We live a modern life. We have become accustomed to the comfort and convenience that this modern life offers us. At the same time, many of us would like to become more green. We are concious of the fact that some of the conveniences of our lives come at a big price- to our environment. Yet we are so used to living the way that we do, that it can be hard to make changes. What do we do?
When it comes to living a greener, there are three basic avenues to get there. It is up to the individual to take a look at each of these ways, and find which they will use to lead them to their more eco-friendly lifestyle. It is important not to feel overwhelmed and do nothing at all. Small changes do add up, and while you are on your way to becoming more green, you may see improvements in other areas as well.
Here are the three avenues to a more eco-friendly lifestyle:
1- Cutting down
2- Changing habits
3- Greener innovations
Cutting down means using less, this can be done in many different ways. To really make a big difference, think of the things that we use the most that negatively affect our environment. Driving our vehicles, the heating, cooling and appliances in our homes, and so on. All of these things give us comfort or convenience in some way, cutting down on them is inconvenient, and uncomfortable, but it is necessary. The truth is we use these things more than we need to, yes, we may need our vehicles to get to work, but do we need to use them to go everywhere? Do we need to have our air conditioner on when it is only a mild summer day? If everyone would cut down on something by even 5% we could make a big difference as a whole.
Changing habits overlaps into the category of cutting down in some ways. For instance if we cut down on vehicle use, we will replace that habit with more walking, or doing things closer to home, etc. If we cut down on using the clothes dryer, we will replace that habit with hanging clothes out on the line if it is nice. But also changing our habits can be recycling instead of throwing everything in the trash, or using reusable totes instead of plastic bags at the grocery store. We could also unplug appliances when we are not using them, turn the water off when we brush our teeth, or fill buckets of rainwater to water the plants. Many of these things are not inconvenient at all, just a simple shift to a new habit.
The previous two paragraphs were things that everyone can do, they had to do with cutting down and changing habits. These two things are very important, they may inconvenience us at first, but once we get used to it, we will probably not even notice.
For those who have a little more money to invest, or who do not want to give up the convenience of their lifestyle at all, the third option is for you. Getting a more eco-friendly vehicle, means you could drive the same as you did before and still be putting less of an impact on the environment. The same goes if you get energy efficient appliances or solar panels. You can enjoy the same lifestyle and have nice new appliances that use less energy to run than your old ones.
Whichever avenue or combination of avenues you take to live a greener lifestyle, it is important to do something and stick to it. If everyone does something, we can make a meaningful difference collectively.