The term “going green” is a common expression these days. Chances are, you’ve heard it referenced in several different areas.
But what does going green mean?
Basically, it refers to using various everyday items and activities to help save the world and protect the environment.
Many people consider going green to be a lifestyle choice, in which all of their decisions and actions are based on working to save the world. From the slightest details to the broadest aspects of life, protecting the environment by implementing a green lifestyle is something most people can easily strive to do.
Here are 10 Reasons why you should make more eco-friendly choices:
1. Reverse Climate Change
There’s no denying the massive impact human activity is having on our atmosphere as we are seeing an increase in super storms, rising sea levels and shrinking glaciers. Every day, the emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other pollutants are pumped into the atmosphere. These emissions change the balance of gases and cause climate change, global warming and degrade the ozone layer. The only way to reverse these effects is by reducing our emissions.
2. Ensure Our Children Have Future Resources
Going green is about inter-generational equity. It’s ensuring the next generation, and the generation that follows, has an equal shot at surviving and leading an equally good, if not better life as we have. Regardless if you have your own children or not, most people want the next generation to live a more abundant life than their predecessors.
We know the human race has shown continued growth and development. However, if our children have less than we do, it means we’ve failed at the most fundamental level. If can’t ensure that they have clean water, air and soil, then we are the generation that failed the human race.
3. Preserve Natural Resources
We are able to thrive on this planet because of the vast amount of natural resources around us. The forest and plants create the oxygen we have to breathe. The lakes and rivers provide water for us to drink. Nonrenewable resources, such as oil, coal and natural gas give us energy to heat our homes, drive our cars and cook our food. We rely on natural resources for the things we need every day.
However, our natural resources are becoming increasingly stressed as greater demands are placed on them. We eliminate the capacity at which nature can provide for us every time we cut down trees, drain lakes and rivers and cover our land with urban development. If we continue to use our resources faster than the earth can replenish them, they will run out and we don’t have another planet for the human race to relocate. Once the resources are gone – they’re gone.
4. Reduce Pollution
Air, water and soil pollution all have a negative effect on the health of humans, as well as, our environment. Pollution is caused when waste products are released and cannot be effectively reused by natural processes. Although you may not notice small amounts of pollution, as waste builds up it impacts our natural environment’s ability to manage it.
Reducing pollution isn’t just about using less gas, recycling or shopping with reusable bags. It’s also understanding how the items we use are produced. It’s much easier to reduce pollution at the manufacturing level by preventing chemicals and waste from getting into our air, water and soil.
Going green is not only holding yourself accountable, but also holding manufacturers accountable by choosing to not buy their products if they don’t meet industry standards. We can also push the government to have harsher punishments for noncompliant companies.
One of the biggest causes of war is the conflict over diminishing resources. One of the most volatile areas of the world is the Middle East, where most of the world’s oil is located.
By reducing your consumption, you do your part to reduce tensions over scarce resources.
You will also produce more peace in your own life by going green. Transitioning to a quieter life requires less work, less spending and less stress.
Plus, one of the first lessons we learn is to share. By only using the resources we need, there would be more resources for everyone around the globe. It isn’t fair for only the wealthiest people in the most developed countries to consume all of the resources, while those in impoverished and underdeveloped countries go without.
6. Save Money
Many people think living an eco-friendly lifestyle is more expensive, but in reality you will save money in the long term. Frugal living should be a natural by-product of simple and sustainable living. Although you will see a higher investment up front on some products, they will more than pay for themselves over time.
For example, the initial cost of cloth diapers is more than disposable ones. However, over a 2 ½ year period, you will save anywhere from $1000 to several thousand dollars depending on the type of diapers you choose. That’s a significant savings, while also doing your part to save the environment.
7. Help the Local Economy
Making the decision to go green, also means supporting local businesses and farmers. By shopping at local farmer’s markets and shops, you help the local economy grow. In return more of the money you spend stays in your community, which will benefit you personally. If more people in your area support local business owners, there will be more money for community luxuries, such as, parks, more sidewalks and playgrounds.
Living an eco-friendly life means being more self-sustaining. You and your family won’t have to rely on an unstable infrastructure or limited resources. Being self-sufficient means living-off-the grid to whatever degree you choose to take it.
For example, installing solar panels not only reduces your electricity bill, but it also reduces your dependency on the electric company. When resources are low, and enforced rolling black outs or brown outs are in effect, you won’t be affected.
9. Less Stress
When you make the decision to live a green lifestyle, you protect yourself and your family from common fears, such as job loss, economic downfall and uncertain political times. You can have complete confidence that you have the ability to care for your family regardless of external issues. Having this kind of peace of mind leads to a stress-free life.
For example, you grow your own food, have solar panels and you have an established relationship with your local businesses, which includes some bartering. If your company downsizes and you lose your job, you will have the ability to continue to care and provide for your family.
10. It’s the Right Thing to Do
Being aware of your consumption and waste is undeniably the right thing to do. We all know that being selfish, wasteful and uncaring is wrong. Having good character means using only the resources we absolutely need, producing as little waste as possible and ensuring we leave a healthy planet for future generations.
The human race can no longer bury its head in the sand and pretend we can continue to consume natural resources at such an alarming rate without dire consequences. We know from history that civilizations, such as the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island, were led to their own demise by using all of their resources faster than the earth could replenish them.
However, it’s easy to go for days or weeks without having to think beyond our own little worlds. We can live our lives without ever having to see how things we buy or eat make it to the store shelves, where our garbage goes or where our sewage drains. We are able to ignore environmental issues because we are so far removed from them.
Living a green lifestyle is all about choices. Begin by making small decisions, such as turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth, unplug appliances when you’re not using them and take reusable bags to the grocery store. Once these things are habits, add bigger impact changes, like use cloth diapers for your baby, grow a garden and support local businesses. The realization that your choices affects you, other people and the health of our planet, makes it much easier for you to make more responsible decisions.