holistic wellness

Green Living

A Guide To Environmental Conservation

Green living is about making a conscious effort to reduce the impact of our ecological footprint.

Going green means first making an assessment of what we consume or use in our lives, how we travel around, and what we can do to lessen the impact of our footprint on the earth.

The following basic green living guide will help you implement your commitment to living green:

1. Improve household energy efficiency.

  • Turn the lights off when you leave the room.
  • Don't leave the TV on when you're not watching it.
  • Since 80% - 90% of the energy consumed by incandescent lighting is wasted through heat, replace those light bulbs with low-energy compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). CFLs cost a little more than incandescent bulbs, but they use about a quarter as much energy and last much longer - usually around 10,000 hours.

    Note: CFLs contain a small amount of mercury and have to be disposed of properly. Check with your recycle or waste-disposal center.

  • Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, are even more energy efficient and longer-lasting (about 100,000 hours) than CFLs. They cost more than CFLs but, as they are becoming more popular, the price is also dropping.
  • Using dimmer switches and motion sensor lights is another way to reduce energy consumption.
  • Reduce vampire power up to 85% by plugging your electronic devices into something like a Power Smart Tower. Electronics that sleep on standby mode continue to pull current. This 'phantom power' can add up to 10% of your energy use for these devices.
  • Small portable solar devices can recharge your laptop, music player, cell phone, and camera.
  • Use cooking appliances such as a toaster oven or slow cooker, or do stove-top cooking to reduce turning on the energy-intensive oven.
  • Turn that furnace down a bit and wear more clothes in cold weather. On hot days, try to use natural ventilation, drawing the shades, and using a ceiling fan to cool the house down.
  • When possible, line-dry your clothes instead of using the dryer.

2. Buy the most energy efficient appliances when replacing older models. Look for those that are Energy Star rated.

3. Make your own green energy from the sun or wind. Highly efficient solar panels are being created using nano solar technology. Compact, efficient residential and industrial wind turbines are also being developed that are much smaller and produce more energy than current machines. The Green Living Revolution is creating much more efficient green technology.

About 14% of home energy use is related to heating water. Consider using a solar water heater to conserve energy and reduce your utility bill.

4. Reduce or eliminate the use of paper towels and napkins. Use cloth napkins and cut up old towels to use instead of paper towels - then wash and reuse. When you do buy paper towels and toilet paper, purchase brands that are unbleached and are made from recycled paper.

According to the Seventh Generation company, if every household in the U.S. replaced just one roll of 120 ct. virgin fiber paper towels with 100% recycled ones, we could save:

  • 933,000 trees
  • 2.4 million cubic feet of landfill space, equal to 3,700 full garbage trucks
  • 350 million gallons of water, a years supply for 2,700 families of four
  • and avoid 59,600 tons of emissions

5. Reduce junk mail and catalog mailings.

  • Go to the Direct Marketing Association website and have your name removed from unwanted mailing lists. Make sure you provide them with all the different variations of your name under which you receive junk mail.
  • You can register here to eliminate unwanted catalogs.
  • If you subscribe to a book club, magazine, or other publication, call or write to request that they not give your name to other companies.

6. Carry your own mug and water bottle. Purchase a stainless steel mug instead of using disposable styrofoam or paper cups for tea and coffee.

Bottled water waste

Carry home-filtered water in a stainless steel, tempered glass, or non BPA plastic water bottle.

Don't even buy bottled water. Besides being no safer than tap water, the environmental impact of manufacturing the plastic bottles and transporting the finished product is enormous.

More than 26 billion plastic bottles are thrown away every year.

Even if you recycle the bottles, the process of collection, breakdown, and creating new products causes more environmental pollution.

7. Use natural cleaners and other household products. Green cleaning products use environmentally safe ingredients to keep your home clean and safe from toxic chemical residues and vapors.

8. Choose to walk, ride a bike, carpool, or take public transportation to reduce or eliminate the carbon dioxide and particulate emissions created by driving a gas or diesel powered vehicle. This is especially rewarding when you travel through a beautiful or interesting area and have time to savor the experience.

9. Bring your own reusable grocery bags when you go shopping. Remember to return them to your purse, daypack, or car after you put away the groceries.

If you forget to bring them into the grocery store, it's truly worth the effort to walk back to your car to get them. Globally, it's estimated that 4 billion plastic bags end up as litter each year. Commit to the green living habit of avoiding the use of plastic bags.

10. Reduce your purchase of 'stuff'. Stuff takes a lot of energy to produce and transport, so give some thought to whether you really need the item. If so, choose goods made from greener materials, such as sustainably harvested wood, organic cotton or hemp, or repurposed and recycled materials. The Story of Stuff


11. Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Recycle is a great motto for green living. Spread the word and help with the recycling effort in your community - such as at schools, parks, and businesses.

12. Water is not a renewable resource.

Conserve water
  • Install water-saving shower filters and aerators.
  • Turn the tap off when you're brushing your teeth or soaping up in the shower.
  • Use the most efficient settings on appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines.
  • Use a low-volume toilet along with the Selective Flush. If it's yellow let it mellow; if it's brown flush it down.
  • Fix the leaks. A dripping faucet can waste 20 gallons of water a day and a leaking toilet can use 90,000 gallons of water in a month.
  • Apply green living to the garden by using native low-water plants for landscaping. Consider using an irrigation system for your vegetable garden.

13. Eat local, seasonal organic foods. We've become accustomed to eating fruits and vegetables that were previously out of season and unavailable for much of the year. The global food industry ships products thousands of miles away - at a cost to the environment.

Modern agriculture depletes the soil and adds a chemical load to the food. Organic produce, harvested locally at ripening, is much more nutritious and tasty. Support your local green living growers.

14. Purchase free-range meats, poultry, and eggs. If you choose to eat meat products, start eating less.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that beef, chicken and hog waste has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 states. Factory farms are the largest source of toxic ammonia air pollution in the U.S.

Action Steps:

  1. Begin implementing these green living suggestions into your life - at least 3 new green actions every week.
  2. Start a green living savings account for purchasing an item that will significantly lessen the effects of your environmental footprint (and save you money in the long run). This could be for solar panels, an energy efficient heating -cooling system, or a bicycle or scooter for commuting to work or doing errands.
  3. Guide and encourage someone else to join the green living revolution.

Related Pages:

Space Clearing ~ Balancing The Chi In Your Living or Work Space Environmental conditions and unexplainable phenomena can be affecting you and your living space.

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