Earth Science

What is going green?

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Positive or negative - simple actions have a big impact on the environment.
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Making daily efforts to live sustainably answers what is going green

To understand the overall concept of ‘going green’, this is what you absolutely need to know: your daily actions have an impact on the environment and your local community. Whether your actions have a positive or negative impact on the environment is up to you. Consistently making choices to positively impact the environment = going green.

You could fill numerous shelves with books that explain what is going green and how it applies to specific industries and lifestyles. For individuals looking to make simple environmentally friendly choices, it’s useful to first understand why going green matters. At the heart of this over-used phrase, is the intention to contribute to the wellness of the planet and every living being on it.

For individuals, going green is a lifestyle choice. In the context of science, politics and business, going green is a social movement and actionable philosophy.

Ways to Go Green

According to the World Watch Institute, a global environmental organization, many of the things people can do to go green will also save them money and improve their health and happiness. Here are a few simple ways you can go green:

Conserve energy –

Resist turning up the A/C in the summer and the heat in the winter. Dress warmer or drink cooling beverages to moderate your body temperature instead and you’ll save power and pay a lower utility bill. Replace burned out light bulbs with incandescent bulbs, wash clothes in cold water, hang clothes to dry and unplug unused appliances OR use “smart strips” that turn off automatically when appliances are not in use.

Use less gasoline –

Rather than driving short distances, walk or ride your bike to improve cardiovascular health and save fuel (and money). If you have a long commute, ask your boss about telecommuting, or working from home one day a week or even full time if it works out.

Eat green -

You don't have to eat vegetarian to go green. Simply eat less meat, possibly choose one day a week to eat vegetarian. Supporting local farmers that treat animals humanely without hormones will cost a little more money, but it keeps your money in the local economy and does not entail a truck driving hundreds of miles to ship cheap, unhealthy, unsustainable meat. When it comes to purchasing meat, you get what you pay for.

Tips for Avoiding Green Fatigue

From celebrities and businesses, to politicians across the globe, the term ‘going green’ may be used more often than it’s practiced. Avoid ‘green fatigue’ with these tips:

*Pace yourself. Seemingly small actions, like filling a green water bottle instead of buying bottled water, makes a significant positive impact.

*Set small goals. If you can’t telecommute, set up a carpool one day a week or cut your shower time in half.

*Focus. Every day, the headlines are loaded with the latest green fashions and green technology. You could make it your full time, unpaid job to try and keep up with these trends (and vet them for green washing) or you can focus on learning about the life cycle of the products you use daily. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Green purchasing involves learning about all the ways that a product can affect the environment during the course of its life cycle”.

*Remember the three Rs. You can always do more, but you don’t have to stop showering in order to live sustainably. Answer the question "What is going green for me?" Make daily efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle and soon these changes will define your healthier lifestyle.

Going green is good for the planet, people and wildlife. It’s good for the health and happiness of your family and it signifies your personal commitment to making responsible, smart buying and lifestyle choices.

EPA: Buying Green Shopping Guide
Treehugger: Go Green Guide
World Watch: Save Green
Organic Consumers: Michael Pollan

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