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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Three Out-of-the-Box Ways To Go Green In 2013 & Beyond

by Elizabeth Lambert

Did you know that recycling only one aluminum can is equivalent to running a television for six hours? From recycling at home to making use of public transportation options, many socially responsible Americans have adopted strategies to reduce their overall carbon footprint.

Going green benefits more than just the environment too — you'll save money, help other members of your community, and adopt behaviors to positively influence others. But what else could you be doing to improve the environment around you?

1. Purchase Biodegradable or Compostable Clothing


You might be thinking, "But I'm already donating my used clothes to those in need, why would I want biodegradable duds?" Donating your used clothing is a kind gesture, but let's face it, not all of your clothes are donation-worthy, and where will they end up? Most likely, adding to the mounting garbage heap at the community dump. Once they end up at the dump, that's where they will stay for centuries to a millennium.

Biodegradable clothing is not only environmentally conscious because it breaks down over time, but it's primarily manufactured using less fossil fuels and synthetics that can add to harmful greenhouse gases over time. Imagine being able to throw your sneakers into the compost pile that will later help yield home-gardened fruits and vegetables. So where does one turn for economical clothing options? Brooksrunning.com is a cool eco-friendly sporting brand offering a wide selection of green running shoe options that enrich the environment as they degrade. For another green clothing resource, visit Puma.com.

2. Go Back To School Online


Have you been thinking about continuing your education but not sure how your choice will impact the environment? Earning a high school diploma or a degree of higher education online is an eco-conscious and frugal choice you can make to further improve your relationship with the environment. Attending school online offers many green incentives such as:
  • Cutting fuel usage for transportation
  • The opportunity to access textbooks electronically instead of continually printing new editions
  • Reducing the overall cost of maintaining and operating an entire building

3. Stop Smoking


It's no secret that cigarettes cause bodily harm, but have you considered their negative impact on the environment? According Smoke Free Kids, approximately 600 million trees are destroyed each year to provide fuel to dry tobacco plants for cigarette manufacture. Dangerous pesticides are also heavily used to grow disease-prone tobacco plants.

Less trees plus more carbon monoxide in the air equals poor air quality. Consider giving back to the environment by planting a tree to celebrate when you quit. Arbordaynow.org is an action-driven, national resource providing trees you can purchase in someone's honor. They're always accepting new volunteers to help restore the environment.

Elizabeth Lambert
Elizabeth volunteers with several energy conservation groups and loves to write about green living