Simple Ways to Go Green
A lot of the time, people associate “going green” with spending more money than they have to in order to have less harmful effects on the environment. This can be the case. However, there are free or cheap things you can do every single day that are considered going green. In school, work, or at home, there are ways everyone can help make our world a little greener.
Turn it off!
Your water, your lights, your heat – all should be turned off when you aren’t using them. There is no need for excessively long showers, blasting the heat, or leaving lights on all day. Even when things aren’t “on” but still plugged in, they waste energy. According to the US Department of Energy, 75% of the electricity used to power home appliances is consumed even when they are turned off. So totally unplugging is one simple and free way you can go green.
Recycling is another easy way to help the planet in a not so costly way. Make a separate bin, one for trash and one for recycling, easy as that! It helps to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators and helps create jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries (https://www.epa.gov/recycle/recycling-basics). Encourage your peers to start recycling at home and in school to make your impact even greater.
For those warmer days, try taking public transportation or walking, instead of driving. These are great ways to get some fresh air and a little exercise in. Public transit such as subways and metros produce on average 76% lower greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile than an average single-occupancy vehicle. You could also consider joining or starting a carpool! Carpools are a fun way to limit the amount of cars needed, and you get to enjoy some company while getting to your destination.
Limit your water usage!
Water is something we use every day, whether to cook, clean, or shower. By being more conscious about how much water we use, it can make a big difference. I’m sure we’ve all heard this before but two major ways to save water – shut off your water while brushing your teeth, and take shorter showers. For those two minutes or so while you brush, the water doesn’t have to be left on. Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can save 8 gallons of water per day. Assuming you brush your teeth twice daily and shave 5 times per week, you could save nearly 5,700 gallons per year, so even cutting down by a few minutes can save gallons in the long run.
Going green is easier than it seems! You can help make the world a better place today.