going green

Looking to Be More Biofriendly? Going Green Just Makes Sense.

Going green just makes sense

Photo by Anastasia Gubinskaya via iStock by Getty Images

While some people are all about living biofriendly and “going green”, others seem to protest having to make any changes in the daily or weekly routine to which they’ve become accustomed. The funny thing is, going green just makes sense. It doesn’t have to be a political issue, or an issue of whether you believe in climate change or not, it’s simply a smart move to make. Really think about it and you’ll see what I mean.

Being Resourceful, and Green, Is Not New

Being resourceful and green is not a new concept. Most of us grew up having been told to not waste in one form of another. Whether we were told to not waste food, energy, materials, supplies or any other items, we just knew we shouldn’t be wasteful. I mean, why buy something if you’re not going to use it? Why leave the light on if nobody is in the room? Should you really take the car when you can actually walk or bike your bike? Why throw out a perfectly good piece of clothing when you can repurpose it into something else or donate it to someone else who can make use of it? All valid questions. Being resourceful, not wasteful, is something that’s been done for generations. Your grandparents knew how to do it, and this was long before green was more than just a color.

It seems like these days the mindset of people, as it pertains to being resourceful and green, has changed…not necessarily in a positive way. It’s as if people are more concerned about convenience than anything else. Of course this statement doesn’t hold true for everyone, but take a look at your life. Are there items you buy as single- or one-use when you used to by reusable? Are there times when you’d prefer to choose convenience over taking a few extra steps to opt for a more eco-friendly alternative. I bet there are at least a few.

Convenience Isn’t Always What It’s Made Out to Be

Don’t feel bad, though. Society, as a whole, has been sucked into a life of “convenience”. Plastic, single-use dishware make it so you “don’t have to worry” about cleanup after a party or meal. Cell phones allow you to reach anyone at any time regardless of where they are or what they’re doing. Coffee pods allow a person to make a single cup of coffee without the “hassle” of grinding and brewing their own beans. Pre-prepared meals can be purchased not only from fast-food restaurants while you’re on the go, but you can also buy in these types of meals in the store so you don’t have to worry about any of the pesky preparation needed to make a meal at home.

Many of these products have been made or involve the use of plastic or other inexpensive materials to make them more affordable, and thus more desirable to you. The problem is, what happens to all of these products once you’re done using them? Can they be recycled, composted, repurposed? Or, do the convenient products you buy simply make their way to a landfill start the long, long decomposition process.

Even cars are a convenience allowing us to go faster and travel farther distances than walking or biking has traditionally done. Plus, you can get to your destination faster, not have to worry about crowded buses or trains, pull up almost to the front door of your destination, etc. Convenient, right? Well, not so fast. Cars have taken over many cities, so much so to the point where traffic (and harmful emissions) are now a different problem we have to deal with on a daily basis. Carpooling, ride-sharing, public transportation, electric vehicles and other more biofriendly options are the way to go.

I encourage you to keep this in mind when making purchases…convenience isn’t always what it’s made out to be.

Frugal Isn’t a Bad Word

Now my next statement may hit a nerve with some people, but it has to be said. Many people with money don’t seem to have their attention focused on curbing their wastefulness, at least not as much as those without money. Admit it. It’s true. There are a lot of people who simply can’t afford to be wasteful. They need the money they have and they must be frugal if they want to get by.

You know frugal isn’t a bad word, though, right? It’s actually a very smart quality and one we all could benefit from adopting.

Back in Great Depression and World War II, frugal living was a way of life. Yes, frugal living may have been born out of necessity in those days. However, with the condition of the world today, it’s high time we put some frugal thinking and resourcefulness to good use.

Ask yourself if you really need a particular item BEFORE you make a purchase. You might find you don’t really need the item at all. If you do need it, ask yourself whether you have something already in your possession you could repurpose or reuse instead? Is the item something you can obtain from a thrift or second-hand store?

This concept can be applied to any aspect of your life. Being frugal can help you save money, conserve resources and allow you live a greener life.

Photo by Daisy-Daisy via iStock by Getty Images

Steps You Can Take to Go Green

As I’ve said, regardless of your political or personal beliefs about climate change, going green just makes sense. It’s beneficial for both you and the planet. While there are many actions you can take on a daily basis to go green, here are a few steps you can take without even having to exert much effort or make a lot of changes. In addition, each of these are things you can do yourself, which makes them ideal for this month’s Biofriendly DIY.

Ditch Single- or One-Use Products

While single- or one-use plastic products may seem convenient at times, this is far from the truth. Disposable products are not eco-friendly, nor are they good for the environment. A more biofriendly option would be to invest in reusable products you can use for years on end.

Buy Second-Hand, Not New

Constantly buying new clothes, or switching your style along with the seasons, can be quite costly. It’s not really a green way to live either. A more frugal option would be to buy second-hand. There are numerous environmental and personal advantages of being thrifty.

Grow Your Own

One way to ensure you are eating healthy and avoiding pesticides in your food is by growing your own. Whether you live in a house or an apartment, you can still grow your own fruits, vegetables and herbs. If you’re smart about it, you can even regrow veggies and herbs from scraps.

Compost to Help Reduce Food Waste

Those food scraps you can’t use should be added to your compost bin. If you don’t have one, there’s no time like the present to start. A compost bin (or pile) can help provide nutrients for your garden and reduce overall waste. Some places, like California, are even implementing composting laws to help residents get the hang of it.

Get Creative with Homemade Meals

Do what you can to avoid prepackaged, processed foods and fast foods. Instead, take some time to get creative with homemade meals. Making meals at home is a money-saving move everyone can make. If you need some creative ideas, I suggest you head over to Instagram or just do a Google search for some of your favorite foods. One of my favorites, Jerry James Stone, has some great recipes (and food storage tips) you’re bound to love.

Conserve Water

Water conservation is one of the simplest actions you can take to go green. Turn off your faucet when brushing teeth or soaping up in the shower. Only do full loads of dishes or laundry. Limit shower time. Use grey water in your garden and for your indoor plants.

Save Energy and/or Opt for Renewable

Energy conservation is another action of which anyone can partake. You can do simple steps like turning off the lights when you leave a room, use a programmable thermostat, take advantage of natural lighting and more. Learning to unplug more often is another tip you can use to save energy.

For those who are able to do so, I recommend you opt for renewable energy. Whether it’s solar for the entire house, a solar water heater, wind energy or something else, renewable energy is an eco-friendly investment.

Buy and Use Less

This one is a no-brainer. If you want to live a greener, more biofriendly life, you’re going to need to buy and use less. Not only will buying less saving you money, but living frugally is better for the environment too.

Switch to More Eco-Friendly Forms of Transportation

People have become so independent on their vehicles in recent years, many don’t even consider more sustainable transportation. In fact, there are many more eco-friendly ways to get to and from work, as well as around town. You can walk, ride your bike, take public transportation or even ride-share with your co-workers and friends.

Living a Green Life Is Worth the Investment

I hope you’ll invest in living a more biofriendly and green life, especially since going green just makes sense. Just remember, when I say this, I don’t mean monetarily, I mean investing your time and effort. Take a moment to review your choices before you make them and consider the impact your choice could have, not only on your wallet, but on the environment around you. If you’re diligent and consistent, you’ll find living a green life is well worth the investment.

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