Everyone’s heard of life in the fast lane, but have you ever considered living life in the green lane? Okay, I just made the term “green lane” up, but I have a perfectly good explanation for it. Life in the green lane simply refers to a green lifestyle that involves including eco-friendly practices in your day-to-day life.
Contrary to popular belief, going green is not as hard as it appears at times. It doesn’t involve tremendous lifestyle changes and is pretty easy to inculcate once you’ve made up your mind. All it requires is a little more thought into what you eat, how you go to work, where you save your money, and other such everyday decisions that most of us probably make on an autopilot mode.With a little effort, you can make your lifestyle greener, reduce your carbon footprint and do your bit to save the planet. Here’s a little help to get you started:
Eat Green: Don’t you just love munching into those crunchy Honey Crisp apples from New Zealand or biting the juicy Alphonso mango from India? Unfortunately, these exotic fruits will increase your carbon footprint by a mile. Even foods made in the United States at times travel thousands of miles to reach your local grocery store.
It’s simple, the more time elapses between the food leaving the farm and getting to your table, the greater will be its nutrient loss. That’s why experts recommend ditching exotic and going local as far as food is concerned. Local food also looks and tastes better not to mention that it benefits the local eco-system and economy. So, next time you need fruits and veggies, make a stop at your local farmer’s market.
It’s also best to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season otherwise you’re likely going home with artificially ripened foods. Try looking for the “100 percent organic” tag when buying meat, poultry, eggs and dairy because that means the products are from animals that are fed organic feed and not administered any antibiotics. What this also means is that the animals were allowed to graze themselves in the outdoors rather than being fed inside sheds. The same goes for vegetables and fruit. Buying organic fruits and vegetables ensures that no harmful chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers were used to grow the crop.
Live Green: Living green encompasses a whole range of eco-friendly practices from recycling to planting trees. The idea is not to make choices that are hard to sustain, but to follow certain environment-friendly practices that are simple enough to become a way of life for you.
You can start by doing simple things like turning off the lights when you leave the room and not keeping the water running while brushing your teeth or shaving. It may sound too simplistic, silly even, but you’ll be surprised at how much you’re contributing to the environment by doing these small thoughtful things.
Recycling is perhaps one of the most important aspects of a green lifestyle. However, there’s more to recycling than separating your bio degradable and non-bio degradable trash although that’s a positive start for sure.
Recycling is a commitment to keep waste out of landfills and incinerators that are known to emit harmful pollutants into the environment. It is also a commitment to buy recycled products that consume much less energy in manufacturing.
Earn Green: Not only is green living good for the environment, but it also helps save money. Using energy efficient electronics and light bulbs help cut down electric costs and so does unplugging (not just powering off) your gadgets and appliances when not in use.
Using carpool or alternative modes of transport like biking or public transit helps save fuel. Even if you have to use your car, there are certain driving practices that you can follow to save fuel such as driving within speed limit; maintaining constant speed while driving; and avoiding rush hours. Every dollar you save on fuel is a dollar earned.
Say you’ve got an old radio that you don’t need anymore because you listen to all your music on your phone or an old desktop that looks like it belongs to the pre-historic era now that you’ve got the trusty laptop and a shiny new tablet for all your browsing and other needs. Instead of just letting them lie around the house and gather dust, you can sell them for scrap and earn a precious sum of money.
Recycling companies like SIMS Metal Management buy such “end of life” waste items from households as well as corporations and sells the recycled feedstock to manufacturers who use these for making their products. SIMS is one of the largest metal recycling facilities in the country. Their centers cover the breadth and length of the country—from Pascagoula, Mississippi to Chicago, Illinois and from Providence, Rhode Island to San Jose, California. You’re bound to find a center near you.You’re not only earning money for what you thought was waste, but also helping the recycle industry by providing them with scrap.
So now that you get the hang of how easy and convenient it is to live life in the green lane, when are you starting? I’ll bet anything you can’t wait!
Anne Staley is an environmentalist who likes to express her thoughts and beliefs through the written word. Her motto in life is to better the lives of others through the knowledge she shares. She loves nature and urges her readers to go green. She shares her thoughts through creative writing and blogs.