Collectively, small lifestyle changes can make a huge impact on the environment–and your life. Looking for happiness and health? What’s good for the environment is also, it turns out, great for you. Here’s a collection of tips from the No Impact community.
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Go Solar – install solar panels on your house (especially if you live somewhere like California), will pay for itself over 10 years, and then you get 10+ additional years free (with 20 years warranty)
Get rid of your TV but still watch whatever you want – Get netflix ($8/ month), and watch thousands of movies/tv shows on your computer without commercials. You will spend less time and waste less electricity by flipping through channels, only watching what you really want to, and not watching commercials. Plus it’s cheaper than a cable/satellite plan!
Start a compost – you’ll reduce your garbage by a lot, and get great healthy soil by composting your veggie scraps, egg shells, drier lint, certain papers, leaves, lawn clippings, etc.
Let the sun cut your lawn – if you have the cash, this neat little guy will get the job done with no work and no emissions ( http://gizmodo.com/364924/husqvarnas-autonomous-solar-powered-lawnmower-never-mow-again ). Another good idea is just the old push mower, which is also great exercise! Or get rid of the grass all together.
Don’t go vegan or even vegetarian – there is no need to cut out meat completely, if everyone just cut down on their meat consumption by even half, it would do a world of good. I currently only eat chicken and a little fish, but I mostly cook with only vegetables & grains.
Cook! – don’t eat out, don’t get fast food, just cook. If everyone cooked their own meals they’d be healthier, save on packaging, and know exactly what they’re putting into their bodies.
Let there be fruit – plant fruit trees (climate permitting), good for the environment in that you’re adding trees, but you’ll also save money and get great organic fruit right from your yard. (planting veggies is a great idea too) – great use for all that soil from your compost!
Get an ebook reader
Wear your clothes more than once (as long as they’re not too stinky!)
Shower with your significant other
Walk, bike & take the train as often as you can
Re-use any plastic bags you acquire to line garbage’s
Don’t wash your hair everyday (cuts down on shower time, and shampoo/conditioner – plus it’s good for your hair!)
These are just some of the changes I’ve made It really isn’t that hard to live greener – just put some thought into it. You don’t need to make extreme changes to affect the world positively. Baby steps
This post was submitted by Natalie.
I lived in Germany for several years and there learned to appreciate living small. It’s not that I deny myself, but I’ve chosen to live in a studio apartment downtown instead of having a larger space in suburbia and need to own a car. Without a car I’ve got more coin and feel more connected to my environment because I walk, bike, or take public transit to get around.
My building was built in 1927 and I’m certain it’s healthier that newer construction would be, what with it’s Tyvek-wrapped particleboard construction (fumes, anyone?).
What else do I do? I put on a sweater and long-johns before turning on the heat. I use one of those viscose Pack-Towells as a bathmat because it dries so much more quickly than a cotton one. I’ve furnished my apartment mostly with antiques, which has helped minimize resource depletion, and I only eat meat occasionally. I try to buy food that’s unprocessed, which saves even more coin because I’m skipping the so-called ‘added value’ (profit) tacked-on by manufacturers live ADM and Cargill, who, by the way, produce lots of those crunchy granola-looking foods you find at Whole Foods or your local coop. Speaking of granola, I made my own for breakfast this morning and it was both very good and very cheap. Took five minutes to make of oats, pecans, raisons, butter, honey, and flax seeds.
I recycle religiously and limit my consumption, at least in part because I resent being just a consumer to businesses and politicians. I am so much more than that.
I’ve started wondering why people think it’s normal to drive a 3000 lb. car a couple of miles to the store to pick-up some milk. I mean, why is our infrastructure almost entirely built around the automobile? I recently had a job interview in an office park, and after getting off the bus found that the sidewalk ran about 50 feet and then just ended. That’s crazy!
So, I’d recommend following tips like the one’s you find on this website. See Colin’s movie, because it’s really quite good. Ditch your car. And, you may just find – as I have – that you’ll start to see things in a whole new way. And that’s a very good thing!
This post was submitted by Phillip.
Sustainable. Locavore. Environmental steward.
I’m all for it. Really. My blood runs green. It does.
I raise heirloom plants.
I own a Prius.
But I could be so much better.
A friend and I went to see the movie, Fresh. Of course, after watching the film, I swore I would never eat mass-produced food again, I would patronize the local farmer, I would eradicate all of the bad choices I make on a daily basis and SAVE THE WORLD.
Then I went home, had a Diet Coke and an Oreo.
But I digress…
The thing is–I really thought my family was pretty eco-savy. But we’ve also become eco-lethargic. So my family and I have embarked on our own year-long experiment to reduce our carbon footprints while positively impacting our environment. We like to call our project: “No Impact Man-Lite.”
We’re attempting to make substantial, meaningful changes…a little bit at a time, focusing on practical tips other parents and families can implement to improve their relationship with the environment. I’m writing about our successes–and misses–at www.growingdays.blogspot.com
From eliminating my beloved Diet Coke cans to fostering biodiversity through my heirloom plant business to deprogramming our consumerist kiddos…we’re working to lower our impact–one day at a time.
This post was submitted by Julie Thompson-Adolf.
Been living in Europe for 30+ years(Born In The USA) and seems that here environment-friendly habits are more advanced.Probably a cultural thing.Anyway, recently I have been getting rid of “stuff”.Maybe an age thing, my mother did the same at slightly older.I think as you age you see more about what is really essential and what is superficial.Like many women I have closets full of clothes and “nothing to wear”,so am giving away piles of garments I’ll never wear again(will never see size 4 waistline again, let’s face it) to charitable organisations. Am recycling all those magazine and newspaper articles I will never read again which have piled up over time. My regret is that with at least 5000 books in the house, I CANNOT throw them away, but no one wants them. Any suggestions? (they are mostly in English so not a popular item with libraries here)
This post was submitted by Barbara.
This year, by growing as much food as we can on our small city lot (including hens for eggs!), my partner and I reduced the number of trips to the grocery store, saved money, ate less meat, cooked great meals together, were darn proud of ourselves, and had fun doing it.
This post was submitted by Jen McIntyre.