Going green is easy! As the Chief Sustainability Officer at Masters Touch in Holliston, MA, I am always looking for ways to “green” the office, our job sites, and my home. There is something intangible about “going green” and helping the environment that simply makes me feel good inside. Plus, going green is not only good for the environment–it is also often good for our wellbeing and our wallets! It is easier than you think! Here are four quick and easy tips to start going green in your life:
1: Switch Out Your Lightbulbs:
Replacing standard incandescent light bulbs with higher efficiency light bulbs like LEDs (light emitting diodes) or compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) is one of the fastest and easiest ways to save energy. The difference between these light bulbs and the incandescent lights of days gone by is that they do not get hot, meaning their energy is converted to light and not wasted on heat. Added benefit: they save money on your electricity bill by using less wattage, and they burn ten times longer than traditional bulbs!
Many people do not realize that items that are plugged in but off or not in use still draw power, costing you money. One common example of this is keeping cell phone chargers plugged in to the wall. That plugged in charger still draws electricity even though it is not attached to your phone or tablet. In a sense, by doing that, you are simply throwing money away. Of course, simply unplugging is a simple way to rectify this, but another option is to put all chargers on a power strip. When you are done, just switch the power strip off instead of unplugging everything!
3. Go to Farmers’ Markets
We often forget (myself included) when we visit the colorful produce aisle in the grocery store that the fruits and veggies don’t just magically appear on the shelves. The produce (and other grocery goods) is often shipped from various parts of the country, and even the world. This is an often forgotten contributor to pollution, as the traveling (often by trucks) used to get the produce from one location to another burns fossil fuels and results in carbon emission. When you buy local, you know exactly where your food comes from—and know that it didn’t get trucked in to town from 2000 miles away. It’s that time of year–click here to find local farmers’ markets near you.
4. Think “Reusable”:
Next time you are asked if you prefer “paper or plastic?”, answer “neither!”. Get in to the habit of bringing reusable bags on your shopping trips. This is a super simple way to reduce your paper and plastic use. Reusable bags are not just for the supermarket either. Keep them on hand for trips to Target, the mall—anywhere! Added bonuses—reusable bags are stronger than plastic, more attractive than paper, and get the message across about going green to others without saying a word! On the same idea, think about reusable water bottles instead of plastic bottles. The switch will reduce plastic waste but also, more noticeably, save you money!
Thus, going green is much more simple and affordable than many people assume. I implore you to introduce these basic guidelines in your own lives. If you have any questions on anything about sustainability or going green, feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below!