Going green means much more than choosing the paperless billing option. Although that is a huge first step to making an impact, there are many ways you can go green in your daily life. Most ways to live a green lifestyle are simple to implement, cost little to no money, and can have a huge impact on natural resources and the environment.
The average person receives 69 pounds of junk mail to their home each year. According to the EPA, over 50% of junk mail is not recycled. It also takes an average of 4,000 gallons of water to produce one ton of paper, and the junk mail industry uses 10-24 billion gallons of water each year. Putting an end to junk mail will save more than trees, it will also save water, fuel, energy, and many other resources. It is simple to unsubscribe from junk mail. Contact the company via phone or email and ask to be removed from the mailing list. Until the opt-out starts working, here are some creative uses for junk mail.
- Recycle It: 50% of junk mail is not recycled, be sure to place yours in a recycle bin.
- Compost It: Most paper and ink is non-toxic, put it through the shredder for use as compost.
- Packaging Material: Shred or crumble it to use as sustainable packaging material.
- Animal Bedding: Shred it and use it on the bottom of a hamster or bird cage.
- Crafts: Recycled papers are great for collages, paper Mache and much more.
Another easy way to go green is to give up the use of plastic water bottles. On average, 30 billion plastic water bottles are sold in the US, and less than 20% are actually recycled. Switching to a stainless steel reusable water bottle could save up to $200 a month on water. Stainless steel water bottles hold up better, and longer than disposable or reusable plastic bottles, which can crack easily or damage in the sun. Plastic also contains chemicals such as BPA, giving up plastic water bottles can eliminate any health risk.
Green transportation is another affordable way to implement sustainable living. About 30% of vehicles do not have properly inflated tires, which can increase fuel costs by 10%. Tires with low pressure can also reduce the life of the tire by one year, and can increase the likelihood of damage. Checking for proper inflation on tires is good for the vehicle, and the environment.
Living a car-less lifestyle is another way to reduce environmental impact and go green. If living car-less is not a feasible option, try living less-car. Living without a car in rural areas is more difficult than urban settings, but there are many alternative modes of transportation. Carpool is a great option for transportation to work and school. This can help save on emissions and gas. Public transportation is almost always an option, from busses to trains or zip cars, many cities and towns offer group transportation options. Riding a bicycle is one of the quickest modes of manual transportation. With streets lined with bike lines, most cities are biker friendly and offer routes just for bicyclists.
Going green can easily be implemented into daily routines, and can help save money while improving quality of life. Getting rid of junk mail, water bottles and alternative modes of transportation are a great way to implement sustainable living into daily life. With the right alternatives and transitions, anyone can make their lifestyle a sustainable one.