Although the U.S president may not like to admit it, there is incontrovertible evidence that our planet needs help after the ways we have chosen to abuse it over the years. There are some things we just can’t fix but there are a few ways we can help to sustain what’s left. Going green will mean you’re doing your part to positively impact the environment. Here are a few simple and cheap ways to get started.
There have been many debates over whether bottled water is healthier for us than tap water. In truth, there isn’t much difference. Buying bottled water may be convenient but it just increases the amount of plastic that needs to be disposed of. Yes, plastic can be recycled, but the less recycling we need to do, the better off we’ll be. Consider using a filtration system along with tap water. That way, you’re getting the best of both worlds.
Junk mail tends to become part of the furniture. It’s posted through our letter boxes and yet, we’re so used to seeing it, it doesn’t occur to us to do anything about it. Most of us will automatically put it in the bin or in our recycling boxes. However, did you know it’s possible to remove yourself from junk mail lists? You can do it here.
Conserving energy isn’t just about reducing greenhouse gases. You could significantly reduce your bills too! By switching your light bulbs and kitchen appliances to energy saving ones, you’re reducing your own costs and making sure the country isn’t using as much energy. Being energy efficient may seem like a small step but it’s something you have to think about constantly. Do you really need that light on? Should you use the car or walk instead? Once you’re in the swing of it, it’s something that will work its way into your daily routine and it will clear the way for other green changes in your life.
It’s common practice in most authorities in the UK now, but do we all do enough to contribute? Recycling is hardly a new idea, but many of us do the bare minimum. It’s important that we all do as much as we can to make sure waste is being sorted in the right way. The less black bag waste, the better. Plastics, paper, cardboard, metal and glass can all be recycled. So can left over food and most councils will do a special collection for dog mess and baby’s nappies.
Leave Your Car on the Drive
Even if your vehicle is one of the most economical in the world, you’ll still be using energy when you drive it, whether it’s petrol, diesel or electric. The greenest option is to not use it as often. It’s also the healthiest option for you. Take up walking, cycling or even start using public transport. If you choose to use public transport every day, it will mean there’s one less vehicle on the road. There are also brand new tax rules when it comes to buying new cars. Since April 2017, new cars are subject to higher tax, depending on their CO2 emissions. You can find out more here.
Many people may think that the food they choose won’t have an impact on the environment but they couldn’t be more wrong. The demand for foods that are out of season has led farmers from all over the world to recreate artificial environments where they can grow foods that have the most demand. You may hear the abbreviation GM being thrown about when you read or talk about growing fruit and veg. It means, genetically modified. When you buy food from local and organic sources, you can be sure how and where it’s been grown instead of being unsure if it’s been grown with a mixture of chemicals. It’s also a much healthier option for you and your family.
It can be difficult to avoid chemicals and toxins these days. From the kitchen cleaner to the shampoo, you may be surprised by the ingredients you find. Chemicals are all over our skin, all over our clothes and all around our homes. The only way to make sure you aren’t contributing to industries that purposely make us and the environment unhealthy, is to make your own. It’s fairly easy to make your own cleaners for your home and even beauty products or toiletries, like soap. Grab yourself an essential oils kit and you’ll be halfway there.
Teach Your Children
One of the best ways we can have a positive impact on the environment is to teach the future generation how to look after it properly. After all, they’re the ones who’ll have to live with our mistakes. Teach your children about energy efficiency, recycling and healthy eating when they’re young. As a family, avoid processed foods and fast foods as much as possible and keep your waste down to a minimum. If our children grow up with these lessons it’ll be like second nature to future generations.
Shop Small Businesses
Shopping at small, local businesses doesn’t just mean it’s convenient. It means your money will go back into local families. When you shop with giant corporations, they have no choice but to create a factory line. Large machines, tons of packaging, low paid workers and more. We’re all guilty of it because sometimes it can’t be avoided. When you’re after a specific gift for someone, it’s usually the large companies that can get it to you in the nick of time. But, when you do have a choice, it’s better all round to pour your money into small businesses.
If you’re enthusiastic about becoming greener, it’s important to always be learning. There are new developments in climate change, global warming and environmental statistics every week. It’s important to keep abreast of the information that’s coming out. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to help. You’ll also be able to educate others on what you know, although you shouldn’t push your views onto another person.
Grow Your Own
Getting into a spot of gardening will do wonders for you and the environment. Have you ever tried to grow your own vegetables? If you have some space in the garden, why not create your own vegetable patch? There are plenty of veg that are easy to grow for a beginner, like carrots and green beans. You could also try your hand at some fruit. If you want to go all the way and make sure you’re as sustainable as can be, purchase some chickens. There’s nothing like fresh eggs from your own back garden first thing in the morning. However, you must remember that chickens do take a lot of care and are an additional responsibility.
Until now, solar powered roofs have been a bit of an eye sore. They’re fantastic for saving energy and powering your home at much lower cost, but people have been unwilling to put them on their homes purely because they look ugly. Well, that isn’t a problem anymore. You can now purchase slate tiles for your whole roof that act in the exact same way as solar panels. They’re also much safer and much more durable. It can be expensive to re-tile your entire roof but the money you’ll save on energy for the rest of the time you’re living in the property will more than make up for it.
Keep Up with Politics
It’s almost time for the general election, and it’s important to know where your favourite candidates stand on the fight against climate change. What’s in their manifesto? How do they propose to move forward? It’s also worth contacting your local MP’s and finding out if there’s anything your community could be doing differently to combat failings in plans to go green. It probably won’t be at the top of anyone’s priority list, but it shouldn’t be on the list.
Start a Community Club
A little bit like a neighbourhood watch club, a going green club can be created to make sure the community is doing its utmost to contribute. You could get involved with litter picking, making sure all of the waste is recycled properly or you could think of ways to promote green living, giving tips to local residents. You could even start doing some fundraising work, so your councils can’t make the excuse that they haven’t got an appropriate budget to implement plans. Whatever you decide to do, a group fighting for the same thing will always make an impact.
Knowing how to go green isn’t the hard part. Sticking to changes you’ve made will be the real test. The problems that future generations may have to face if things don’t change now is something most parents dread to think about. Just remember that all the changes you make in your life and in your home will go towards a much better future for our children.