Green Blizzard is always identifying new ways, new approaches, new thinking about how to green your lifestyle and reduce your carbon footprint. Our staff is always conjuring a few meaningful, relatively easy ways to green your lifestyle every month.
Now that its the New Year, here are a few positive suggested changes to your lifestyle and your consumption habits to help realize an every shrinking carbon footprint – less CO2 in your carbon footprint is better for everyone.
Each sugggestion involves a little pinching and stretching across the major carbon producing aspects of your life: diet, transportation, and entertainment.
Drink More Tap Water And Less Packaged Beverages The green factor of bottled beverages pales in comparison to the simplicity of tap water. Consider all the embodied energy consumed making the packaging, refining the sugar and artificial flavors, mixing in the heavy water, bottling and smartly labeling it, then transporting long distances and keeping it chilled either in the dispensing machine, at the supermarket, or in your refrigerator. The energy involved filtering water and pumping it to your faucet is minuscule in comparison. Bring it with you whenever you go in a personal reusable container.
Eat Less Meat, Especially Red Meat Meat production consumes an inordinate amount of energy; feeding, ranching, transporting, butchering, distributing and freezing. Surprising, the worst offensive culprit in hurting the environment is that cattle belch and excrete incredible amounts of greenhouse gasses, mostly methane, which is much more powerful at capturing heat than CO2.
Walk About German citizens have one of the lowest per capita footprints in the world because they spend their leisure time on carbon neutral activities. Hiking is a national pastime. The more you are walking, the less you’re burning fossil fuels. (assuming that you don’t drive your Suburban 500 miles to the trailhead) You don’t necessarily have to take a High Sierra hike, just a walk-about around your neighborhood, nearby park, or town. Walk over to a friend’s place or walk off a few errands. Be sure to turn off all lights, dial down the thermostat a bit and unplug any unused chargers to minimize phantom electricity before heading out on your next great adventure.
Change Out The Light Bulbs In One Room Pick one room in your home that’s used frequently and change out all the bulbs to new LED bulbs. If you have incandescent bulbs still in any sockets, promptly toss those in the trash can – they are energy wasters and best thrown away – no exaggeration. Even replace any CFLs in the room with LEDs and transfer the CFLs to other rooms that still employ those nasty incandescents.
Start Planning Your Summer Garden It can be as modest as a few planters filled with herbs or cherry tomato plants. Germinating a 99 cent packet of seeds and seeing tall healthy plants later in the summer is undoubtedly rewarding. This is just another small way to reduce fossil fuels consumed associated with getting whatever you would have purchased, but instead, you’re now growing a few steps from your table. Order your seeds in January or February and get them underway in a wintery southern window by March. When you see the seeds in stores in late May, its way to late – you’re simply making a cash donation to the store and seed companies at that point.
Clean With Vinegar As a society we have become dependent on industrial cleaners and now organic cleaners. Vinegar, which is naturally full of powerful cleaning ammonia, can probably take care of any cleaning challenge. It’s natural and inexpensive, give it a try and leave all those sweet smelling cleaners on the grocery shelves, save money, eliminate the chore of recycling all those fanciful looking empty containers.