5 Steps to Being Green!
Are you ready to reach your sustainability goals? Not sure where to start? I have created a plan of 5 simple steps you can follow to help evaluate your current choices, determine greener options without getting overwhelmed and get you closer to reaching your goals!
Step 1: Start learning about sustainability through research.
Start your research by watching environment-based documentaries. Search online for resources and businesses with a commitment to green. Check out these links to start your research! Green America is another great place to start for businesses and products that are committed to green business practices.
Step 2: Now it’s time for a Self-Evaluation. Evaluate your current energy use and energy supplier. What is your light source? What light bulbs are you using? Are skylights an option? Do you have a programmable thermostat? Is the temperature setting too high or too low? Do your appliances and electronics need to be plugged in all the time? Any renewable energy suppliers in your area available? Is Alternative energy source an option for you such as Solar?
Evaluate your food choices. Are you eating fresh or processed foods? What type of restaurant choices are you making? Is fast food on your menu? Are you buying organic products at your grocery store? Are you buying food and snacks with high fat, salt, fructose corn syrup, GMOs, food coloring, artificial ingredients, etc?
Evaluate your personal beauty, cleaning, and garden products. Look at the ingredients in all of your products. Is it biodegradable? Do they do animal testing or contain any questionable ingredients such as sulfates, phthalates, paraben, glyphosate herbicide, etc?
Evaluate your waste. Do you have a system in place for recycling, composting, non-disposable products, bulk products, etc? Can you buy some items second hand at a thrift store or EBay?
Evaluate your water usage. Do you have any dripping sinks and toilets or leaks? Are you running the water when brushing your teeth or do any excessive garden watering or runoff. Are you filtering your drinking water or buying bottled water, etc?
Evaluate your transportation. Can you walk more or ride a bike? Have you tried public transportation and reduce your car use, etc? In the market for a new car? Consider a hybrid or electric for your purchase.
Step 3: Determine green alternatives for each category in step 2. For example, for your current energy use, can you switch to a renewable energy plan option such as wind energy through Green Mountain Energy or even have solar panels installed?
For food choices, you can start buying organic foods at your local grocery store or visit an organic grocery store like Whole Foods, local farmer’s markets with organic produce, a CSA, or better yet, plant your own organic veggies in your garden. And, if you have limited space, a wonderful space saving option could be a vertical grower like The Garden Tower.
For waste options you can replace paper towels with a stack of organic cloth wipes and rinse after each use. Keep them conveniently in a pile or container on your kitchen counter for easy access.
Step 4: Evaluate your current situation to determine your timeline for transitioning to green. Add each section one by one until a complete transition has been made. This can be done over a short period of time, such as a month, to as long as a year transition depending on a realistic evaluation of your situation. Don’t worry how long it takes just stay focused on your goal!
Step 5: Put each category in order of which you will tackle first and add a new category one by one. Don’t try to do everything at once. Set backs can happen as well, when you get too busy or the situation doesn’t permit, such as not finding a recycle bin while you are out shopping to throw your plastics away. Don’t let this discourage you as this is natural. Our society is not set up easily for sustainability. Don’t give up and keep working on your goal.
Step 6: Not really a step but an opportunity to celebrate your own green life and watch it grow!
Good luck and enjoy the process!!