Who wouldn’t want to feel passion for a subject? Getting lost, excited and even giddy over enjoying what you are doing? It’s possible! This feeling isn’t just for the young or only about personal relationships, it can apply to activities in life. Activities or concepts that are close to your heart. Going green is a passion. Leaving something in better shape for the next generation to enjoy is important. So I would call myself a Greenager? Would you call yourself one?
Lets discuss a few best ways to go green. Some are more involved and may take more commitment and time. Others are easier and just involve a bit of set up. Keeping in mind an important part of becoming a Greenager is getting involved.
An introduction into recycling is a key point of going green. Recycling gets your mind to pay attention to what containers your products are packaged in. The set up for this idea includes totally do nothing other than walk the tin cans, newspapers and plastic out to a recycling bin. So simple. Alternatives are putting bins in the mud room that go out to the garage. Empty those as needed. A more detailed system involves bins for each item, plastic, tin, paper, etc…This will depend on how your recycling is collected. A phone call to the trash company might be in order before you decide your system.
Next, is lighting and energy reduction. We are going to break this down into two parts. Lighting is easier to fix just replace your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. You may want to remove extra lighting from a room. Reminding family to shut off lights when leaving a room also lowers your electric bill. Energy reduction requires more thought. Redusing your heat a degree or two will help with energy consumption. Feeling cold at this lower temperature? Keep an extra sweater or jacket in your living space as well as slippers. Dressing in layers will help chase away the chill. Energy conservation can call for replacing outdated heaters or air conditioners. This alone can take a huge bite out of your energy consumption. Look for energy star labels on new appliances. Call the electric company or oil company for an energy audit. You will be surprised how helpful an audit can be.
Replacement or caulking of drafty areas. Windows are notorious for springing an air leak. The caulking dries up from weather changes and boom you’ve got a draft. A caulk gun will take care of that. If you feel your windows will not improve with caulking look into replacing them. Even if you are replacing one at a time, you will be saving energy sooner than later.
Insulation plays an important part of holding in heat and cool air. Without proper attic insulation you let the heat rise up and out. It’s worth doubling up in the attic on insulation, being careful not to go to the eaves so your attic can still breathe. Having an attic fan run in the summer helps your attic stay cooler while keeping your cool air in the house. Attic fans now have the option to run on solar power.
Water consumption always goes up in the summer. We have gardens, pools, flower beds, car washing and kids running through sprinklers. How can we reduse water use without taking away fun. You can do something very easy by putting a rain barrel under a rain spout and using that water just for flower beds and gardens. If you choose to join a public pool you will lower your personal water consumption.
I want to mention a few ideas that you may not have heard about, but as a Greenager you are concerned about. We all know about buying secondhand clothes, how it helps the environment by not using new resources. What if you make the commitment to only purchase organic clothing? This way the resources you are using are being produced as efficiently and as eco aware as possible.
Eating is part of life but eating organic can help you maintain a clean inside as well as keep a clean environment outside. If you shop with a list and know what you are cooking, you can purchase organics then supplement with local produce in season. This will help keep the cost down. Co-ops are a huge help with organic cost reduction. You should be able to find a local co-op in your area online.
How about vacationing green? Vacationing in a sustainable way takes planning. There is no way around this. Finding restaurants and hotels that support environmental awareness takes time. Most people know they are going to take a vacation during the year, so start doing your homework earlier. Make phone calls and ask questions about how they promote green awareness in their establishment. What is the most efficient way for you to travel, by bus, train, car or plane? Should you go on a local vacation? Everyone has tourist attractions to visit in there own state that they never get to. Maybe now is that time.
This last suggestion is a creative one take the time to look at new green inventions that are being put out in the world. Dow has solar shingles, Nokia has green phones and current clothes washing machines use a fraction of the water they used to use. These inventions may cost a bit more but they will lead to better inventions if we all pay attention. We need to buy them, use them and give our feedback. Becoming a Greenager can be a responsibility, but I believe we all can do it!
Take these best ways to go green and define your way of going green in your own home. Start to consider yourself a Greenager, go green by example. Trust yourself and build your own path to environmental awareness in your own little piece of the world.