Going Green – It’s The Little Things

By on November 14, 2013
Going Green

It seems such a big problem doesn’t it, all the things we hear about climate change, global warming, loss of biodiversity, over-flowing landfills, over-use of natural resources and the planet in danger. What can just one person possibly do that is going make any difference?

This was the mentality that I had when I started to take all the warnings seriously; what could I do? Surely anything I did wouldn’t make any difference in the whole scheme of things?

What I discovered was that going green is actually just a lot of small things. By making a few changes to the way I carried out everyday tasks, I could make a difference in my own little realm. Then, by sharing what I had discovered with friends and family, I could maybe influence a few others to do the same. Carried forward, lots of small things would add up to some pretty big results.

The first things we did were those that have been talked about so much that I’m sure your sick of hearing them. This included turning lights off in rooms that weren’t being used; taking shorter showers; washing clothes in cold water; changing light globes to lower voltage and environmentally-friendly types, taking reusable shopping bags to the supermarket and reusing the washing machine water on the garden. The positive offshoot of most of these changes was that we saved money on energy bills.

None of these things were difficult or particularly time-consuming and it didn’t take very long for all family members to form new habits. The same applied to recycling the garbage; the local council helped by supplying a recycling bin and we simply had two bins in the kitchen so rubbish could be sorted as it was created. Actually, we had three bins in the kitchen because we started a compost and so had a special bin for kitchen waste.

But I figured there had to be more. I investigated the ‘reduce’ factor of the environmental mantra and found there were several small changes I could make. I’m an avid reader and had a huge collection of books; I discovered a book exchange close by and swapped a big pile of books for ones I hadn’t read. I made a conscious effort to buy products at the supermarket that had minimal packaging.

I reduced my dependence on multiple, single-purpose cleaning products by switching to vinegar and carb soda for most cleaning jobs. In the process, I saved money, reduced the amount of packaging going to landfill and limited the toxic chemicals I had in the house. Talk about a win-win!

Having discovered that going green really is a small thing, I’m constantly on the look-out for more little things that will help us tread more lightly on our planet. Hopefully we have inspired others to make similar changes and together, we really can make a difference.