You don’t have to overhaul your entire lifestyle–or live like a pioneer–to start living green. Small changes and adjustments can set you on the path to green living; each little change will get you closer to a green lifestyle. Learning how to live green can affect many different aspects of your life–from the way you clean your house to the foods you eat and the way you run errands. Commit to making a few changes today, and you’ll begin to learn how to live green.
1. Give up the paper: Cut down on the amount of paper you consume by switching to cloth napkins and towels. By eliminating paper goods in the kitchen and dining room, you’ll generate less trash, and save a few trees each year. As an added bonus, you’ll save some money as well.
2. Switch to organic: Buying organic produce, meat and dairy items is a great way to begin living green. Not only will you support an industry committed to green living, but you’ll cut some chemicals from your family’s diet as well. Organic fruits and vegetables are readily available in most supermarkets, or up your commitment to green living even further and head to your local farmer’s market instead.
3. Drive less: Group errands, carpool and consider walking to your destination if possible to cut the amount of gas you consume. Reducing the amount of time you spend behind the wheel will save you money as well, since you won’t need as much gas.
4. Clean naturally: Switch to natural cleaners in the kitchen and bath. Vinegar, baking soda and essential oils can be used on even the most stubborn spills and messes, and won’t leave behind a chemical residue.
5. Switch to cold: Use cold water for your laundry and you’ll trim your electric bill. Save the hot water for set in stains and do a hot load of laundry once a week instead of every day.
6. Compost: You don’t need to have a huge farm or big property to benefit from a compost bin. If you grow plants, then compost will allow you to reduce the amount of garbage you send to the dump, and feed your garden at the same time. Start living green by composting all of your leftover fruits and vegetables, and your yard waste as well.
7. Recycle: Start recycling your paper and plastics; most towns pick up recycled goods on a weekly basis. Commit to filling one paper and one plastic bin a week; you’ll be surprised at how many objects you can keep out of the trash once you start.
8. Thrift shop: Instead of purchasing an item new, consider hitting your local thrift shop instead. You’ll be living green and saving money when you buy second hand.
9. Freecycle: Use freecycle to give away your gently used items instead of tossing them into the landfill. Part of learning how to live green is finding creative solutions for items you are done with. Passing them on to someone else both eliminates an item from the trash and prevents a new one from being purchased.
10. Watch the weather: Consider harnessing the power of nature; from installing solar panels for electricity to using a rain barrel to collect water for your plants. Even something as simple as hanging your laundry outside on a sunny day can get you on the path to green living (and your laundry will smell fresh and clean as well).