The environmental movement is becoming more robust by the year. Soon, America will experience the initial stages of a green revolution in which environmentally-friendly technologies will become the new standard for consumers. Until then, the average consumer can take a few small steps to promote sustainable living and “green” technologies and products. In terms of specific, actionable steps, here are five things that the average person can do in order to promote a sustainable lifestyle.
1) Change driving habits
A person can take the first and easiest step by using their car less and when they do use it, use it intelligently. For example, for short trips, try walking or riding a bicycle. For longer trips, take public transportation like buses. When driving, make sure the engine of the car is functioning properly and that there is plenty of air in the tires. On average, using public transportation can save enough money to cover food costs for the year.
2) Change light bulbs
The original incandescent light bulb invented by Thomas Edison is unfortunately very inefficient. The bulb gives off much more heat than light, which wastes electrical power. The most successful light bulb design to date has been the compact fluorescent lamp or CFL. Other alternatives include halogen light bulbs and light-emitting diode lamps or LED lamps. Both of these technologies have their own problems, mostly to do with excess heat. Unfortunately, CFL technology is not without dangers, as well. The mercury contained in the lamp bulb itself presents a health problem for consumers.
3) Pay bills online
Paying bills electronically instead of by paper can save significant amounts each year. By eliminating the need for paper bills, checks and envelopes, the administrative costs of companies are lowered and trees are saved. Online bill paying works either automatically or by the customer manually reviewing each bill individually. Either way helps the environment.
4) Change eating habits
There are a lot of resources used in order to raise animals for food. Shipping animals to slaughterhouses or farms and then shipping the food to stores is expensive. Buying foods that are grown and harvested at local farms helps support the local economy while reducing the expenses. Buying locally-produced foods can also be healthier. Better yet, the concerned person can even start their own farm if they feel so inclined. Producing their own food obviously cuts down on expenses considerably.
5) Make the home more green
There are many products that are used for home applications that can be abandoned in favor of greener products. For example, replacing the hot water heaters can save both water and gas costs. If they are so inclined and they have the money to do it, they can build their house using environmentally-friendly materials and technologies. This is the best way because the home is green from the ground up.