Green Your Lifestyle

Sustainable living writer Keith BlizzardGreen Blizzard is always looking into new ways to green your lifestyle and reduce your carbon footprint.  Our staff is suggesting these five ways to green your lifestyle in March.

Each involves a little pinching and stretching across the major carbon producing aspects of your life – heating, diet, car mileage, entertainment, and travel.

Green Your St Patrick’s Day Celebration

St Patrick’s Day is a great excuse to be festive with your friends but why enlarge your carbon footprint in the process? Drink green beer. With all the local brew pubs around town these days, try to drink locally sourced brews and spirits and plenty of tap water before you hit the sack. It’s too bad that next day headache medicines are not locally produced too.

Go Meatless One Day A Week

That’s right, once a week opt for three meatless meals in a day. Mondays seem to work best for many folks because it allows you to spend some time on Sunday preparing vegetables for Monday’s nutrition. Johns Hopkins health even has a resourceful site, Meatless Mondays. Meat is unquestionably the single largest contributor to your carbon footprint from your diet. According to a UN study, 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse emissions come from the livestock industry.

Shave Off 100 Miles

That’s only 25 miles/week, basically, one dedicated errand per week or one day commuting to work. Combine errands or even carpool to work. Consider carpooling to the local ski resort or a few Girl Scout meetings once or twice and you’re there.

The average car MPG car in the U.S. is 17 mpg and the Ford F100 is the largest selling car in the America. Eliminating 100 miles, that’s 6 gallons of gas ($20 saved in gas) plus you average operating cost of $0.50 per mile.  Bottom line – less money falling out of your pockets. A gallon of gas puts 19 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere that will take decades years to disintegrate and be absorbed by that atmosphere.  If you do none of the other suggestions, try to fulfill this personal goal.

Avoid Bottled Water and Sodas Just go cold turkey for the month and don’t buy any packaged soda and water. It takes a lot of energy to transport, chill it, and haul away the discards.

Turn Down Your Thermostat Setting One Degree No one will notice. Neither will you after a day or so. The key is to gradually phase it back from the heat box 72 degree settings many Americans have become accustomed. Over a period of time, in one degree increments you’ll be comfortable at 65 degrees and you will consume considerable less fuel (30-40%) less that when you had it blasting at 72 degrees.

And ONE Bonus Idea

Take A Walk Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, although its winter in North America, turn off all your lights, electronic entertainment, dial back the heat, and get outside for a few hours. Take a walk or hike, or just sit and ponder, whatever it takes just to unplug your lifestyle from fossil fuel dependency.


About the author

Keith Blizzard

A life-long environmentalist, Keith set out on the never ending journey of adjusting his lifestyle to a more sustainable one, with a goal of annually shrinking his carbon footprint. When he looked around for a dependable source of meaningful carbon footprint reduction ideas, it was pretty lame - so he launched Green Blizzard loaded with eco-friendly lifestyle tweaks. When he's not managing Green Blizzard, you'll find him on the trails around Mid Coast Maine with his trusty trail companion mutt, Moose.