We all know that our planet needs our help
“Going Green” means each individual will contribute in some way to reduce waste and conserve energy. People have begun to recycle paper, plastic, glass, and plastic grocery bags. Cars are being built that run on both gasoline and electrical power. People are utilizing natural resources such as solar power, wind power, and water power; the conception of this living green has spread like wild fire; the only problem is, not everybody can afford to make such major changes in their life-styles.
You may not be able to afford a fuel efficient car or install solar panels, but there are many things people can do that cost little or nothing to put forth an effort in going green. The following are a few very simple and inexpensive things you can do to start living green:
- Most grocery stores sell cloth, reusable grocery bags; they generally cost less than a dollar and will withstand many trips to the grocery store. Your investment is minimal but you will be eliminating the use of plastic grocery bags which lay in landfills for many years before degrading. When I shop, I always bring my bags with me. When I get home and put my groceries away, I will hang the bags on the door knob so that I will remember to put them in my car the next time I leave the house.
- Hybrid cars do save on fuel but they are expensive to buy. You can save just as much fuel if you plan your errands in advance and make one trip to town instead of three. If you live close enough to the grocery store, walk if you are just getting a few things. You can carry your items in a back pack. Keep your daily planner handy so you can make your appointments on the same day at different hours. Driving less saves fuel.
- There is a huge market now for organic produce, milk, eggs, and even clothing, but the cost is almost double for what you pay for non-organic items. Consider what you are buying and if it really makes that much of a difference. You can buy two gallons of regular milk for the price of one gallon of organic milk; is it really that necessary? Shop wisely.
- The biggest difference you can make in going green is conserving energy. Use less electricity. Wash clothes in cold water. Unplug appliances such as your TV, stereo, computer when you aren’t using them. Buy energy efficient light bulbs which may cost a little more but last much longer and use less electricity. Open the curtains and blinds to let in the natural light and turn off your lamps. Dry your clothes outside on a clothes line. There are so many things that you can do to conserve energy and all it takes is just a bit of effort and a change in life-style.
- There are many household cleansers that can be replaced with items you have in your kitchen, such as vinegar. Vinegar will clean windows, remove stains from your shower door, is great to use on no wax floors, is great to use in your dishwater and dishwasher. Vinegar is cheap and natural; it will save you money and help you to start living green.
- In the warm weather months spend more time outside, even after dark. Spend less time watching TV and more time relaxing on the front porch with your family and neighbors. If you can cut just 2 hours a day away from watching TV you will be saving a great deal of energy over a period of a year. If you can get your neighbors involved, just think how much energy would be saved all combined.
Is Going Green Enough to Make a Difference?
It has to start somewhere and in many places it has. You have to be dedicated to the cause, which is, conserving energy; that is the biggest part of what our world needs now. To not be so dependent on fossil fuels and learn how to conserve and not waste. If everybody would just do one of the things mentioned above and stick to it, we could see a huge difference in the amount of energy that is saved. Consider how much you would save if you did all of those things; then multiply that by a million. It just takes people dedicated to the cause to make a difference.
It seems that it is the people who have the least whom are most dedicated to conserving energy and not wasting what they have. They have more to gain by cutting back on electricity, saving money at the grocery store, utilizing what they have instead of buying something bigger or better. We, the ones who struggle to make ends meet, are the example for everybody else.
A Better World for us All
The whole purpose of going green is to leave our children and grand children with a better world; a cleaner world to live in. The efforts we make now may not be so noticeable in our life time, but our children and grand children will benefit greatly by following our examples.
There were times in our history that people worked together to help each other in times of need; it would do our world and our society so much good to get back to this mindset; to stop being so self indulgent and work together to make a difference for ourselves and for our children and grand children. It doesn’t take money to make this happen; it takes courage, responsibility, and dedication to make the changes that are so needed in this world. Just turn off the TV and read a book. Go outside and visit with your neighbors. Take the little steps that lead to bigger steps and get the ball rolling; you’ll feel better for it and your children will thank you for it.