By: Stephanie Benney
As I stated a few posts ago, my Mom is always thinking of me – sending me articles, clippings and forwarding emails that deal with the green thing. This week’s post is simply sharing a fascinating article about going light green. When many people decide to do something, they do it with the “all or nothing” attitude. This article reveals that doing what you can (going light green) is better than doing nothing at all. Follow the tips below!
“Most of us concerned with the environment understand that we’ll spend a little extra to support locally produced products or ones that are kinder to the earth – but also that their price is more reflective of their true costs. It’s like casting a ballot with our dollars when we choose these more sustainable products. This recession, however, has caused most of us to pull back and re-evaluate our spending and saving habits (or lack thereof). It can be hard to justify spending more on a bottle of shampoo or a roll of recycled paper towels when your neighbors’ house is in foreclosure or you’re worried about being downsized out of a size.
Faced with these conflicting priorities, many of us are left feeling as if we have to compromise our ethics to make ends meet when our resources are limited. But being green can cost less than you might think. By leveraging your creativity and doing some simple self-assessment, you can still make a significant difference – and manage to spend in line with your values.
One Small Act – Big Impact
By recycling one aluminum can, you can save enough energy to light a room for 20 hours with a 100-watt light bulb, use your laptop for three hours or watch TV for two hours.
Make the Most of What You’ve Got
Reducing the amount and variety of things you consume is the simplest and often most effective green living step you can take (and the most wallet-friendly idea of all). More often than not, what we purchase isn’t something we truly need. Most of us already have more “stuff” than we could ever hope to use. Stop shopping for the sake of shopping; take time to consider whether or not the things you purchase are truly necessary and bettering your life. By doing this, you’ll prevent a lot of things from ending up in a landfill – and keep more of your money. You can also challenge yourself to find new ways to use what you already have, like re-purposing old furniture in another room or starting seeds in old egg cartons.
Grow Your Own
If you have even a small yard or porch, give gardening a try. Growing your own food is extremely rewarding and relaxing – and can also save you a bundle on your grocery bill. Using your own produce also gives you freedom to choose which varieties of fruits and vegetables your family most enjoys, and you get the peace of mind that comes from knowing exactly where and how your food was grown. No need to worry about food recalls when your food comes from your own yard! And if you have a larger area to garden, consider planting a row for the hungry and donating fresh produce to the food bank to help out the less fortunate.
DIY and Green Your Clean
Consider making your own cleansers using common items such as vinegar, baking soda and lemons. These items are extremely inexpensive and contain no harmful chemicals to leach into waterways, causing pollution or soil contamination. Recipes are available on the internet or in books at the local library.
The simplest of all homemade cleansers is glass cleaner. To make it, combine one part distilled white vinegar and two parts water in a bottle with a spray nozzle. Spray it on your windows and mirrors, and wipe it off with recycled paper towels or newsprint. It works just as well as ammonia – based on versions you’d find on store shelves but is much less expensive and less toxic to people, pets and planet.
A Step in the Right Direction
Taking just a few of these suggestions will help protect our natural resources – while being kinder to your finances. More importantly, supporting green initiatives right here at home helps us foster a sense of community and responsibility. By taking simple green steps such as these and encouraging our friends and neighbors to do the same, we can do our part to build healthier, more sustainable communities.
Stephanie Benney is a “Sustainable Visionary” and also the new Pittsburgh Representative for Fuzed Marketing, where she helps companies increase their brand presence. email@example.com