Going Green: How to Start

Going "green," it used to have a sandal-wearing, granola-eating, Hippie connotation that, for some reason, people looked down upon. The problem is, last time I checked, sandals are super comfortable, granola is delicious and nutritious, and Hippies are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. The tides are finally changing and people are starting to realize that the ‘progress at any cost’ mentality isn’t really working. After all, if the environment fails and can’t support life, the products we have won’t matter anyway.

(Source: www.nydailynews.com)

So here’s your crash course to thinking and becoming a greener human person. Before we get into renewable energy and cars that run on vegetable oil, it’s important to start to change the way you view things.

For example, does it really make sense to individually wrap slices of cheese? (Hint: the answer is “No” or “No. No. A thousand times, NO!”) Of course not! But it’s easy to think that since a company is doing it, it must be OK.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. We’ve all heard the adage but how does one make that a part of their life?

Reduce - the amount of waste we produce. It's a great place to start. According to the EPA, Americans alone produce 164 million tons of unrecycled or composted trash every year. That's 328,000,000,000 lbs of trash a year.. Take a second to think about that one. There's even a continent forming in the Pacific Ocean called The Trash Vortex (Google "trash island" or "trash vortex" for pictures). For a species that has the advancement to create things like smart phones, satellites, and grow graphene, it's time to turn our attentions a little more towards our home and how we can take care of it. To get us started acting and thinking in the right direction, here are a some every day easy changes that can immediately make an impact.

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-Buy a reusable shopping bag instead of gathering 157 plastic bags a month that you don’t know what to do with.
-Use a real mop instead of a one-time use mop head (sorry Swiffer-esque products).
-Water filter and reusable bottle over throw-away water bottles.
-Bring your own coffee cup or thermos to the coffee shop.
-Take shorter showers.
-Do NOT buy individually wrapped slices of cheese. There is no instance where that makes sense.

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There is even the entire art of repurposing (<= click)

The point isn’t to wake up one day and say “I’m going to forgo anything touched by man”, it’s just to start questioning some of the things that we accept as “how things have always been” and start making little changes. Your first inclination might be to think that it’s a hassle but you can do it, you’re a smart, evolved mammal.

Do an exercise. Take one minute and try to think of 3 easy ways to implement the ‘reducing’ principle into your life. If you have a few good ones please leave them below!

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