How to live “green” in a “brown” world

The world is on the brink of ecological disaster because of the choices that people and governments have made over the past century or so. Natural disasters such as the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan have set off another ecological disaster coming from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, with massive levels of radiation being leaked. Now, not only in Japan, but around the world people are concerned about radiation in their food supply and the oceans that also supply food, let alone the harm being done to the people who are actually working in the nuclear plant.

People make use of every natural resource they can find without caring about the consequences for future generations. In fact, our species can be characterized by the greed with which it has used and wasted natural resources. Many non-renewable resources are almost completely exhausted. In addition, we drive many species of plants or animals to extinction at a terrifying rate. As we strip the rainforests, climate change has occurred, and there is no doubt this climate change has affected many countries with disasters and loss of lives.

This does not mean there is nothing we can do to turn the state of our world around. It is possible for people to make changes, small and big, in the way they lead their lives so that there is a collective positive impact on the world. It has become very necessary for people to make ‘green’ choices because this is the only way that the planet will be saved from certain destruction.

It is necessary to have a change your lifestyle and perspective in small ways so that ‘green’ choices come naturally to you. If you change your habits of your consumption, this will cause manufacturers to produce less if more people think and act like you. Recycling is a popular buzzword but it is absolutely imperative that you make it a part of your life.

Drive less. Buy a hybrid car. Automobile emissions are a big cause of pollution and you can help reduce this by using public transportation, a motorcycle, an e-bike or a bicycle in order to get around. Instead of using your car to go to the corner store, why not walk or hop on your bicycle? Using your legs to pedal or walk not only saves the environment, you also exercise your body, your heart and lungs.

You should also do your best to reduce power consumption in your home by switching off electrical appliances whenever they are not in use. With electricity power costing more and more each year, you’ll not only help the environment but you’ll save money on your electricity bill.

Improving on the insulation in your home is another way to live green in a brown world. Insulating your home protects it from the extremes of weather so that you do not have to turn up the power to cool or heat it. Invest in windows that are double glazed so that it is well insulated. Set your thermostat at a reasonable level. If it’s cold, put on a sweater and generate your own body warmth.

Stop using plastic shopping bags when you shop. Invest in some attractive, recyclable bags to bring home your groceries and other shopping. Plastic bags are clogging up our landfills. The harm to our environment is massive.

Use recycle bins for your garbage. Place your bottles, your paper waste, your plastic food containers in these bins.

Stop drinking water out of plastic bottles. Drink filtered water from your tap by buying an accessory you can add to the faucet and have fresh clean water on demand. Buy a Brita water filter jug instead of buying bottled water and save money while saving the environment. Not only are you helping the environment by living green, by not using plastic, you are protecting your body from exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates and flame retardants that leak from the plastic. These harmful substances contain hormone disrupting toxic chemicals which block testosterone production in males, mimic harmful estrogen and interfere with the thyroid hormone.

Your choice to live green will eventually put pressure on manufacturers, civic bodies and governments to make the right decisions on products and processes. We need to find alternative energy sources in order for our world in order to survive. We need to use renewable energy and we must pressure our government to move forward on this issue. Only then will the earth have a chance of evading disaster.

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