I have to admit for a long time, I thought going green would be a complicated thing .I thought it would cost money, time, and uncomfortable because I would have to change a lot of stuff in my lifestyle. I think a lot of this had to do with the fact that I was quiet ignorant about what it meant and to be honest there was also some laziness and fear mixed in. In my mind, I thought going green meant being an extreme tree huger.(not that I have anything against them in fact the more In have led this lifestyle the more I admire people who dedicate so much to keeping our planet healthy and safe.
I am happy to report that I have learnt a few things since then.
• Going green does not have to be expensive or even complicated. There are simple changes that you can make that will not cost you any more money in fact they can even save you lots of money, and benefit you in other ways.
• We all have a responsibility to protect this planet that is our home. Every single one of us not just the environmentalists, if everyone made a few simple lifestyle choices, the positive effects on the planet’s wellbeing would be huge.
Easy ways to go green for beginners
Use less paper:
When printing, think about whether you really need that document printed, secondly printing on both sides of paper is also something that you could consider
Read newspapers online instead of buying physical papers. One area connected to this that I am struggling with is using my kindle more. I still prefer having my books in hardcover but I think I have reached a compromise; for new books, I try to get e books but then I also pick up books from second hand stores and then take them back when I am done
Get a house plant
Plants that are placed strategically in the house are one way of bringing the beautiful outdoors into your house. Houseplants have been shown to improve health, I also like that they can be an economical way to add to the decor of an indoor space. There are so many varieties to choose from including spider plants, peace lily, orchids, aloe vera, if you are feeling adventurous you can even get a tree that can thrive indoors.
This leads me onto the next change than you can do which is donating items that you do not use anymore. There are so many charities that would appreciate items like clothes, bikes etc., in fact you might know someone that could appreciate the clothes that you do not want any more, a niece ,neighbor etc. I also started passing my magazines to other people. On a recent visit to the dentist, I noticed that they had photographic and women’s magazines from 2010. Since the practice is next to my house, I dropped more recent magazines which they really appreciated. I am enjoying leading a life with less staff. read about my experience here.
Reusable shopping bag
When shopping for groceries, you can save by carrying your own bags since most stores have started charging for disposal bags. Most of them actually sell re-usable bags that last for a long time but are very cheap. I also carry one of those tiny pretty reusable ones in my handbag in case I buy something unexpectedly.
Reusable coffee cup
If you cannot do without your coffee (I admit I belong here too) then consider bringing your own mug into the coffee store. Some stores actually stock reusable mugs and will charge you less when you bring use them
Turn off electronics when not in use
I have to admit took me a while to catch on to the fact that electronics that are not turned off completely still consume energy. A small amount for sure but over time it does add up. So every night I make sure that my television and laptop are turned off.
Have one vegetarian day every week
Both the planet and your waistline might thank you for this. I started this as a challenge and so glad I did because it allowed me to try new recipes that I never would have and who knew that my children would actually love eating vegetable meals. There are so many websites with great recipes. I like this one.
Switch to green household cleaners
Research has shown that chemicals used to, make these products are not only harmful for the environment but also for our health. Check for products made with plant based products
Use less water
Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth and similarly when showering turn it off when lathering, this will save a huge amount of water.
Get your children involved
when I started making some of these changes, I would get the children involved as much as possible. For example they would help choose their own clothes and toys for recycling and come along when we delivered them. I would also explain to them how their choices affected the planet. For example, I taught them the value of water, turning the tap off when not in use.
Drive less, try carpooling
If it is possible and realistic for you, ditching the car for other means of transport like biking or walking can not only save you money but help you keep fit too. A friend of mine who decided to use the train instead still managed to keep fit by getting off one stop before her regular stop and walking home.
Carpooling is another option.
Start composting in your back garden
This makes amazing fertilizer for plants
The examples above are simple things that you could do right now to live a greener life. I believe in making sustainable small changes that over time. Since they are so small, you are more likely to keep up with it and will also notice the snowball effect.