It is nearly ten years since Al Gore launched his plea to humanity to start thinking green with his Inconvenient Truth that was seen by most of us. Global warming propaganda has made a difference because the ozone layer is starting to show signs of repair.
The point is we can make a difference and that is good news. It is simple considerations like putting cans that go through your kitchen in a bag. In some countries this recycling can is actually collected. If we are not environmentally aware then our children will teach us because it is now part of their education.
Often these ‘green’ additions to our lifestyle can save us money and improve our health, but changing one’s lifestyle is not easy and comes from effort, planning and a bit of discipline. If the bag of tins collected through no extra effort needs to be dropped off at a recycling depot, then you need to do it.
But is all starts with education which is why America is able to make a difference because they are educated. America is responsible for more than two thirds of the earth waste which although completely disproportionate has resulted in the majority of the population being able to read and write.
For those readers who are not green conscious there are many other ways that you can help which do not necessarily demand a change in lifestyle. For example switching off your hot water system if you are going to be away from home for more than 24 hours.
Or walking to the shop down the road instead of taking the car, all make a difference to your carbon footprint. If you would like to know what your own carbon footprint is, down to the last gram of carbon dioxide you will find a carbon footprint calculators online.
If you can put 5 minutes aside and change the thermostat on your heating devices in your home, dropping the temperature by just one degree will lower your fuel bill by 10%. It really depends on your own sense of commitment to this ‘green thinking’.
Simple things like clearing any dust that you find on the coils at the rear of your fridge or freezer makes for perfect green housekeeping because if these coils are full of dust it could increase energy consumption by 30%. The average American citizen’s impact on the carbon debt is 40% direct and 60% indirect carbon emissions caused by the stuff we buy or use in the form of goods and services that we can directly control.
If you are able to pay closer attention to consumption and waste habits we’ll find many opportunities to conserve and reduce our carbon footprint. When we only got 5 minutes we could make a call to stop junk mail and save trees by signing up with a service that will get your name and address taken off the circulating lists that drop junk mail that we never read.
We can easily make the correct decisions that take less than a minute by purchasing local instead of buying imported stuff. We use 12 pounds of CO2 flying a 5 pound package compared to using 3 ½ pounds of CO2 if the same package is transported by truck locally.
For example you could take it all a step farther and start a compost in your garden where you put all your organic waste from the kitchen. In less than a month of this routine you will get rich loamy soil that could be the start of a food garden. All of this makes a huge difference to your own personal carbon footprint. But if you are only willing to devote 5 minutes to ‘the cause’ then there are other money saving activities that will change your carbon footprint.
If we want to start making green decisions then eating less meat can make a big difference to our carbon footprint because a vegetarian will save around 3,000 pounds of CO2 each year compared to a meat eater.
Simply increasing the vegetarian meals we eat will make a big difference to our carbon footprint. For example eating poultry instead of beef we can make a difference as the production of poultry producers less greenhouse gas than beef.
If you are convinced that you can make a difference then other decisions you make in the home besides a compost and food garden will make a difference. For example using natural sunlight to dry clothes instead of using the dryer, will reduce your family’s carbon footprint and save you money, leaving your laundry smelling fresh. In winter you can use a collapsible drying rack indoors. Delicate clothing like lingerie will last longer compared to machine dried.
In conclusion making any effort to be more environmentally aware and ‘thinking green’ is we can make a difference because the difference has already started to happen. Help save the planet and ‘go green’ with just a 5 minute contribution we can reduce our carbon debt and help save the world.