Going green is catching on like wild fires!
Going green is grrrrreat! Although we may not have total control of the environment in which we work, live, and play there are a lot of ways that we can begin to go green. Going green simply means to return to using safe, simple products that do not contribute to the demise of our universe. It also means taking a proactive approach in order to stimulate and create the demand for eco-friendly products and services. Emission Trends & Projections (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008)
Estimates of future emissions and removals depend in part on assumptions about changes in underlying human activities. For example, the demand for fossil fuels such as gasoline and coal is expected to increase greatly with the predicted growth of the U.S. and global economies.
Going green is major U.S. challenge:
The Fourth U.S. Climate Action Report concluded, in assessing current trends, that carbon dioxide emissions increased by 20 percent from 1990-2004, while methane and nitrous oxide emissions decreased by 10 percent and 2 percent, respectively. The declines in methane emissions are due to a variety of technological, policy, and agricultural changes, such as increased capture of methane from landfills for energy, reduced emissions from natural gas systems, and declining cattle populations. At least some of the decline in nitrous oxide emissions is due to improved emissions control technologies in cars, trucks, and other mobile sources. (Fourth U.S. Climate Action Report, 2007)
Many, but not all, human sources of greenhouse gas emissions are expected to rise in the future. This growth may be reduced by ongoing efforts to increase the use of newer, cleaner technologies and other measures. Additionally, our everyday choices about such things as commuting, housing, electricity use and recycling can influence the amount of greenhouse gases being emitted. The Environmental Protection Agency [Online] Available http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/index.html, June 18, 2008.
Some simple, easy ways that our household is going green:
- Use vinegar to clean (especially kitchen tables and counters) where foods and little hands come in contact with cleaning product residue.
- Re-use cloth towels to clean with instead of paper towels. Paper towels are neither natural nor organic.
- Use hydrogen peroxide as a bleach substitute in laundry, sinks, and countertops.
- Use baking soda and 20 Mule Team Borax for laundry and
- Hang dry clothes in order to save hundreds of dollars on electricity. They will smell good naturally without using dryer sheets.
- Use energy efficient light bulbs, which reduces an enormous amount of energy consumption.
- Recycle all newspapers and magazines, plastics, bottles, bags, cans.
- Shop at resale stores, garage sales, flea markets, and even curbs.
- Collect water from downspouts for watering plants and flowers. Rainwater is healthier than tap water, which is always chemically treated.
- Recycle toilet bowl water (if it’s yellow . . . let it mellow); my husband hates this one, but with so many kids around it makes life a lot easier because they don’t like to flush anyway.
- Stop treating the yard with pesticides and fertilizers. You can find organic lawn services and products at a hardware store, or you can just care for your grass the old-fashioned way, with sweat and hard work.
- Stop watering the grass-it gets a healthy dose of water when the kids use the sprinkler on hot days.
- I make my own mouthwash without the use of alcohol, chlorine, flouride, aluminum and other harmful
that go into our bodies and back into our water supply. You can get several recipes off the Internet. I use grocery store items like filtered water, witch hazel, spearmint oil, and vegetable glycerin, which is a natural sweetener. I basically borrowed this recipe from the back of Tom’s Mouthwash.
Going green goals:
- At eatwellguide.org you can enter your zip code and find suppliers of organic and sustainable produced meat, poultry, eggs, and more. If you buy locally, you won't have to rely on farms that ship food nationwide or worse yet, internationally. This helps to decrease our dependence on oil and to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. It also reduces the amount of foreign bacteria that gets imported from produce.
- I want to stop using grocery store bags. Any plastics bags that I acquire will be used for recycle. I will purchase biodegradable bags or reusable bags.
- Use rechargeable batteries. At the
I found up-to-date, going green information on rechargeable batteries, batter chargers, and battery cases and holders.
- Unplug all electrical devices until it’s time to use them. You are being charged for the electricity from the outside pole to your outlet, providing some electrical device is plugged in the outlet. Put multiple plugs or devices on a surge protector to easily turn on and off outlet electricity while you sleep.
- Utilize solar energy. There are retail companies popping up that offer small renewable energy systems, wind turbines, and solar panels. They can also do larger installations and connect to your renewable energy sources in your area.
This is a tall order for my family and me that will take a decent amount of time to accomplish, but I feel well worth the effort. I will really sleep better knowing that I am taking a proactive approach in reducing oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
Isn’t this fun???
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