Going green is increasingly something that organizations are caring about, and there’s good reason to do so. This article will take a comprehensive look at the different ways you can use to go green. Getting started may seem difficult, and that is why we’re hoping this article can help you do just that.
By taking action on the things talked about in this article will have a positive effect on the environment and you’ll help conserve the resources of this planet too.
What Does It Mean to Go Green and Be Eco-friendly?
To start off with, let’s just go through what it actually means to go green. It means to obtain the necessary knowledge to be able to live a more ecologically responsible life. You’re committing to doing what is better for the environment by making more responsible decisions. As a consequence, you’re helping mother earth and future generations too.
Benefits of Going Green
There are a bunch of advantages you experience from going green that we want to take you through. These benefits should hopefully help you understand why it is so important that you take these actions and help save the environment.
- It can positively help affect the value of your home – one of the initiatives to help you become more green includes installing new windows that are better at insulating your home. By lowering your energy bill, you increase the value of your home.
- Save money on your electricity bill – insulating your windows is not the only thing that can help you become more green at home. Others include having solar panels installed, getting utilities that use less water such as toilets and showers.
- Take advantage of discounts and rebates on more energy efficient utilities – there are often rebates when you use more energy efficient fixtures, so you can take advantage of what is effectively a discount and get new and more efficient appliances too.
- Future generations – we already mentioned how you’re helping the environment and thereby the generations that will follow.
- Get more healthy – lowering the pollution outside has a big impact on the air we breathe in and by going green, you will help make the air healthier too.
- Lowering your carbon footprint – our carbon emissions are driving a lot of the environmental changes that are going on and you will help lessen the effects of your activities with these measures.
- Become more creative – instead of simply throwing things out, you can give them new life by repurposing them. Think of creative ways to use things rather than simply throwing them out.
- Increasing your productivity – studies have shown that more healthy habits also lead to increased productivity for you, and it could lower the amount of money you spend on medical treatment.
- Support the local economy – by buying local products, you don’t have as big of a footprint compared to buying products that have had to travel far to get to you.
- Moving towards becoming less dependent on purchased products – if you start making a vegetable garden, you can end up producing a lot of the vegetables that you would otherwise be buying, and the ones that you produce yourself might not just taste better but also contain less toxins and other nasty things.
- Limiting waste and saving money – Simply throwing things out will fill up the landfills faster, and by repurposing things you can also save yourself some money.
- Advertise it with your business and draw in people that might want to support green businesses.
- Be a good example – you can help teach kids about the importance and impact of going green and recycling.
- Lower your exposure to harmful products – by choosing green products, you won’t be getting all the toxins that are commonly present in a lot of other products.
- Feel good knowing you’re positively impacting the environment – it’s pretty simple. You’re having a positive impact on the environment. Go you!
Why Companies Should Go Green
There are also a lot of advantages that can come to a business that decides to go green. It not only provides a better environment for your employees, but saving energy will save you money too. We also previously mentioned how it can be one of the selling points to potential customers.
- Less exposure to potentially harmful chemicals – some employees may react more strongly to chemicals and by going with green solutions, you might help avoid that becoming an issue.
- Legal advantages – in some states you may get certain incentives, including tax ones by taking actions that help the environment.
- Minimizing the amount of things you throw out – the same way it applies when you’re personally taking initiatives to become more green, you can also reduce waste for a business.
Check out these facts about helping the environment through your actions.
Easy and Cheap Ways to Go Green
It doesn’t need to cost a lot to help save the environment. In fact, there are a lot of different initiatives you can take that won’t cost you a whole lot, and in fact a lot of them are completely free for you to do. All of them will have an impact and help the environment.
- Composting is a great way to get nutrient rich fertilizers for your soil and it will cut down on the waste that you would otherwise need to have driven away.
- Make sure that your HVAC unit isn’t heating or cooling your home when there’s no need for it to do so. If you’re not home, you might as well have it shut off.
- Consider setting the thermostat to a setting that is closer to the outside temperature to make sure that it doesn’t need to run too much. Both heating and cooling are expensive to do, so if you ask your unit to do less of it, it will lower your bill.
- See if it’s possible for you to carpool to certain locations and limit your amount of trips. Carpooling to work will help save on gas. The fewer trips you do to grocery stores, the less gas you’ll be using to go there too.
- Make sure to turn off appliances when not in use. This includes your PC. Unplugging appliances is even better.
- Make sure that you defrost the fridge and have the coils cleaned.
- Support companies that advertise having eco-friendly initiatives.
- Get your news online instead of with a physical subscription.
- Instead of using disposable batteries, use rechargeable ones.
- Limit your use of disposable napkins and see if you can use cloth ones instead, or rather just let your hands air-dry when you’ve washed them.
- Recycling is easy and helps limit waste.
- Consider what eco-friendly options are available when you need to buy a product.
- If you have newspapers, donate them or use them for something else. Here’s a bunch of things you can do with old newspapers.
- Share magazines with friends and family if you insist on getting them physically.
- Engage in physical activity outside instead of watching TV. This has the added benefit of being good for you.
- Have coffee made in your own mug instead of disposable ones. You can also ask if they provide certain discounts if you do that.
- Don’t print tickets that you get for different events. Instead use the electronic ones.
- Plants in your home will help improve the air quality too. They’ll also look beautiful too.
- Consolidate errands which will not just save you time but gas also.
- If you’re decorating your home, make sure to use eco-friendly products and paints. Go for the ones that are VOC-free.
- Make sure water leaks are addressed as soon as you discover them so that you’re not wasting water and they’re not causing water damage.
- Remove things from the car that shouldn’t be there, which is just adding additional weight that the car then needs to transport around.
- Use reusable containers or bags when packing your lunch.
- Get things from the thrift shop or garage sales when you need something, and consider hosting your own garage sale if you have things you need to get rid of.
- Make sure that you limit evaporation from the pool by keeping it covered when it’s not being used which will help you save water.
- Get eco-friendly cleaning products to help keep your home clean.
- Set up a space for recycling in your home and teach everyone which things can be recycled and which cannot.
- Get some extra exercise by using the stairs instead of the elevator.
- When you’re feeling a bit cold, put on extra clothing instead of turning up the heater. The savings will be significant.
- Don’t use disposable diapers but go for cloth ones instead.
- Make sure to read up on which toy companies are eco-friendly and go for their toys instead of the competitors.
- Get e-books instead of buying physical ones and consider going to a used book store to give those old books some new love.
- Don’t throw out things before you need to and see if you can somehow make them last slightly longer.
- While LED light bulbs are great, CFL ones are even better in terms of durability.
- Choose beeswax crayons over paraffin ones for your kids.
- Ask to get invoices electronically instead of on pager.
- There’s no need for you to have an electric can opener. A simpler version will get the job done too and not require electricity.
- If you have a habit of giving guests food for them to take home, make sure that you have reusable containers for them to borrow.
- Using reusable bottles for things such as water will limit the amount of plastic you use and throw away.
- Don’t use disposable roasting pans.
- When you’re having to remove leaves, do it with a rake instead of a blower.
- Ask party vendors and service providers what sort of green initiatives they have.
- Look at statistics for emissions for the type of fridge that you have versus the ones that are being made today. If your fridge is 10-15 years old, it often makes sense to switch it out.
- Don’t use products that contain chlorine.
- Sit down once a year to revisit your green practices and finding possibilities to improve.
Tips for Home
There are a lot of things you can do at home to become more eco-friendly. We have listed three major ones underneath for you to think about.
- Get green home decors – garage sales and flea markets are great places where you can pick up the different things needed to decorate your home.
- Find green cleaning products – there’s a lot of of the cleaning needs in your home that can be handled by green cleaning products, and using vinegar to clean is a very popular option among home owners.
- Insulation of your home – since your home is generally heating or cooling for big parts of the day, you want to make sure that the efforts you’re putting into this aren’t wasted simply from having a house that leaks. Leaky doors, walls, ducts and more require inspection to find out which parts of your home are especially bad in letting out the air that you have been paying precious dollars to keep a comfortable temperature.
Tips for College Students
It’s snot just homeowners that can do a lot to improve their footprint. Students can do a range of things too that will help the environment. Some of the tips to follow include.
- Water bottles – we know we’ve mentioned it already, but students will often be carrying water since they don’t know where they’ll be and if they’ll have readily available access to water during a lecture. Get a reusable bottle and it will save you money too.
- Use the computer to take notes – don’t depend on pen and paper but rather put notes down on your computer. If you’re storing it on Dropbox, you’re also automatically having security copies made.
- Take advantage of garage sales, Ebay and thrift stores – when you need something for school or everyday use, these options are often both cheaper and give you the possibility to reuse some of these things.
Tips for Schools
While it’s good when students take active measures to lower their footprint, the schools themselves should also take steps to make sure the school isn’t just wasting energy.
- Green cleaning initiatives are important – the amount of cleaning that will need to be done is rather significant and it’s best to ensure that you’re not using toxic cleaning supplies that could be causing rashes among students.
- Create an internal organization that focuses on improving sustainability – students often love to get involved in initiatives that will have a bigger impact on the sustainability of the school. They can be responsible for a wide array of things such as planting days, implementing the recycling program. To succeed, it’s important that you provide the organization with the necessary support to carry out the initiatives they come up with assuming they can be carried out given the budget you have.
- Make it visible that the initiatives that are being introduced have an effect – this should both include advertising the initiatives for saving water and electricity.
Tips for your Office
A lot of waste is generally generated in an office and that’s why it’s so important to make sure that initiatives are taken to reduce this waste.
- Rather than buying disposable supplies, get supplies that can be reused. This includes ink cartridges.
- Make sure that you recycle all the office supplies that can be recycled.
- Have a policy to only print whatever really needs to be printed and go as paperless as possible.
- Don’t just do one-sided prints when you do need to print. Take advantage of the fact that paper has two sides.
- Make sure that computers and electronic devices are turned off when you go home since they shouldn’t just be standing and using electricity over night.
- Appliances at an office will run a lot of hours compared to domestic ones, and you should make sure that you get energy-efficient ones wherever possible.
- Be sure that lights are turned off when you head out. The best solution is to make sure its done by sensors.
Furniture companies are becoming increasingly aware that they should be taking steps to create eco-friendly furniture since there’s a market for it. As a consumer, you can help shape their behavior by requesting eco-friendly options, and they are even made to be stylish and affordable too to compete with some of the other alternative options available to you. There are brands that pride themselves on being eco-friendly and they’re great places to start looking initially.
- Stem – they have a commitment to sustainability in their production and their furniture is being used by different noticeable brands such as Starbucks.
- Inmod – a lot of their furniture is made from bamboo and other types of sustainable materials producing stylish pieces that can serve whatever purpose you need them to.
- VivaTerra – the whole process leading up to you getting the furniture is carefully crafted to ensure that sustainability is ensured.
- Bambeco – they’re also a stronger contender when it comes to sustainable living. Their 3 core values that include water conservation, saving forests and ensuring clean water, make them a great choice to go with. They also carry a large range of different product including bed frames, dining sets and more.
Companies often have a lot of products that they need to send and making sure that your company is using eco-friendly packaging is a good thing to do when trying to go green. Using eco-friendly packaging isn’t any harder than using other types of packaging.
- Edible cups by KFC or other companies – while not used for sending packages, it’s used for serving things such as coffee. The coffee adds a great taste to the biscuit too, which is what the cop is made from.
- Clever Little Bag by Puma – it’s a great way that they rethought the idea of shoe storage. By using these instead, they’re saving 65% of the cardboard that they would otherwise be using for traditional boxes, 1 million liters of water and do a lot of other good too.
- 360 Paper Bottle – made from recycled materials, its impact on the earth is very limited. While you may not previously have thought you were going to use paper as a water bottle, this innovation makes that possible.
- Be Green Packaging – a green packaging company that can help you with most of your various packaging needs.
While you can use vinegar and other natural cleaning products, there are also companies that devote themselves to producing green products to help keep your space as clean as possible. The following companies are some of the leaders in the space.
- J. R. Watkins Window Cleaner – using coconut as one of the main ingredients, it works great with a variety of surfaces such as windows and, mirrors and other glass surfaces. You can even get it with different scents depending on your preferences.
- Earth Friendly Products Everyday Stain And Odor Remover – advertised as a product that can be used on pretty much any type of surface, including carpets.
- Green Works Laundry Detergent – as a dermatologically tested product, this is a great option for people that are sensitive to other detergents. Users love it and you ought to give it a try too!
- Laundress Surface Cleaner – a highly concentrated cleaner that provides the ability to clean with a great scent combination that includes thyme.
You’ve seen how packaging is arguably moving in a more and more eco-friendly direction and there are also shoe brands that are popping up that focus on sustainability. Below are 3 different brands you can look into when it comes to shoes.
- El Naturalista – their practices include making vegan footwear and reducing their consumption of water, electricity and other resources to increase their sustainability.
- Timberland – although being a big player, they’re generally recognized for trying to preserve trees across the globe, and the amount of trees they’ve contributed with planting truly makes it a shoe brand to consider supporting.
- The People’s Movement – with the use of eco-conscious, sustainable materials, their shoes help you feel good about purchasing new shoes. In addition, they’re working with companies that tackle plastic pollution.
It’s not just shoe industry that is undergoing change. The general clothing industry is too. Some of the eco-friendly clothing companies you should look into include the following.
- Kowtow – this clothing company prides itself on being ethically made and organic production. It’s based in New Zealand.
- Reformation – they want to produce amazing clothes that don’t harm the environment in any way. Eco-friendly practices are weighed highly in their sewing process.
- Freedom of Animals – priding itself on being cruelty-free and sustainable, you’re able to get vegan bags that don’t have a huge toll on the environment in the way they’re produced.
- Cuyana – high quality and natural materials is the basic ingredient in this line of clothing. They use reusable bags to package everything.
Even when you’re giving gifts is a good possibility to make sure that your initiatives are green and that you’re giving something that won’t harm the planet in its production. You don’t even have to spend a bunch of money in the process. Buzzfeed also wrote an article on the topic that you can use for inspiration.
- Notebooks and other stationery made from recycled materials – if you’re giving a present to a student that doesn’t use their computer for note taking, then make sure that you get notebooks that were responsibly made.
- Intelliplug – if you’re giving a gift to someone that seems to have everything, consider getting them an Intelliplug that will let them save electricity by controlling plugs from the convenience of a smartphone.
- Organic robes and towels – bath essentials made from responsibly sourced materials is a great idea for a present.
- Eco kettle – one of the issues with traditional kettles is that they boil more water than you need. Not with eco kettle that has two different compartments to ensure you boil the right amount of water and no more.
Got babies? Then you know that diapers is an essential part of your everyday life. If you’re using disposable ones, you know how many of them you can potentially end up going through over the course of time. It does not need to be that way as there are options that are more eco-friendly.
- Naty diapers – is your baby getting rashes from the diapers you’re currently using? Naty diapers don’t include chlorine, perfumes and other things that could be causing problems making them a much more eco-friendly option.
- Earth’s Best – free from chlorine and available in the different necessary sizes, it’s a good alternative brand to look into.
- Seventh Generation – No perfume, fragrances and latex make these a better solution too.
- Bambo Nature – being a very biodegradable option that has been Nordic Swan certified, you can also have a clear conscience with this option.
Purses and Handbags
If you love your handbag, you’re not alone but there are some companies that are better in terms of sustainability than others. When you’re looking to get an eco-friendly handbag, you should consider these brands.
- Slate + Salt – they make luxurious bags while still working with the Fair Trade movement to create superior handbags you can feel good about buying.
- Parker Clay – with their social and economic empowerment initiatives, this is another brand to look into.
- Matt & Nat – creating beautiful lines of sustainable and eco-friendly products, you can get vegan handbags made from a variety of materials. They even make bags that include materials such as recycled rubber tires.
- Tribe Alive – empowering young women by giving them the possibility to produce handmade bags that incorporates local culture from the people producing it.
Eco-friendly laundry detergents are the thing of the future, and you can even get started using it now. By using the brands underneath, you’re helping preserve the planet while still getting clean clothes.
- The Honest Company – they don’t only make detergent but also stain removers and laundry packs that are all organic and safe for the environment too.
- Better Life – without the infusion of harmful chemicals they still get your clothes clean and they’re rated A grade.
- Biokleen – We could keep going on about this company not using harmful chemicals such as petroleum solvents, chlorine, ammonia, alcohol and more.
- Molly’s Suds – the last company on our list but not the least. They have all the same attributes as do the other companies on this list.
Sunscreen is another thing that people use but may not realize that there are eco-friendly options to choose between. Some companies have worked on solutions that are free from all those horrible and harmful chemicals you would otherwise be exposing your body and environment to.
- Loving Naturals Sunscreen – using zinc oxide as the agent that helps in blocking the damaging UV rays, it’s an organic product you can go with. In addition, it includes olive oil, sunflower oil and other organic ingredients.
- California Baby – it’s chemical free and water-resistant even if you go swimming for as much as 80 minutes. You will get good protection from using it without leaving stains.
- Badger’s Natural and Organic Sunscreen – Only certified organic ingredients go into the production of this product which includes jojoba oil, shea butter, lavender oil and other ingredients.
Remodeling a house or building one is also a process where you can think about the materials and processes and how to limit the impact you have on the environment by choosing building materials that are more sustainable.
- Straw Bales – this material can be used for insulation in walls partly replacing less sustainable materials such as gypsum, concrete and wood.
- Grasscrete – this can be used for driveways, walkways and other places too and allow for grasses to grow in between it. You’ll be reducing the amount of concrete that’s being used in the process, and other benefits include better drainage when there’s a lot of water that needs to sink into the soil.
- Rammed Earth
While using carpet is often not the most eco-friendly option to go with, replacing your carpet with one type instead of another will still determine the level of sustainability in the material. Some carpet manufacturers are better than others.
- Company C – the produce great carpets that often work well in a contemporary setting. Made from natural wool helps make them a more sustainable option to go with.
- FLOR carpets – on their mission to produce affordable and responsible carpet, it’s a great option when you have carpet installed.
- Shaw carpeting – they’ve introduced a cradle-to-cradle policy to make sure that their processes are as eco-friendly as possible. They also recycle materials to ensure a limited impact on the environment with their carpets.
Roofing materials help protect the biggest investment in your life, which includes your home. You want to make sure no roof leaks start appearing but you can also choose a material that has less of an impact on the environment during its production.
- Slate and clay – they’re very durable and natural materials you can choose between. You can even find ones made from salvaged materials that are repurposed to go on new roofs.
- Wood shingles and shakes – reclaimed wood materials is a great eco-friendly option for your roof, where the source of the material may include different places such as wine tanks. Reclaimed wood can also be used for your home’s siding and really create a statement there.
The material that you put in your home’s walls will not only affect how good your home is at insulating, but it can also be more or less sustainable. Here are some of the most common and sustainable things used for insulating a home.
- Cotton – being free from harmful materials makes it a good option for naturally insulating your home. It can be treated with boric acid which helps make it flame retardant too.
- Wool from sheep – to make this more effective, the fibers are compressed. It’s a great sustainable option.
Installing new flooring does not need to mean that you’re using a lot of materials that are very harmful to the environment. It will redefine how your home looks, and you just have to make sure that you’re choosing a responsibly sourced material.
- Linoleum – while this is a material that used to be more widely used, it’s a rather eco-friendly one being made from ground limestone, wood flour, tree resins, cork dust and more.
- Bamboo – this is a fast-growing type of wood that looks beautiful and is renewable.
- Cork – with its anti-microbial properties, it’s even a good option for people suffering from allergy.
When you’re having your countertop replaced, there are also more or less sustainable options. Two we want you to think about are mentioned below.
- Richlite – instead of going out and getting either a stone or plastic countertop, Richlite is a paper-based and much more sustainable option. Sustainable tree harvesting is a main part of it, and being available in a wide range of colors, they can be made to fit with a bunch of different types of kitchens. When you’re remodeling your kitchen, you really should be looking into this option.
- Recycled glass – they can be made to resemble stone and provide new life to glass that might otherwise just be thrown out. The production processes may vary greatly with this option.
When it comes to buying jewelry, choosing a company with sustainable practices is also a great way to help minimize the impact on the environment. Some of the most notable companies include the following:
- Brilliant Earth – sustainably mined diamonds are used for these engagement rings.
- Obo Jewellery – just because you’re buying jewelry doesn’t need to mean that you have to buy something that is completely new. Obo uses a lot of recycled metals in their jewelry.
- Tyramin Jewellery – they’re committed to social responsibility with their production methods.
Using eco-friendly light bulbs is a great thing for your wallet as it will help you save a lot of money in electricity over time even if the light bulbs are more expensive to start off with.
- Compact Fluorescent Lamp bulbs, short CFL use less energy than traditional light bulbs and last longer too.
- Energy Star bulbs – make sure to look for the energy star label when you’re shopping for light bulbs.
Weed Killer for Lawns
Getting rid of weeds can seem hard, but there are in fact more natural options for you to go with that are more eco-friendly. Instead of using harsh chemicals to get the job done, you can make use of the products mentioned below.
- Goats – while it may seem untraditional, goats are very effective at getting rid of weeds in your garden, and you won’t need to struggle yourself to get to those hard-to-reach places.
- Landscape fabric – when you roll out landscape fabric on top of the weeds, it will make sure they don’t get any access to sunlight and they’ll feel the consequences pretty soon since they need sunlight to survive.
- Mulch – the same idea applies with mulch. Basically you’re taking away their access to sunlight.
When you’re shopping for makeup, it’s good to know that there are certain brands that are making use of more sustainable production methods and causing less damage to the environment as a consequence.
- Kiss My Face – they include a lot of renewable materials in their makeup so as to make them more sustainable.
- Aveda – with their hair and skin care products that are responsibly sourced, you can feel good about your makeup purchases.
- BWC – the name itself says a lot of the brand since the abbreviation stands for Beauty Without Cruelty. If you have sensitive skin, this is an option you should look into. Their products are vegan
Buying sports and workout clothes does not need to mean you’re damaging the planet. There are different brands that are committed to sustainable production of workout clothes.
- ShareHope – workers are paid fair wages to make these sustainable clothes and the profits are being reinvested in a lot of great social programs to further empower people.
- Patagonia – Conserving and protecting the environment is a mission that is highly important for them.
- Alternative Apparel – good, sustainable clothing.