To go green means to consciously eliminate habits that cause harm to the environment and to adjust your behavior and lifestyle to have less of an impact on the earth.
It is difficult to exactly pinpoint what going green is, as everyone has a different standard, but the EPA has set list of the Twelve Principals of Green Chemistry. The principals include preventing waste, using fewer chemicals, and increasing energy efficiency.
One would think that going green can be costly, but the opposite is true. While there may be a little upfront expenditure involved, in the end, going green can save you a good bit of money in the end.
Upfront costs of going green:
Green cars, like the 2008 Toyota Prius or the 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid, can be very expensive. Until the cost of gasoline went through the roof, these cars were more of a good idea than a necessity. If you are thinking about trading in your gas-guzzler for a hybrid, you may want to wait until your current car is on its last leg.
Compact Florescent light bulbs cost ten times what a regular light bulb costs. To change all of the light bulbs in a typical home can cost upwards of $100.00.
Rain barrels to conserve water cost at least $150.00 each, but you can build your own for under $10.
Savings from going green:
Even with the shockingly high costs of these items, they can still save you quite a bit of money.
Your hybrid car will cut your gasoline bill by more than 50%. Treehugger.com claims that you will save a lot more than gasoline money.
Compact fluorescents may have a higher upfront cost, but you only need to purchase one compact florescent for every 10 regular light bulbs. This automatically levels the playing ground. In addition to that, you will save $30.00 more on electricity cost for each compact florescent you buy. Before you make the switch, check out this CFL buying guide.
Using a rain barrel can dramatically lower your water bill. You can use the collected water for gardening, washing cars, and other outside jobs you would normally use the hose for. If you live in the country, you may even want to use it for an invigorating outdoor bath. (If you really want to go hardcore, you can use your home’s greywater to automatically flush your toilets!)
These are just a few of the things you can do to go green while saving money.
Worldwatch Institute also has a list of 10 Ways to Go Green and Save Green. These ideas suggest you conserve energy, water, and gasoline. It also suggests you change your diet to eat less meat and avoid bottles and other plastic containers. As for consumables such as clothing and electronics, the institute suggests you think twice before you buy and think again before you throw items away.
Going green is cool. That same person that may have ridiculed you as a tree hugger just ten years ago is very likely hanging on the tree next to yours. According to the Advocate, an online newspaper, Green is the new black. "Public awareness of global warming is at an all-time high and it seems these days everyone is ‘going green’, from schools to businesses to the fashion industry."