Going Green Tips: 5 Easy Things You Can Do at Home

by Ellen Bell

Going green, also known as eco friendly living, is a growing trend around the world.

Now more than ever, people are beginning to realize the impact their actions and decisions have on the world around us. Every time we get in a car, ride on a plane, or make a purchase at the grocery store, we know that energy is consumed, greenhouse gasses are created, and landfills get a little fuller.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the vastness of it all, but relax and take a step back. No one of us has to save the world alone. But what we can do is each take a few small steps every day. Small changes make a big difference in the grand scheme of things. With that in mind, we’re going to discuss a few easy things that you can do at home to make a big difference in the world around you.

1. Recycle. Experts agree that recycling is one of the best and easiest ways to make a difference. If every person on the planet recycled, we could reduce landfill waste and greenhouse gasses in a very significant way. Most communities have recycling programs in place already, making it easy to participate. If your city doesn’t, inquire with local officials about starting a program.

2. Don’t throw it away! We have a tendency not to think about items we throw away. They disappear from our sight, so they are out of our minds. But all those things that the garbage truck hauls away every week do have to go somewhere, and that place is a landfill. Landfills are a major cause of greenhouse gasses and ozone depletion. So next time you get ready to throw something away, ask yourself if you could possibly use the item in another way or donate it.

3. Turn off the water. U.S. households waste thousands of gallons of water every year. A significant amount of this water goes down the sink while we are brushing our teeth, washing our hair, or soaping up in the shower. Turning off the water during these activities can save a huge amount of water, which not only helps the environment, but also saves you money.

4. Ride your bicycle. For short trips around town, air up the tires and ride your bike. It will save you gas and give you some good exercise. If you don’t have a bicycle, you can walk, ride rollerblades, or even a skateboard.

5. Install low flush toilets and showerheads. This is another way to consume less water in the bathroom. Even better yet, if you’re getting ready to put in a new toilet fixture, look into composting toilets. These fixtures are clean and odorless, and will save you a significant amount of money in water and sewer costs.

While the suggestions above may seem like really small things, don’t underestimate the impact these changes can make. If every person in the United States made a conscious effort today to turn off the water while brushing their teeth or shampooing their hair, think how many millions of gallons of water would be saved!

Now multiply that over the course of 50 years, and the result is astronomical. So what are you waiting for? Now is a great time to jump on the going green bandwagon by recycling, saving some water and using less energy. The environment will benefit, and in many cases, your pocketbook will, too.

Ellen Bell is a freelance writer and part-owner of the Composting Toilet Store, an online retailer of compost toilets. For more information or to request a free catalog, please visit us at http://www.composting-toilet-store.com/. This is her first guest post for SJVCEO.