What is Green Living ?
Green Living is a lifestyle involving practices, choices and decisions that make optimal use of natural and personal resources without causing any significant adverse impact on the environment.
Green Living (also called Sustainable Living) thus is a way of life that attempts to reduce carbon footprint by incorporating changes in our work, diet, transportation, energy consumption, buying decisions, material usage and waste disposal.
Nations worldwide have realized that we need to conserve our natural resources and prevent further deterioration of our environment. Green living attempts to take this environmental consciousness to a very individual level so that the contribution of our personal activities to environmental degradation is kept to a minimum. Surely, we can change the world if we change the way we conduct our lives and inspire others to do the same. Our small "seemingly inconsequential" steps can do a whole lot of good for the environment globally.
Green Living Tips
Here are a dozen simple steps we can take to go green in our lifestyle !
1. Think Green - Love Nature
- Be aware - and make others aware - of how our activities affect our environment
- Encourage children - through hands-on learning activities - to enjoy and explore nature
- Read and watch news pertaining to environmental issues
- Spend your spare time amidst natural environs like gardens or forests
- When gifting, give eco-friendly products and send e-greetings or cards made from recycled paper
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2. Save Natural Resources
- Save water: take shorter showers, run full loads in washers and turn off taps when not in use
- Collect rain water and water used to wash vegetables for other washing / watering purposes
- Reduce use of paper - use fabric napkins and read magazines/newspapers at the local library or online
- Reduce use of wood - use sustainable alternatives or reclaimed wood for construction/furniture
- Conserve energy : reduce using power/transport systems that run on non-renewable energy sources
- Save forest and wildlife - make efforts to protect your local ecosystems
- Try preventing soil erosion by planting trees at suitable spots
More on Nature Conservancy ...
3. Use Energy Efficiently
- Wherever possible, use renewable energy sources
- Try using solar panels at home to provide for some of the electricity needs
- Switch off all electronic equipment when not in use
- Use energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs
- Use mains electricity rather than batteries when possible
- Use rechargeable batteries instead of single use batteries
- Use solar-powered gadgets instead of battery-operated ones
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4. Dispose of Waste properly
- Reduce waste by using reusable products in place of disposable ones, wherever possible
- Look for hazardous waste facilities to dispose of toxic products
- Sell off in flea markets or donate to charity, the household items you don't want to use
- Look for exchange offers when replacing old furniture or home appliances with new ones
- Find a proper place to dispose of or recycle your electronic waste
- Find recycling agencies for your discarded plastic,paper,glass and metal products
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5. Go Green when Eating
- Preferably, find and eat food - raw or cooked - that is organically produced
- Eat seasonal fruits/vegetables and locally-produced food items - as this saves transportation costs
- Give up or cut down on eating meat, as meat production consumes energy and causes pollution
- Cook your favourite dishes and convenience food; use solar cooker when feasible
- Try buying food items from food cooperatives or local farmer's markets
- When dining out, find restaurants that serve organic dishes or at least cook regional cuisines
- Don't take unnecessary straws, plastic utensils or aluminium foils with your take-home food packs
More on Eating Healthy Organic Food ...
6. Go Green at Work
- Use e-mails for communication, rather than post and fax
- Use digital systems for documentation work to reduce use of paper
- Send e-greetings to clients and associates instead of paper cards
- Keep computers and other machinery switched off when not in use
- Carry your food in lunch-boxes rather than plastic wraps or foils
- Carry water in reusable water bottles instead of buying bottled water
- Use recycled paper for office stationery like printouts, letter pads, envelopes, invitation cards, etc.
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7. Make your Home Green
- Where possible, use eco friendly methods and materials for constructions and maintenance
- Use non-toxic, recyclable, locally available materials for construction works
- Properly insulate walls and windows to keep interiors cool during summer and warm during winter
- In warm climates, equip roofs with reflective sheets to reduce heat absorption
- Keep off the summer heat using window treatments such as blinds, tints or trellises
- Use energy-efficient electronic appliances and ecofriendly furniture/furnishings
- Reduce water wastage in bathrooms, kitchen and garden
- Reuse water from washing machines, sinks and showers for irrigation and toilet flushing purposes
- Reduce electric usage - work in natural light during daytime; let washed floors/stairs dry naturally
- Paint your home in light or dark color, depending on whether you live in warm or cold climate
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8. Grow an Organic Garden
- If you have some sunlit space to spare, try using it in growing a garden
- Along with flowers, grow fruits, vegetables and healing herbs in your garden
- Try growing the food plants "organically" - using eco friendly fertilizers and pesticides
- Water the plants early morning or late evening for reducing water loss due to evaporation
- Use "drip irrigation" system or a soaker hose in your garden to reduce water wastage
- Make a compost pit to turn organic waste from your kitchen/garden to natural soil-enriching manure
- Create "mulch" around plants with fallen leaves and flowers to increase soil fertility
- If space permits, create a "naturescape" with bird baths, plants and feeders
More on Growing an Organic Garden ...
9. Go Green when Shopping
- Give up impulse buying - preferably, buy only what you'll need and use
- Avoid buying non-sustainable and/or single-use products
- Shop online to avoid fuel consumption in commuting to shops
- Purchase eco friendly alternatives of household products
- Carry reusable shopping bags or ones made from recycled or sustainable materials
- Buy products with minimum packaging and avoid buying the ones packaged for single use
- Buy books and magazines in digital formats instead of hard copy versions
- Buy software, songs and movies that are downloadable online, instead of ordering CDs or DVDs
- At times - when buying furniture, home appliances etc - go for used or refurbished products
More on Buying Eco-friendly Products and Services ...
10. Travel responsibly
- For short distances - walk, cycle or use public transport instead of driving a car
- As far as possible, avoid air travel - as it uses up volumes of fossil fuels
- When on a tour, dispose of any waste material responsibly
- Visit travel destinations during off-peak periods to avoid over straining of resources
- Carefully follow Govt restrictions when visiting a environmentally sensitive area
- At tourist spots, use facilities and trips conducted by local agencies
- Don't disturb any wildlife or habitat when travelling
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11. Embrace Eco fashion
- Use herbal cosmetics and chemical-free beauty products
- Look for clothes made using sustainable materials and production methods
- Use old clothes as long as possible and buy ones with potential for lasting long
- Use low-maintenance clothes that can be machine or hand-washed and doesn't require dry-cleaning
- Use phosphate-free detergent for reducing impact on aquatic life
- Use clothesline to allow washed clothes to dry naturally by hanging
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12. Stay Fit Naturally
- Jog or walk instead of wasting electricity on a treadmill
- Use eco friendly gear and energy-efficient machines for your workouts
- As far as possible, use certified organic pesonal care products
- Check the product 's ingredient label to avoid petroleum derivatives and other harmful chemicals
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