Living Green every day…
Although we hear about Green more than ever, not everybody thinks quite the same way about what it really means, and more importantly how to apply its basic principles to their daily lives. I like to define Green as a way of thinking about our planet, its precious resources and how to live in a more sustainable and healthy environment, while saving some Green!
It’s about the awareness and impact of our activities on the environment and how the results of which affect our lives and well beings. As we witness the global climate change and its impact on the way of life around the planet, we may feel helpless and overwhelmed. But there are a number of simple things we can be aware of and do every day, to do our share, no matter how small, to help.
At its core, Green principles deal with four basic area of concerns. Although in the big picture they demand long term planning and major investments, there are simple things we can do every day to do our share. For example, we might not be able to invest thousands of dollars on a solar energy system for our homes, but we can do our share by being more consciences by simply not wasting electricity.
These four basic issues are as follows:
Recycling: More and more people these day are recycling their waste such as bottles, cans, paper products, etc. While that helps slow down filling up the landfills, It’s a great way to save and reuse our resources. Planning and designating an area to store your recyclable products around your home is a great way to make that a regular part of your daily habits.
Energy: That is a vast domain of our daily activities. We are talking about how we heat our homes, drive our cars, use electricity for all sorts of activities, etc. In a larger scale we should make sure our homes are well insulated, drive more efficient cars and purchase more efficient appliances. On the other hand we can adjust our daily activities by lowering the thermostat at night when we are in bed. US Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat at 68 degrees during the day and 64 degrees at nights during winter, and 75 degrees in day times and a little higher at nights during summer seasons. Which they claim can reduce your heating and cooling bill between 15 to 55%. Or while it might be too big of an investment to get more energy efficient windows, weather stripping costs very little, while saving great amount of green and provide greater comfort.
Water: Do you run the water idly while brushing your teeth?! How about while you are washing dishes? Clean potable water is one of the most precious natural resource, becoming more and more scarce. The climate change has had a major impact on water and its availability. Although in some part of the country we are not much aware of this shortage, others are affected quite seriously. Rain harvesting; collecting rain water is one simple way we could reduce water consumption. Whether cutting back on watering our lawns, or using more water efficient plumbing fixture in our homes, we can do our share to be Green.
Air: We tend to think of air pollution as something outside. But the truth is, the air inside homes, offices, and other buildings can be more polluted than the air outside. The air inside your home may be polluted by carcinogens (from cooking), formaldehyde (from furniture), fire-retardants, radon, carbon monoxide (from furnace or water heater), even volatile chemicals from fragrances used in conventional cleaners and cosmetics. Some pollutants are tracked into the home. Some arrive via a new mattress or furniture, carpet cleaners, or a coat of paint on the walls. Children, people with asthma, and the elderly may be especially sensitive to indoor pollutants, but other effects on health may appear years later, after repeated exposure. Indoor allergens and irritants have become much more important in recent decades because we’re spending more time indoors, and because modern homes are airtight, these irritants can’t easily escape. Indoor plants are a good source of oxygen while they remove some indoor pollutants.
To be Green is to promote a lifestyle of appreciation for our planet’s precious natural resources, as well as our own health and well being.