When a person thinks of reducing their carbon impact on the world, often the first thing that comes to mind is building an ‘off the grid’ cabin somewhere in the woods. Often this property would include an acreage for growing food and raising animals for milk and meat.
The cost, effort, and complexity of such a move is enough to keep many from making any lifestyle changes at all. However, the decision to ‘go green’ does not need to be an all or nothing approach. There are several ways even a city dweller can make choices that have a positive impact on the environment.
Choosing Greener Transportation
Although it might be nice if everyone were able to go out and purchase an electric, hybrid, or solar powered vehicle, this simply is not realistic. Such vehicles can be dauntingly expensive to those who wouldn’t otherwise choose to purchase an unused automobile.
Many people can work to reduce the impact their lives have on the environment with choices such as:
- car pooling to work, shopping, and other activities
- taking public transportation (this is especially available to city dwellers, where those living in small towns and in the country often do not have access to this service.)
- biking in warmer weather (which is not only better for the environment, but also beneficial physically to those willing to ride their bicycle to work or for running errands.)
- arranging to work from home to reduce the use of a private vehicle
- combining errands, such as doing shopping on the way home from work, or while in the area already.
Some industrious people have even found a way to convert diesel trucks to run off used food grade oil, which they are often able to get for free from local restaurants who would otherwise have thrown it out.
Taking Steps to Reduce, Re-use, or Recycle
As people are educated in the importance of making wise choices in the ways they treat the environment, more and more communities are getting the message to provide recycling facilities to their population.
Items that can be recycled often include, but are not limited to:
- juice boxes
Clothing, toys, books, and furniture that are no longer needed for one family can be passed on to another for use. Whether through purchases or donations to a thrift store, or being handed down to friends or neighbors, the re-use of such objects reduces the demand for more products being made, as well as the amount of garbage being thrown into landfills.
In the home, choices can be made to reduce the use of non-renewable resources and unhealthy emissions to the environment. These choices can be beneficial for the family budget as well as having a positive impact on the planet.
Some positive choices that take little effort include:
- turning off lights when not in use
- reducing the use of heat by wearing warmer clothes to keep warm
- turning down the air conditioner to be at a comfortable rather than cool temperature
- using low wattage appliances
- using low flush toilets, or converting an existing toilet to low flush
- hanging clothes to dry (as dryers use a lot of electricity, and are tough on clothes, this is a beneficial choice in many ways.)
Personal Steps to Green Living
With a few changes to lifestyle, most everyone can take steps to living in a more environmentally conscious way, and thereby making the world a better place for all.