An environmentally friendly life is not something that happens overnight, because of how we perceive green living. From “it’s too expensive” to “it’s too inconvenient” people have so many misconceptions about what it means to be eco-friendly.
American journalist Dan Goldman described it best when he said, “Green is a process, not a status. We need to think of ‘green’ as a verb, not an adjective.” Once you start making conscious decisions to “live green” the rest falls into place.
When you start living with the mindset that everything you do affects the environment, then you want to do things that have a positive effect. But living green is more than separating your recyclables into plastic, paper, or cans.
Living Green from Dawn until Dusk
Living green means maintaining an earth-conscious lifestyle from the time you wake up in the morning until the time you go to bed at night. Here are some affordable ways that your family can enjoy an environmentally friendly life.
- PLANT A GARDEN – Growing our own food is not a new trend by any means. When you grow your own food, it is like printing your own money and a great first step to an environmentally friendly life.
- ABANDON THE CAR – When you can walk or bicycle to your destination, you get the benefit of fresh air and exercise while travelling. Another option is public transportation, or parking your car in a public lot and walking to the locations of all your errands in the same town.
- KISS PLASTICS GOODBYE – Plastics are filled with all types of chemicals. Researchers debate daily about their safety, especially for use in the microwave. Choose glass kitchenware which is healthier and lasts longer.
- WASH WITH COLD WATER – Whenever possible, wash laundry in cold water to save energy. And if you can stand a slightly cooler bath, reduce the temperature in the tub or shower as well. Most water-related energy is due to the hot water heater.
- RECYCLE ELECTRONICS – Fargo, North Dakota recycled more than 82 tons of electronic waste in 2011 alone (www.ci.fargo.nd.us). Contact your local recycling center or electronics store to find out how to schedule an e-cycling day in your community.
- TURN OFF THOSE LIGHTS – And turn off the televisions, and the computers, and any other electronic devices when you are not using them. You should even turn off the water between brushing and rinsing to avoid wasting there, too.
- PROGRAM THE THERMOSTAT – A programmable thermostat can help you build up a whole new savings account in energy savings because it regulates how warm your house stays in the winter and how cool it stays in the summer.
The Things in Your Eco-Friendly Home
Eco-friendly is not limited to your habits. Buying furniture made from organic materials, paints with low or no fumes, and shopping at the thrift store instead of at the department store are all great, affordable ways to live green.
There is no need to go green all at once. Every time an item wears out, replace it with something more eco-friendly in nature. Each time you do this, you are taking another step towards lowering your carbon footprint.
Another thing you can do is update one room at a time. For example, replace your kitchen appliances with newer, Energy Star models. The investment you make in new appliances pays you back in energy savings.
My Family’s Journey from Extravagant to Eco-Friendly
I will admit that my family wasn’t always earth-friendly. But high energy bills and a lack of extra money made us sit up and take responsibility for our wasteful lifestyle. Things are a lot different now, and we are a lot happier.
The first change we made was a small one. After a particularly delightful hotel stay, we followed their lead and swapped out all our bathroom linens with high-quality organic bath towels from Green Nest.
Switching out your towels is an easy first step in lowering your carbon footprint and living an environmentally friendly life. If you want to replace your family’s worn out, chemical laden bath towels with this healthier alternative, click here to buy through Green Nest.