Going Green Is Cool

Going Green can mean many things to different people – there are a variety of actions that can be taken to lightened your load on Planet Earth.

Some actions are simple and require no sacrifice; I mention ten in my article “10 Environmental Green Tips.”

And, there are actions that required a lot of sacrifice! Those are not for me, because I admit I like to drive, have a brightly lit house, travel by plane and eat food out of season.

So, this article will address actions that can be taken with moderate effort. If you want to take bigger steps, visit my website “Going Green.”

We will discuss steps that you can take to reduce your Carbon Footprint. If you are concerned about climate change, reducing your carbon diet can help make a difference.

What is a carbon footprint? The quickest explanation is the amount of carbon dioxide you create while going about your daily life. Visit Carbon Footprint for a detailed explanation and to measure your carbon footprint.

We all know that reducing the amount we drive reduces the amount of carbon dioxide caused by burning fossil fuel. Keeping your tires properly inflated and the weight load in your car to a minimum helps, too.

But, what else can you do? Here are four tips to try:

Recycle and close the loop.

After you put your glass, plastic, metal and paper on the curb or drop them off at the collection center, you are not finished recycling.

Buy items made from recycled materials and close the loop. To encourage the collection of used items, manufacturers need to know that there is a market for the material.

Glass and metal are readily recycled into new items. But, there are lots of stuff being diverted from the landfills and, if you buy the reclaimed products, it will encourage continued recycling and new product creation.

One of the coolest new recycled products that I really like is mulch made from old tires. Not only does the mulch keep weeds down, conserve soil moisture and make for a softer surface, it keeps tires out of the landfills!

Plastic lumber is another option to consider. It lasts almost forever, doesn’t need to be painted, won’t rot or warp and removes tons of non-biodegradable material from the waste stream when the plastic is reclaimed.

Paper products are one of the easiest to find – search the store where you shop.

Remember to close the loop, and buy recycled wherever it fits your lifestyle.

Telecommute

If your employer will let you work from home, even occasionally – you can reduce your carbon emissions by reducing your auto use.

Of course, this won’t work for manufacturing jobs! But, if you do any type of office work, ask your boss.

Write up a proposal outlining what you will do and how you will keep them updated and then, present the plan – you might just be surprised! One less day of driving each week adds up.

Hold Off on Buying New

Before you head to the mall to do some shopping, reconsider the impacts that buying new items have on the environment.

The manufacture of new items uses up resources and creates greenhouse emissions which increases the carbon dioxide in the air.

Do you really need another pair of jeans or shoes? Maybe the ones you have can be worn a few more times?

Are you really going to get value out of the purchase, or will it just take up space in your house?

Can you buy it second hand? Used stuff saves money, too.

Reduce Consumption of Packaged Goods

Not only will you lessen your burden on Planet Earth, but you will lessen the burden on your food budget!

Take microwave popcorn as an example. Do you really need it? There is a lot of packaging that is not recyclable and not compostable, in fact, the only part of the package that can be recycled is the box.

Bagged popcorn and a popcorn maker is all you need – costs lots less and tastes better, too! And, you can season the popcorn to your exact specifications.

I bet you can think of a few more examples in your life where switching from pre-made to home made will eliminate trash, thus reducing your carbon footprint.

Summary

Reducing your carbon footprint is good for the environment and good for your wallet.

Even small steps will make a difference if enough people join in.

Calculate your carbon footprint and see if you can reduce it by 5%.

It might be easier than you think!

When it comes to carbon reduction – going green is cool -ing!