Most of us realize that human consumption and waste has contributed to the environmental issues we see today. But just how bad are we Americans on the environment? First of all, we’re wasteful—a recent study from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found that the US wastes as much as 61 percent of its energy. Second, we produce more than our fair share of trash—for example, the average American creates 7.1 pounds of trash per day compared to the 2.5 pounds produced by the average Japanese person.
The good news is there are plenty of measures we can take to reduce our impact on the planet. Here are a few actions you can take to make your own home and lifestyle greener.
Use green cleaners: One aspect of being greener is avoiding products that are harmful to the environment. And because many of our household cleaners are filled with strong chemicals when we use them to clean our home we risk adding to the pollution in our air and water supply. As this article notes, one way to avoid this negative impact is to switch to greener cleaners. It explains that many safer cleaning solutions can be made from items you have around your house. For example, a little vinegar and water is all you need to get sparkling floors.
Bring in some plants: One way to make your home greener is to do so literally by bringing in plants. WebMD.com explains that plants help clean the air in your home and can also absorb “harmful pollutants emitted from carpets, furniture, and electronic equipment.” It recommends starting with spider plants, Boston ferns, rubber plants, and palm trees.
Reduce your flow: Have you ever considered how much excess water you allow to flow down your drains? The EPA thinks you should. It points out that by making changes to our plumbing to reduce our faucets’ water flow we can help save 60 billion gallons of water each year. And if you aren’t in a position for plumbing upgrades, not to worry. You can still have a significant impact simply by promptly fixing leaks.
“Going green” can be achieved by making small, simple changes that aren’t inconvenient for us and often lead to money saved. So, look around your business and take steps to live a little greener.
Jasmine Dyoco is a fan of crossword puzzles, gardening, books on tape, learning (anything!) and fencing. She truly enjoys the work she does with Educator Labs and hopes you’ll stop by the site to learn more!