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Going green doesn’t simply refer to neutralizing your carbon footprint and combating global warming.
Those are merely factors, albeit big ones, in living a greener life.
There are a lot of things you can do that are free (and/or can actually save you money), help others, and contribute to saving and enjoying our environment.
Here are 3 simple ideas that accomplish all of those goals.
#1: Recycle your grocery bags, if nothing else.
Recycling your grocery bags can be big, utilizing re-usable cloth grocery bags is even bigger! Bill Avant, Tennessee State Park’s GIS Director says, “About 40 billion grocery bags are used each year in the United States: 30 billion are plastic, 10 billion are paper.” He goes on to say that in 1999, 14 million trees were felled to produce those 10 billion paper bags. Plastic bags are made from high-density polyethylene which is a petroleum product. Petroleum, if you didn’t know, is a non-renewable resource. You might as well be rolling your fruit and veggies in oil, for that matter. In addition, no recycled materials are used in the production of plastic bags.
#2: Buy organic, locally produced food.
Buying organic and naturally grown products not only taste better, but they cost less to purchase and to produce while also helping small-scale agriculture. Around 25% of the fossil fuel used on farms goes to the production of fertilizers. Buy from local growers and you also cut down on the amount of diesel fuel used to ship that produce as well. Stop by your local neighborhood market and see if they carry locally grown and organic produce. If you live here in Nashville, TN, check out the Farmer’s Market in the Bicentennial Mall.
#3: Attract birds with a birdhouse to avoid pesticides.
Avoid harmful and pollutant pesticides and pick up a bird house (or if you’re a DIY’er like me, build one yourself). Doing so will utilize nature’s natural pesticide… birds. See, now you can sit outside in the evenings with some iced tee or other beverage of choice and enjoy that garden you’ve always wanted, complete with song birds.
Can you think of some other free ways to live a greener and more sustainable life?
I think every little step toward living green is an awesome one… but eco-snobbery sucks! My goal is to help newbies learn the most important steps toward living green — individually and collectively. Personally, I strive to have as little impact as possible on Planet Earth while I'm here.