climate change is a massive challenge, but it can be overcome with the participation of each individual on planet Earth being just a little more green. Fortunately this daunting task is made easy if everyone can commit to doing these five small things differently, which in turn add up to compounding big impact.
For those looking to take the next step in everyday green living, The Nature Conservancy offers great tools and resources at www.nature.org/greenliving for each of the above tips. Also stay tuned to Conscious Connection all week as we continue to bring you relevant content for Earth Day 2014!