Sometimes, it’s the little things we do in our lives that end up making a big difference. And nowhere is this more the case than when it comes to being green. Sure, you can vote for politicians who support the cause, and we’re all for donating money to organizations that clean up oil spills and help protect land from environmentally unfriendly companies. But when it comes to getting involved yourself, there are so many opportunities. Whether you’re raising a family and teaching your kids about going green, or you’re a hipster in Brooklyn finding creative strategies for growing local vegetables on your roof, there’s lots of ways to go about it.
You can change the world, one step at a time, by simply making your life more green. And here are some of the best ways to do so.
1 Recycle, compost, and reuse
It may be one of the first things we learn in school, but it’s easy to forget to recycle, especially if there aren’t recycling centers near you or if your city doesn’t have a great recycling system. But it’s never too late to start sorting your waste. If you live in an apartment building, work together with your neighbors so that everyone’s educated about what goes where (it can vary depending on types of materials and region). After all, , “Inconsistent labels on bins are causing public confusion about recycling and resulting in millions of tons of garbage being thrown in recycling bins.”
Additionally, composting is a great idea. And be creative by reusing everyday objects such as jam jars, too. Anytime you’re buying something new, ask yourself: Can I reuse this? How wasteful am I being? Is it worth spending money I’m going to use only once?
2 Carpool, walk, and bike
Another great way to go green is by saving on gas. In the US, the transportation sector is responsible for over of NOx (oxides of nitrogen) total emissions inventory, so by cutting down how much we drive, we can make a huge difference. If you live in a car-driven city like LA, carpool with your neighbors. Otherwise, think of using public transportation, or walking and biking to work.
Cities such as DC now have free apps like LimeBike that you can use for biking for a dollar or two for each ride, as well as scooters that release way less emissions total than giant cars. It’s easier than ever to go green when going places!
3 Volunteer for green organizations
If you really love to feel involved, one of the best ways to share going green with other people is by joining an environmentally friendly organization. No matter where you are, whether you’re in a big city or a small town, there are plenty out there. Do a Google search, looking for “green organizations,” “community service,” and “environmental groups” along with the name of where you live, and you’ll find something.
And if you have kids, think about starting an initiative at their school. That way, you can be involved not only in your community, but you can also educate about the importance of environmentally-friendly values. And you’ll get to spend more time with your kids, too! And considering that only viewed protecting the environment as a top policy issue back in 2016, it’s time to make that number go up.
4 Make your home more green
Finally, one of the best ways to go green is by living in a space that’s itself green. Depending on how far you want to go with it, there are lots of ways you can do this. For example, some easy ways include turning off the tap every second you aren’t using it (e.g., when you’re brushing your teeth and have stepped away for a minute) and turning off the heating or A/C when you’re out of the house for several hours.
But you can always take it to the next level. For example, have you thought about how much energy your appliances are using? Or installing a smart meter? is all about knowing what your options are in the environmental world--for example, property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs, which make it economically feasible for homeowners to use solar panels, geothermal heating systems, and even wind power.
These are some of the best ways to make your everyday life more green. What other strategies do you think would work?