You must have heard the term these days – on the radio and the TV or you have read it in the newspapers or the Internet. “Green living” seems to be the hot topic these days and everybody is really wired about it.
But what, after all is green living? Is it the same thing as sustainable development? The devil, as they say, is in the details.
The Environmental Protection Agency gives the following definition:
“Green living is related to the systematic choices of permanent nutrition, travelling, and purchasing habits and the resulting disposal of the products therein. We can improve the sustainability of our everyday working practices and even the residential and commercial buildings we inhabit. In fact, every choice we make on a daily basis can potentially result in a sustainable existence.”
In other words, green living refers generally to environmental issues and the overall impact of human activities on planet Earth. It is an intellectual system of well-informed choices that understands the symbiotic relationship between humanity and nature. Earth is the support system we all live in. The quality of everything we eat, wear or use in our everyday life depends on the positive or negative impact of our activities. Therefore, green living implicitly relates to keeping a healthy environment – we keep nature clean, so we can live a healthy life.
Are green living and sustainable development one and the same thing?
Yes and no. Evidently, they are the part of the same equation. Sustainable development, though, implies a more mechanical approach to the problem, and relates to the economic sphere of life. It is the system of efforts whose end goal is to use the natural resources of Earth in the most efficient way possible. This would give humanity better chance to deal with the impending resource crisis of the future.
Green living, in its turn, is a lifestyle, a more holistic attitude towards the relationship between personal behaviour and choice and their effect on nature.
How to turn your residence into a green home?
One of the easiest steps into green living is to do it at home. After all, this is where you spend most of your time (hopefully) and where you make the decisions. A more nature-friendly home implies less waste, completely remove any toxic materials from your closet (i.e. chemical-based detergents), and use as little water and energy as possible.
Consider this, from the following list of daily activities which one would you say you need to improve on as related to its impact on nature:
- Health care
- Energy consumption
- Water consumption
- Power-saving appliances
- Power-saving home systems (ventilation, heating, etc.)
- Cleaning and home maintenance materials
- Cosmetics and body care materials.
- Building and decorating materials.
- Waste disposal.
- Building and decorating materials.
- Wrapping and packing materials.
How to live in a green home?
The answer to that question is simpler than you think. It requires only two things – motivation and discipline. If you are convinced that your efforts are worth the taking, if you believe even a droplet of water can start a river – then you can achieve everything. Living green is about the small things in your daily routine – waste recycling, reducing the application of toxic materials, energy consumption, etc.
Let us give you a few examples:
- Invest in renewable sources of energy – buying a few solar panels for your roof would be a good start.
- Recycle your garbage.
- Use as little packaging as possible. Forget about the one-time use of plastic shopping bags – you can use them at least 5 or six times.
- Use public transportation or buy a bicycle – especially if you live in a smaller town with less traffic.
- Use organic-based products instead of the heavy, toxic detergents.
- Start paying attention to the power consumption of the appliances you buy.
Let’s say you do not care that much about nature – it’s OK, it is not a crime to admit it. But consider this – green living is actually better for your personal health. All the steps we underlined above are prerequisites for a more healthy life. Forget about the wholesome diets or such stuff – I despise them. But less toxins and gas fumes around – that makes more sense, doesn’t it?
Many people think green living is about philanthropy and altruism. Wrong – green living is about being an egoist. Because everyone of us wants to live on a safer, healthier planet.
If you are still not convinced, think about these three ideas:
- Everything you do impacts not just you, but in a small way every living being on the planet Earth.
- Everything you do impacts not only the present, but the future of your children as well.
- Keeping Earth safe is actually keeping us safe – humanity doesn’t seem to be going anywhere else in the near future.