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  • Iman Jenkins

7 Ways To Start Greening

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

Use these simple tips to a cleaner, healthier lifestyle while contributing to the health of the environment.

While the transformation to living Green doesn't happen overnight, don't trick yourself into thinking it takes a lifetime and you can't start now - it's too expensive or that you're not ready to give up everything that you love. Quite honestly, it shouldn't happen all at once. It's not a temporary fix like a diet (no offense to anyone currently on a diet) or an instant gratification like what's trending now. It's about making small, knowledgeable, habit-forming lifestyle changes.

“I believe many of us would like to take action against climate change but don’t know what to do. I didn’t have a clue how or where to start but I knew I wanted to.”

Gotta Start Somewhere

Ten years ago, no one could have told me that I’d be making decisions that don’t just directly affect me and my family but Mother Earth too. I think the most I ever contributed to the environment when I was younger was planting a tree or picking up trash on the side of the road with my class on #EarthDay. I believe many of us would like to take action against climate change but don’t know what to do. I didn’t have a clue how or where to start but I knew I wanted to. No shame in my game. It wasn’t until I took the time to really understand that #sustainability focuses on the ability to meet our needs in the present without jeopardizing the ability of future generations meeting their needs by reducing the depletion of natural resources that I could effectively do my part. Doing my part also means sharing what I’ve discovered in my Green journey with others who, like myself, are sincere in their intentions with a growing commitment to a greener lifestyle. We are literally in this together.

If you’ve ever thought going green entails major sacrifices like never buying a designer hand bag again (God forbid), moving to a remote location where your nearest neighbor is in the next town over, or giving your first born child to the cause (kidding), thank your lucky stars you were wrong. Remember, no shame, no judgement here. Will you make some changes? Yes, but even subtle changes can make life so much better for you and the rest of us that share this beautiful planet with you. Let’s jump into some of the ways you can start living #Green today!

1. Replace all the light bulbs in your house with LEDs

Remember the coily bulbs that were all the rave several years back? Me too. I bought a ton for the purpose of reducing my electric bill. Truth is they weren’t all they were hyped up to be. Thankfully a better product was developed – LEDs. They cost a little more on the front end but they last a lifetime – literally, they look great, they don’t break or blow out like traditional bulbs, and you’ll be using less energy, saving you money and less harmful to the environment. The payoff is threefold.

2. Opt for reusables

Reusable shopping bags or a reusable tumbler or mug for your favorite coffee shop is a great way to reduce single use plastics and paper products.

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3. Only buy what you need

The Liberty Mutual commercial always comes to mind with this one – Only pay for what you need. We naturally have more stuff than we really need but exercising this no-brainer will help with waste reduction.

4. Bike or walk more, drive less

We’ve heard this forever but it may not be that simple if you live in a suburb that has no public transportation system near you. Depending on where you live and your activities, practice this as much as possible. If you do find that you can bike or walk to run an errand, you’d be killing two birds with one stone. A little exercise and getting things done at the same time – multitasking at its best.

5. Be conservative with your water usage

Another thing we’ve heard ad nauseam but doesn’t make it any less true. Water is a precious commodity and like land, we can’t make any more of it. Using only what you need by avoiding long showers and running water while brushing your teeth or doing dishes is your small yet meaningful contribution to water conservation efforts.

6. Switch to natural household cleaning products and soaps

Nothing like washing your hands with an antibacterial soap that kills all the nasty germs to make your hands feel so clean you can eat out of them, right? Wrong. Many soaps contain chemicals that pollute our waterways when they go down the drain. All-natural cleaning products are much easier on the environment. Be sure to do your research since some products can claim to be natural but are just as harmful as harsh chemical cleaners.

7. Reduce your consumption of meat

This is the one that everyone thinks of first when “Green” comes to mind. For whatever reason, the thought of never eating beef, pork or chicken again completely turns people off from the idea. Great news. You don’t have to start a meatless diet today. Committing to reducing your consumption of meat to a few meals per week will improve your health and the environment since meat production produces as much gas emissions as all automobiles combined.

In It For The Long Haul

Still not convinced that minor changes make major impacts? 50 years ago, the Clean Air Act of 1970 was signed into legislation that authorized the development of federal and state regulations to limit emissions from stationary (industrial) and mobile (automotive) sources and gave the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) the power it needed to fight environmental pollution. Today, we benefit from cleaner air that has successfully improved our health and economy and although tremendous progress has been made, we still have a lot of work to do. I’m not expecting to you to be a lean mean Green machine tomorrow but doing some of these things develops conscious, earth-friendly habits that will blossom into a desire to do more. Need an accountability partner to get started? Just click the Subscribe button and I’ll show you the way!

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