Green This, Not That

Not-So-Obviously Green Habits

Going green has been on the minds of many people, especially in light of so many reports about the human impact on climate change and drain on earthly resources. Many resources, such as apps, websites, and books, have become available for learning about sustainable options.

Most “going green” advice is simple tips that most people can work into their daily lives. Most people think of recycling, composting, hybrid cars, and biking as the most viable options for a more green-friendly life.

However there are other options that many people don’t consider, when making plans to be more eco-friendly.

Here are a few alternative eco-friendly options for anyone who wants to be more “green.”

Electronic Cigarettes

There was a book that came out a couple of years ago called “Eat This, Not That”.  Basically the idea was that eating a cheeseburger was healthier than eating a Big Mac.  It’s a compromise of an idea.  While you shouldn’t eat fast food at all, here is one compromise idea that is probably “less” bad.

Most people wouldn’t think of the word cigarette when they are considering green living options.

However, e-cigarettes, created in 2003, are actually green devices. Cigarettes are one of the leading causes of ozone depletion, due to the chemical found in tobacco smoke. Although many countries are using legislation to ban cigarettes in some public spaces, smoking is still a prevalent concern.

For smokers, who want to have a “less bad” impact on the environment, the electronic cigarette offers a way to avoid releasing as many chemicals into the air.  However, we are diametrically opposed to smoking, and think you should quit.

If you think you can’t, you should know that you can stop smoking.  But until you figure that out, e-cigarettes are healthier, compared to regular cigarettes.  However, hey are not financially healthy, or 100% environmentally friendly, as you’re still producing waste for no reason other than vanity, and a little nicotine rush.  The e-cigarette is meant to imitate the affects of smoking, which means you’re sucking in nicotine.

Dependency on something you don’t need is never a good idea.

Rain Barrels

In contrast with smoking, water is essential to living. Water can be the cause of a lot of energy usage, but most eco-friendly households concentrate on the heating of water, instead of the excessive usage. Most people use more water than necessary while showering, brushing teeth, and washing dishes. For the average person, it would be a monumental task to save and process the water from these activities.  One alternative is to use a water system to save water for future usage. Rain barrels are large, plastic barrels that are attached to your home’s gutter system – this works best if you live in a house you own as opposed to an apartment or home you rent.  A hose attachment can be placed on the barrel, and the water within can be used for gardening and/or watering your lawn.  Rain barrels are designed (if designed well) to prevent mold and algae from growing inside.

Homemade Cleaner
Although it’s easy to forget, regular household cleaners are almost always detrimental to the environment. The vapors contribute to chemicals in the atmosphere, and bleach/chlorine from cleaners is washed into public water systems. Although counters are technically clean, individuals tend to accidentally ingest harmful chemicals from contact with vapor or by touching their hands to their face.

It’s easy to make all-purpose cleaners that use no harmful ingredients. One recipe is one part vinegar to five parts water and a tablespoon of castile soap.  This recipe cuts grease and isn’t harmful to you or pets.

(Search online for other cleaning options for different surfaces.)

Being green doesn’t have to mean giving up on luxuries, but it does mean that you will pay greater attention to the impact of your daily activities. By merely changing one environmentally harmful behavior, you are making a difference, even if that difference seems small when you change the action.

Taylor Laurents is a freelance writer who has recently gotten on a “going green” kick, ever since she opted to buy a Toyota Prius because of gas prices. She hails from lovely Lincoln, NE.

One Comment

  1. Drexel

    Let us help chose the contrast and that motivates other people; all hats up for all the women and men behind this projects …

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