There’s an old Native American saying that goes something like this: “Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money,” and although it’s a rather old saying, it couldn’t hold more truth in today’s world. As we expand and consume resources, there will be a time in the near future where we’ll probably run out.
The good news is that there are a trillion little ways you can contribute to a greener world in your everyday life, both at work and home. It’s as simple as everyone pitching in to do their part, and supporting businesses and organizations that do the same.
According to WiseGeek.com, the average American produces over 1,600 pounds of garbage a year! With all the product packaging and disposable items we use on a daily basis, there are a hundred little ways you can make a big difference.
Water Bottle Waste
Instead of buying plastic water bottles, use large, refillable bottles. In the U.S. alone, we use 1,500 plastic water bottles every second, and 80 percent of them end up in a landfill, according to treehugger.com. The plastic also leaches chemicals into the water that have been linked to cancer, unlike tap water, which is perfectly healthy. Switching to a more ecologically friendly means of water drinking will save you money, help the earth, and it’s better for your health.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how much energy the average home or office wastes, but the range is anywhere from 7 to 15 percent, which adds up to billions of dollars and wasted resources each year. Companies like Dell and Element helped bring Energy Star technology to the front-burner, which helps eliminate unused energy. Although these advancements are helpful, they still don’t account for lights left on and other machinery left on idle. If you’re at home, take a moment to unplug electronics you’re not using, or if you’re at work try implementing certain time brackets for using printers and fax machines, and turn your computer brightness down and light the office naturally. It’s better for you and nicer to look at.
Instead of sitting around and “liking” something on Facebook, put your money where your mouth is and do something. This is especially true when it comes to supporting green businesses in your daily life, which means taking a few moments to do some research about which companies provide the least environmentally invasive companies you can. Sites like SustainableBusiness.com can help you decipher which businesses and products are on the market.
There are green companies for everything. You just have to do the research. Overnight prints, for example, uses green printing techniques for when you order overnight prints cards online; it don’t waste water, and it offsets its carbon footprint by planting trees in Japan. Ecos, a company based on eco-friendly products, used to be your run of the mill chemical cleaner company, then the owners decided they had enough and completely re-vamped their products to be environmentally safe and friendly. There are even green moving companies like NorthStar Moving®. Going green is an attitude, but it also requires action, so unless we want to run out of resources, it’s time to start taking some.