Written by: Kat Gal
Growing up, I didn’t think much of Earth Day. It was a day that came once every year, when we would all got to go to a park to play or do some art project about the environment.
But I am grown up now. The significance of Earth Day has changed in my mind. I understand now that the Earth is not just a thing that’s outside of me. The Earth is my home – your home, our home – that I am – you are, we all are – responsible for every single day.
Going green is not simply a fun trend, but a very important lifestyle for you, for all of us and the future of our planet.
Earth Day is every day.
Here Are 8 Simple Ways To Go Green
1. Use Natural Lights
Open your blinds and curtains. Let the light come into your room and workplace. By using natural light instead of artificial lights, you are not only saving energy, but you are also doing your body a favor. Your body knows what’s natural. If you must turn on the lights in the evening or in a windowless environment, use eco-friendly lightbulbs that can reduce the energy burned up to 75%.
2. Shop Green
By shopping locally as much as possibly, you are reducing your environmental footprint. If your products haven’t traveled thousands of miles, they are more likely to be fresh. It is the best to go to your local farmer’s market if you have one. Grow your own food if you can. Use reusable bags. Buy bulk. Stay away from plastic.
3. Surround Yourself With Plants
Indoor plants can help clear the air of toxins, making your environment healthier. Plants also make you happier. By taking care of them, you will feel more connected to nature. While indoor plants are crucial, it is also necessary to connect with nature outside. If you can, grow your own garden – even a few plants on your balcony can count. If it’s not possible, go volunteer at a local farm, urban farm, or for other gardening projects.
4. Do A Digital Detox
If you are like most people in this modern world, you spend way too much time on your phone, laptop and other technology. If you can, unplug for an entire weekend, but aim to take a day off from technology each week. Get off your technology in the evening. Keep your phone far away from your bed at night, so that you won’t be checking your messages first thing in the morning. Connect with your friends, family and yourself in person, face-to-face instead. By unplugging your technology, you are also saving precious energy.
5. Try The Zero-Waste Life
Zero-waste sounds crazy, but if you google it, you will find many videos and blogs of people doing it. Start with food. Did you know that 40% of the food in the U.S. ends up in a landfill?
Challenge yourself to make zero-waste meals. Meal planning can really help you with that. Don’t buy more than you need. Freeze your overripe bananas for smoothies and banana ice-cream. Use your sad tomatoes for salsa or pasta sauce. And, dear, you can eat your broccoli stems. Eat your left-overs instead of trashing them. If you must throw food away, then compost it.
Buying in bulk will help you reduce your non-recyclable packaging. If you buy anything packaged – food, household items, etc. – look for something that you can recycle. Get creative and use things for arts and crafts before trashing them out.
6. Become A Minimalist
You don’t have to live in a tiny house or have all your belongings fitting into a 20 liter backpack to be a minimalist. Be a minimalist on your own terms. Less is more. Clean up your closet: sell or donate items you don’t wear anymore. Look around your house: sell or donate what doesn’t serve you. Start making your own natural cleansing products. Stop hoarding things and cultivate friendships and memories instead.
7. Drive Less
Instead of driving, use public transportation and car-pooling whenever it’s possible. Better yet: start biking, roller skating, or walking when you need to go somewhere. This way, you not only reduce your carbon footprint, but also get some easy and fun exercise in.
Americans throw away 30 million tons of food waste per year. That’s a lot of trash that could actually be used to nurture the earth and help you to grow more food. If you can, start composting at home and use it in your own garden. If you don’t have a garden, there are organizations that give out composting bins and collect your compost regularly. Look around for what’s available in your neighbourhood.
9. Take A Carbon Footprint Test
If you are interested in your impact on the environment, you can calculate your own carbon footprint with this handy tool. The result should help you to see the areas you can improve on and the areas you are doing well in.
Whatever your results are, don’t be embarrassed. We can all do better and it is our responsibility to continue to do better every day.
We owe it to our planet. You owe it to our planet. Go green and see how much and can positively impact your life.
How do you green your life every day? Share your tips in the comments below. We would love to learn from you.
You deserve to live a happy and healthy life and Kat is here to show you how to do that. Kat invites you to join the “Happiness Tribe: 2016, the Year of Happiness” on Facebook to create your best year yet within a supportive sisterhood. For more health and happiness tips, visit her website and check out her best-selling program, Your 21-Day Mind-Body-Soul Shake-Up. To contact her for writing assignments, check out her freelance writing website.
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