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6 Changes I Have Made to Live a Greener Life

There has been a lot of talk about environmental awareness. We've all heard it. Some of us think it's important, some of us don't. About a month ago I saw "11th Hour" ... a documentary on this topic. What I took away from the message of this film was the importance of taking action.

With that said, I'd like to take a moment and list out 6 lifestyle changes I have made to move in the "green" direction. After all, big change starts with little changes. I'd love to hear yours!

1) No plastic, no paper please. I take totes with me everywhere. They will be my birthday gifts to friends + family.

2) Shut down every night. I used to have my laptop on standby for 2 months at a time!

3) Found a job close to home. I used to drive 45 minutes (one way) to work.

4) Bring my lunch. I wake up 45 minutes earlier in the morning to cook.

5) Cold water. For washing clothes and dishes.

6) Wear warmer clothes. Instead of turning up the heat.
hibislo hibislo 31-35 31 Responses Oct 10, 2007

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easy solar project...... clothesline...nto for everythingcause you'll have to iron whihc would negate the gain, but for some things

I am so glad that there are people making a conscious effort to go green. I now have faith that we are not going to live on a barren, dust and garbage filled earth, thanks to you guys. I do make an effort also doing some of the same things like you guys like, cooking lunch instead of eating takeaway, it saves money too. I use two large basins when I do the dishes, one for a first rinse and the other for a second rinse. It works out that the water isn't running all the time. I make use of the lovely sunshine because where I live near the equator.

I've been gradually living greener for 41 years, so it's pretty much become my whole lifestyle now, along with many people I know in my area, yet I'm still making changes.<br />
Last night I was invited to be Facilitator at our local Greens meeting, and was congratulated for doing a good job. I feel really chuffed (pleased) about this. :) <br />
The greens in Australia are a Political party which currently co-operates with Labour. This alliance, not permanent, combines with two independents, tipping the balance to achieve Government by only one seat in Parliament.<br />
The Greens stand for four principles... environment, social justice, grass roots democracy, and peace and nuclear disarmament. By helping to find good candidates and get them elected at local, state and federal level, we influence the majority government to shift greenwards. The average Greens vote in Australia is fluctuating around 15% and growing. If we don't participate, we get what we deserve!

Recently I have started trying to get to bed earlier. After all the TV can be recorded to watch at a more convenient time and I dont really need to be online until, or after midnight. Saving energy, and probably healthier too.

Here's an idea if you are or know someone handy. I wired our entertainment center with a switch and several outlets that are switched and one that is not switched. The TV, DVD and the Wii are plugged into the switched outlets. The Sattelite DVR is plugged into the unswitched. When we are not watching TV we just hit the switch and it stops power to all devices. The DVR being unswitched is still able to record the shows we want to see. I bought a Kill-a -Watt meter and we went from 75 Kwh per month before the switch to @ 15 Kwh after the switch.

Most of these things are very simple changes for everyone to make (maybe with the exception of finding a different job). If everyone did these things, it would have a major impact on our environment. I just wish more people would realize this.

I'm also vegetarian, so not buying meat helps save quite a bit on the grocery bill. Not saying everyone should stop eating meat, but perhaps a little less of it. Could be just as filling if you supplement an extra veggie or side dish at suppertime.

I've always been somewhat conscientious when it comes to how much waste I was putting out there and all, but when I lost my job, being on my own, I started looking for ways to cut back on a lot of expenses too, which just so happen to be 'greener'.<br />
<br />
-I walk or ride my bike most of the summer to nearby destinations<br />
-I've never owned a hairdryer/straightener/etc.<br />
-I wash my clothes in a laundromat, but still mostly use a cold wash. Certain items I can hand wash and hang to dry at home.<br />
-Use energy efficient bulbs and turn them off when not needed.<br />
-Unplug appliances when not in use.<br />
-Use fans and open the windows instead of A/C in the summer. and change to heavier curtains in the winter. I also have my thermostat locked at 68 degrees and where more clothes if I feel cold.<br />
-Recycle any and everything possible. From cardboard boxes to old glass jars.<br />
-Reuse plastic grocery bags when walking my dogs, and instead of buying kitchen bags.<br />
-Take home left overs from family dinners/events.<br />
-Reuse soda bottles for water or juice.<br />
-Major cleaning of my apartment at least once, if not twice, a year. anything I don't want or can't use anymore goes to donation centers.<br />
<br />
And I'm having my internet and home phone service canceled this month. I don't need a home AND cell phone, and I can always go to the library if I need to get online for anything.<br />
<br />
Instead of preaching how to save the planet, more people are likely to listen to how they can save money. A lot of the suggestions above won't save very much, but if you choose to do a few of them, you could be seeing a difference in your bank account within a couple of months and just so happen to be a step in the right direction. You could get people to 'go green' without them even knowing it.

Thanks again for all the great energy here. I am so impressed by the enthusiasm. One thing I dont have an answer for is how to express and spread this information to people around me. It's hard to preach these kinds of things. People are so comfortable with the luxuries.

I want to know how should i spread this and explain this to my neighbours

cooking lunch early!!<br />
I always cook my own lunch, I prefer to eat something health and %100 vegetarian, However I do not wake up early for, I just cook extra dinner the night before ;)

lol just to offset that i went out and turned the big screen tv off in my gradge, i figured i dont need it when the radio is on, and i quit spraying aerosol cans in the air for no reason, im green too! lol.. (global warming BS, save energy to save money if you want, dont do it cause its fashionable lol)

Yes i too.... even lot more i am learning every day or when i meet ppl like you or / and when i see green concept videos or information.... one suggestion pls visit GRIST TV... THAT GIRL IS EXPLAINING TOOOO MUCH STUFF YOU KNOW...

Our city has curbside recycling so we toss in glass, certain plastics, paper, cardboard, aluminum, etc. I use cold water for washing laundry and wash only full loads. I got a job in town so I only drive about 7 miles to work. I switched out incandescent bulbs for fluorescent. Installed an electronic thermostat to save on heating/cooling. Installed an energy efficient heating and a/c system. I buy energy star rated appliances when possible and use a clothesline to supplement dryer use.

Thanks for sharing, Hibi8cuS1oO! I'm trying to do green things in simple ways:<br />
- buy eco-friendly household products by Method & Seventh Generation<br />
- use cloth totes and take plastic bags back to the store for recycling<br />
- recycle anything my area will take<br />
- use energy star appliances<br />
- don't let water run while brushing teeth & doing dishes<br />
- close the refrigerator as soon as I get something<br />
- use microfiber cloth for dusting & cleaning instead of chemicals<br />
- don't eat meat - livestock consumes 70 percent of America’s grain, it takes 16 pounds of plants and 2,500 gallons of water to make a single pound of beef.... not to mention the lives it takes.

Bravo Hibi8cuS1oO !!!!!! and Bravo to all who have commented here.<br />
There are many other suggestions by myself and others on Ep.See my environmental series for much more that can be done with ease and simplicity.<br />
Also go to www.freecycle.com to give to others those things you would otherwise send to the landfill.

Thanks for sharing such great tips.<br />
^^

Thank you for caring enough to make a change. I had no idea about the effects that humans have on the earth and environment until I had to research global warming to write a fourteen page paper. It's too scary not to wanna make a difference. One of the few changes the Clinton administration took part in was to join the Kyoto Protocol (agreement with other nations to put limitations on the amount of pollution each nation released into the environment). Needless to say, the Bush administration broke that agreement for the United States. Go figure! Thanks again! Small changes reap large rewards! <br />
Stay smart!

Nice thought about getting green.<br />
In the part of world where i live these things are very common.<br />
For example people turn off appliances when not using them so that they last longer.We use bulbs that use less energy.I seldom use Hairdryer for my hair,it's not our lifestyle.............<br />
Also,we simply can't afford buying bottled water so in turn we use refilled water bottles when going out.<br />
This way we are saving the envioronment.It feels nice!

I find it that if you do go green it can help you to save money by simple things as switching things off, use cold water for washing clothes as well as reusing some of the clothes instead of one use and toss. plus making lunch for work and trying to walk everywhere instead of driving.

This is a great start. But... what's really important to remember is that it's just a START. The earth needs a lot more help. <br />
It's better than nothing, but the logic that this is all it takes to even begin to somewhat correct (of course, we're all logical and smart enough to know that the damage is FAR too severe to correct) is just silly.<br />
I'm not trying to be rude. Because I really do think that this is a great start... but, like I said, there's so much to be done that this is only a small small SMALL bandaid on a bloody, gapping dismemberment of a planet.

agree great start, but disagree that it's too severe to correct.
Scientists (CSIRO Australia, corroborated widely) believe that while the estimates cannot be predicted accurately, the mean expectation is that if we all do everything possible from now on, it will take a century to begin to reverse the changes and claw back to our previous long term norm. We have already lost some species, will definitely lose more due to declining genetic pools, and we will also have to adapt to the climate change itself in readiness for more severe weather events, and changing responses of food crops. But even with all this, we can make a difference. Each drop in an ocean determines its overall purity and health, and so with Earth. The big changes we need are solar architecture and hardware incentives, cleaner transport systems and vehicles, solar wind and water power ( and maybe geothermal), more efficient energy use and reduction of emissions by industry, carbon sequestration, etc. Government can provide incentives with tax deductions for capital spending for these projects and for green research and development, establishing a carbon price to make industry find it more profitable to make the effort, and laws with severe penalties for offences. Although changing habits is hard, introducing these things gradually will make adjustment easier. Realistically co-operation can't be won without it.

You're right, if we all do everything possible, eventually there will be some sort of repair. The earth will adapt with or without us. The real question is will EVERYONE do EVERYTHING possible? No. Not at all. Not so long as industrialized civilization is still industrialized civilization. Not so long as humans (westernized culture) live comfortable, cushy lives of convenience. Our culture will do enough to put a Go Green bumper sticker on our gas guzzling automobiles, enough to get our reusable shopping bags from Wal Mart, enough to recycle our cancer causing water bottles from factories that steal our natural resources, charge a hundreds fold while polluting our soil, water, air and bodies. Yes, things can change. Yes, things can get better. Yes, there's a solution. Will it be enough? Will ALL people do ALL they can to stop this? It's not realistic to think so. "When the world is sick, can't no one be well.... But we dreamt it was all beautiful and strong."

All great tips! I have been doing all these for a while. Have to use hot water for one load -- it's necessary. The CFL lights are great! Turning off the chargers is important. PLanning how to do the errands to use less gas and have less emissions is easy. Giving totes as a gift, great idea. The little changes can help.

I feel so hopeful, reading all of these suggestions! I had begun to feel hopeless with seeing all the junk we as a society produce and consume. I started to focus on what wasnt done instead of what has been done. I've realized that for us as a socity to be consistent with change in lifestyle is the next challenge. What do you think?

Oh, yes, and change your light bulbs to the CFL ones and unplug anything not in use... cell phone chargers, electric toothbrush charger, computers, tv, coffee pots, lamps, etc...

Oh, yes, and change your light bulbs to the CFL ones and unplug anything not in use... cell phone chargers, electric toothbrush charger, computers, tv, coffee pots, lamps, etc...

I too have begun to be more green this year. I use the totes, even have my family using them too, though not as diligently as I do. I changed my baby to clothe diapers, was clothes on cold, (except the diapers!) Buying less "stuff". Use reusable containers for kids lunches and water or drinks. Recycle magazines and phone books and stop paper bills as much as possible. Try to do all my errands at one time to cut down on emissions. Do not leave water running while brushing or doing dishes, get the sponge wet with soap, wash them, and then rinse all at once. Don't use lights during daylight hours and when we do in the evenings, only as much as we need. conserve energy, turn of the a/c in your home when possible and open the windows instead. Use fans, they do work. When you change out appliances, go with Earth friendly choices, though more expensive up front, saves in the long run! Also, we will be looking into alternative fuel vehicles when it comes time to purchase a new one. I do not consider myself very green at all, but I know that every little bit counts. Take responsibility for your life and your environment. Now is the time!!!

I too have begun to be more green this year. I use the totes, even have my family using them too, though not as diligently as I do. I changed my baby to clothe diapers, was clothes on cold, (except the diapers!) Buying less "stuff". Use reusable containers for kids lunches and water or drinks. Recycle magazines and phone books and stop paper bills as much as possible. Try to do all my errands at one time to cut down on emissions. Do not leave water running while brushing or doing dishes, get the sponge wet with soap, wash them, and then rinse all at once. Don't use lights during daylight hours and when we do in the evenings, only as much as we need. conserve energy, turn of the a/c in your home when possible and open the windows instead. Use fans, they do work. When you change out appliances, go with Earth friendly choices, though more expensive up front, saves in the long run! Also, we will be looking into alternative fuel vehicles when it comes time to purchase a new one. I do not consider myself very green at all, but I know that every little bit counts. Take responsibility for your life and your environment. Now is the time!!!

Its really cool- these tips. I,<br />
- stopped blow drying my hair, instead I'd just leave it to naturally dry<br />
- Dont spend more than 10 min in the shower(used to be Godness knows what! 30 min?)Its really given me more time during the morning :)<br />
-make sure all the electronics are switched off when im not using them,<br />
-re-use plastic bags to avoid getting new ones when shopping<br />
Its true, the little things count. I dont like the "why bother, we're all going to die anyways" attitude. I mean we slowly destroyed the enviroment, why cant we slowly save it? And make it better for the people in future to come. Maybe its just me, I live around very selfish people T__T

Great tips, SFM. Thanks for sharing! I think you are absolutely right, Della. We all need to recognize our impact. Even as little as it is, it is moving us in the right direction!

I use my clothes line instead of a dryer. Wash clothes only in cold. Lights on only in rooms in use. Timed showers (2 girls) Support green based industries by using their products. Fill a water container instead of buying bottled water.(we each have one) Every little bit helps.