In layman’s terms, “going green” means choosing to learn and practice a way of life that is environmentally-friendly and ecologically responsible. This big of a lifestyle change matters in light of crises like climate change, poor waste management, and the depletion of our natural resources. And if your kids are already learning about these things in school, the best way to teach them eco-friendliness and stewardship is “going green” in your own household.
It may seem like a great burden, but frankly, going green may be easier and may cost less than you’d originally think. First, commit to the mindset; then, the lifestyle choices will follow.
For instance, you could pattern your household’s purchasing habits against rush or impulsive spending, and think of your purchases as long-term investments. You could buy less, and repair more; you could seek a healthier and more sustainable alternative to things you already use around the household.
Here are some more practical tips that you and your household members can adapt if you plan to start going green!
- Start a waste segregation system. Teach your kids how to properly dispose of their trash by segregating the house’s waste into biodegradable, non-biodegradable, and residual waste. You can lay out properly labeled trash bins in the house’s kitchen, restrooms, and living rooms.
- Make a compost bin. Demonstrate how biodegradable waste can become useful by sorting fruit peels, coffee grounds, vegetable stems, and the like can be made into compost for your plants.
- Invest in smarter devices. It’s a great time to explore the market for devices that can fulfill your needs while requiring less energy. Some examples are smart chargers or wireless charging docks.
- Repair electronics instead of throwing them out. It’s easy to fall into the trap of throwing things out when they break and buying something shiny and new. However, that contributes to landfill waste and often costs you a lot more. Instead look for specialty electronic repair shops that offer everything from vacuum service to drone repair.
- Collect and donate e-waste. Along that line, if your household members have started to accumulate forms of e-waste like broken mobile devices, cords, wires, batteries, and ink cartridges, contact a facility that helps safely recycle it. As an added bonus, buy the recycled and remanufactured versions of products for a lot less. For example, that ink cartridge you recycled will come back to consumers as a remanufactured ink cartridge which can cost up to 75% less than brand new!
- Cut single-use plastic. Do away with as much single-use plastic as you can. Encourage your household members to get drinks to go in portable tumblers, to use metal or paper straws, or to bring around their own sets of washable utensils when they eat out in lieu of using plastic utensils.
- Reuse jars and containers. It’s likely that you’ve accumulated enough jars and ice cream containers in your house to cut costs on buying new storage ware. Clean out the jars in your fridge or pantry, peel off the labels, and re-label for use with other items.
- Carry around tote bags for groceries. When you head over to the grocery, it’s also a good idea to bring around a light tote bag. That means that you can carry your items home and help your neighborhood store cut down on plastic and paper bags.
In short, there are myriad benefits to helping your household go green: smaller eco-footprints as individuals and as a group, reduction of unnecessary costs, and—perhaps most importantly—a better precedent for our partners and children. We have only one world, and one life to live. Let’s do our best to make a positive difference!
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