What Does It Mean to Go Green?

What Does it Mean to “Go Green”?
Easy being green at home

Be green at home and at work

Going green – it’s a phrase that’s becoming more and more common as people start to realize the enormity of the environmental challenges we all face. Everybody knows the earth is in trouble: every day we see new stories about global warming, acid rain, oil spills, deforestation, or nuclear waste. But what can you actually do to help? Can going green really make a difference? Here at Greenhome.com we think the answer is yes, and we want to help you understand  what it means to be green and the impact your eco-friendly choices can have. When you follow these simple ideas for green living, the small changes we all make every day can add up to make a big difference.

Reduce Your Impact on the Environment

Whether you’re thinking about it or not, you have an impact on the environment every day with every choice you make. When you get in your car, buy a coffee, or wash your clothes you’re using the earth’s resources, often in ways that are damaging and irreversible. Oil, water, wood, metal – all these materials have to be taken from the environment and processed in order to support the way we live. This process frequently leads to the destruction and pollution of forests, waterways, and other natural systems. This is often referred to as an environmental footprint: it’s the mark you leave behind on the environment, and you want yours to be as small as possible. That’s why one of the most important aspects of going green is also the simplest: use less stuff. Taking shorter showers, being conservative with the thermostat, and swapping your car for a bike are all easy ways to reduce the amount of resources you use.

In addition to using less, you can shrink your environmental footprint by choosing reusable and recyclable products. Every time you fill up a reusable water bottle or throw your junk mail in the recycling bin you’re keeping resources out of the garbage and out of landfills. And it actually takes less energy to manufacture good from recycled materials than from scratch, so recycling also helps reduce energy consumption. Americans throw away over 250 million tons of trash a year – just imagine all the resources we could save if all that waste could be reused or composted instead of tossed in landfills. And as an added bonus, when you support businesses that produce green products, you’re encouraging more companies to make going green a priority.

Stay Local

Another important part of going green is to shop locally, especially when it comes to food. We’re all so used to being able to run by the grocery store for anything we need that we don’t stop to think about where that food comes from. But industrial farming is actually extremely damaging to the environment – it pollutes surrounding areas with toxic chemicals and uses vast amounts of resources, not just for producing food but also to get those foods from the farm to your table. When you shop at farmers’ markets and grocery stores that carry local, organic fruits, vegetables, and meat you’re helping the environment and ensuring you get nutritious, healthy meals. And the importance of thinking locally doesn’t just apply to food either. When you buy locally-made green products like furniture or toys you’re putting money back into your community and helping homegrown companies with environmentally friendly practices.

Going green also means thinking not just about global issues but also about local environmental problems. Volunteer with parks or natural centers to ensure your community has clean, well-maintained green spaces and get involved in local efforts to start or expand recycling programs and other sustainability efforts. The best way to make an impact is to start right in your own backyard.

Live Healthy and Safe

Being green isn’t just about helping the environment – it’s also about keeping yourself healthy and happy. Our bodies put up with a lot every day, from fast food burgers to air pollution to a poor night’s sleep, and going green means doing what you can to ensure you don’t let toxins in your environment affect you. This can mean doing something as simple as using a better air filter or switching to eco-friendly cleaning products, but it can also mean making more profound changes in your life. Maybe you want to give up eating meat or move out of a crowded city; whatever you decide to do, the most important thing is to educate yourself not only about your impact on the environment but also about how your environment is affecting you.

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