A look at a newspaper these days paints a grim picture for America. A struggling economy has many people concerned about the long term future of our society. Thankfully, there is one good thing getting a lot of press recently – the growing emphasis on living “green.”
Things have changed from the old days where only a select few individuals voiced their opinions about the way we treat our planet. Living eco-consciously is the “in” thing to do today and many people are starting to live greener simply due to peer and societal pressures. Whatever their motivation, it is a good thing that we’re all more and more concerned about adopting a greener lifestyle.
Companies are responding to the growing focus on the environment by offering more and more eco-friendly products, which makes it easier than ever for every single person to do something, anything, to help preserve our planet. You no longer have to drastically change your way of life to be a “tree-hugger.”
Given that many people are not willing to sacrifice convenience for the environment, you should rest assured that there are some simple things that we can all do that will have little to no impact on your daily life.
First, you can start beginning to use reusable bags for all your shopping. If we all did this, we can eliminate the huge problem that plastic and paper bags present. Beyond polluting during their production and transport to stores, paper and plastic bags also contribute to destroying ecosystems once they have been tossed out. For example, many plastic bags end up in oceans where they kill sea life. In fact, if we all used reusable bags instead of paper or plastic we could eliminate the need for over 500 billion plastic bags and 14 million trees worth of paper bags.
Second, begin replacing your incandescent light bulbs with CFLs when they burn out. You’ll not only save money on your electric bills, but you’ll help save the environment as well. It is estimated that if each house in the US were to replace 3 light bulbs with CFLs, we could save enough energy and pollution to equal what would happen if we took 3.5 million cars off the road.
Finally, start paying attention to how much driving you do and take steps to eliminate it. Walk or bike when it’s convenient or begin a carpool with other co-workers. Closer to home, you can start a neighborhood group where one adult walks or drives all the neighborhood kids to school every day instead of each family driving their own kid. Not only can you cut down on pollution, but you’ll also develop a closer community around your home, which will improve your quality of life.