Living Green means more than buying green. Living green means to reduce your consumption and to recycle what you already have.
What does it mean to "live green"?
The broad definition of green living is any action or activity that results in a positive impact, to any degree, on the environment so that the planet can continue to support future generations. This includes minimizing or eliminating toxins (poisons) from our external environment as well as reducing and eliminating destructive habits in our own personal environments - the internal environment of our bodies and our home, work and social environments. We make decisions every day that impact our environment, but how often do these decisions preserve and improve the health of planet Earth for everyone who lives here?
What do "sustainability" and "renewable" mean?
Most likely, you've heard these terms in connection with the subject of green living. Understanding these terms is essential to gaining a good concept of the definition of green living. "Sustainability" refers to using resources in a way that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This is commonly heard in relationship to energy consumption of finite fuel sources, such as the energy needed to light your home or the energy required to drive your car. "Renewable" means that a resource can be created again. For example, trees can be cut down, but more trees can be planted and grown. Energy obtained from the sun and the wind are essentially "renewable" sources of energy because they aren't likely to run out.
How does green living impact personal health?
Our environment affects our health. Our average life span has almost doubled over the past century or so mainly because we have clean, safe drinking water. If parts of the environment, like air and water, or soil become polluted, it can lead to health problems. For example, asthma attacks can result from pollutants and other chemicals in the air and in the home.
Some environmental risks are a part of the natural world, like radon in the soil. Others are the result of human activities, like lead poisoning from paint, or exposure to asbestos or mercury from mining or industrial use.
What are some examples of "green living" activities?
There are a variety of "green" activities:
- Stopping junk mail
- Saving water at work and at home
- Driving a fuel efficient car
- Eating organically grown food
- Using glass coffee mugs instead of styrofoam
- Choosing cloth grocery bag
- Purchasing recycled paper products
- Walking instead of driving
- Turning down the thermostat in the winter and turning it up in the summer
How do I get started?
Adopting a green living philosophy simply means making choices and decisions that have the most positive effect possible for our internal and external environments. Being able to make good choices depends first upon having good information. The resources on this page will help you learn more about impacting your environments in a positive way.