Going green is beneficial to homes and businesses that practice ways to minimize waste whether through recycling or saving energy to reduce negative impacts to the environment. It is beneficial because companies or individuals get alternatives for products, processes or ways that can prove harmful to the environment or health of families and individuals. However, since “going green” is a growing term many people may confuse what is exactly the meaning of “going green” which is a behavioral change that calls for changing our patterns of production and consumption and adopting practices that help to reduce our carbon foot print thus improving the environment. For instance, businesses may change their production systems or processes to adopt clean technologies that could help reduce pollution of harmful gases or toxins that may affect the environment perhaps causing climate change or have negative health impacts to people or society.
Going green helps to save money while at the same time contributing to conserving the environment for future generations. Whether it is going solar, driving the right car or making your home energy smart; going green helps to improve the environment while you spend less, save more, earn more or even pay fewer taxes.
Going green starts by using online tools or calculators to determine your impact to the environment or simply put “knowing your carbon footprint”. Knowing your carbon footprint involves calculating the amount of carbon that result from your daily activities that are believed to have a negative impact to the environment in terms of greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere. Such activities may include but not limited to your daily usage of electricity, driving a car, waste disposal etc. All these activities when summed up make up your household’s carbon footprint.
Since going green is a behavioral change; some of the known practices of going green involve the following among other things:
Green shopping or buying green products
Reducing waste and recycling
Green Shopping or buying green products
With the increased awareness about global warming, many businesses and individuals are turning to buying green products or what is commonly referred to as green shopping. Consumers are becoming more aware about green products that have a potential to reduce harmful effects to the environment or even to one’s health. Increased awareness means you can make good judgment about deciding about what products to purchase. For instance, consumers may decide to purchase green cleaning products that have biodegradable chemicals that won’t cause eutrophication to the environment or cause health problems to individuals using them.
Reducing waste and recycling
Going green also involves developing ways that can help you reduce or minimize waste. Reducing waste and recycling will depend on the products that you shop. For instance, you can buy only the products that you are going to use without wasting or products that can be re-used. Also instead of buying different cleaning products; you may consider to buy a multi-purpose cleaner that takes care of all you cleaning needs. You may also consider to buy products that have less little packaging to reduce your overall waste generation. Recycling could be applied to products that are packaged with bottles that can then be recycled and used for storage or other purposes hence reducing the need to waste while promoting more recycling. Also buying rechargeable batteries will help to reduce waste significantly as you can always recharge these batteries whenever they are used up. Any unwanted stuff (e.g.unwanted clothing, shoes etc) could be donated to charities instead of dumping such unwanted stuff to a landfill. Paper waste can be reduced by subscribing to online services and avoid paper letters on your mailbox.
Energy efficiency is one of the ways to reduce energy wastage and help to reduce your carbon footprint and it involves conducting an energy audit and implementing energy measures identified. Energy efficiency examples include very simple tasks such as turning off lights when not being utilized or even replacing an incandescent lamp with a compact fluorescent lamp. Such practices will help you to conserve energy and hence reduce your carbon footprint when greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. However, energy efficiency need a plan to help you achieve your saving energy goals while identifying areas of improvement and the measures to be implemented. This will also help to understand the kind of investment needed as well as the payback period for the measures to be implemented.
Going solar has become one of the trends to going green and in the USA more than 1 million households have already switched to solar. Today going solar does not require you to own the solar panels that may require high initial costs, but could be pocket friendly in the long-term. Solar energy can have high initial costs of up to $15,000 and for homes that may not be unable to afford such costs can lease or enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a solar provider so that they don’t have to own these solar panels and can go solar with zero money down. Using leasing or solar PPA, businesses and homeowners can go solar without paying anything upfront and still enjoy savings of up to 30% because solar providers provide slightly lower rates compared to utility power rates offered to them. To learn more about how to go solar or to determine how much you can save with going solar and get started here. Also you can determine whether solar panels are worth it for your specific case by just typing your address.
The above examples of going green are just to help you get started in the process of going green. Other examples include driving electric cars, buying organic products, telecommuting, car sharing etc. To learn more about going green check this article.