10 Things You Can Do to Help the Planet - Black Enterprise

10 Things You Can Do to Help the Planet

greenrecycle1What better time to begin taking a few steps toward a greener life than in conjunction with Earth Day. Going green doesn’t mean giving up your luxuries, but it might just mean embracing a few new and innovative alternatives. Here are 10 small things you can do today to help Mother Earth in her fight to stay green.

  1. Educate Yourself
    The first step to living a green lifestyle is doing your research and educating yourself on the various options, products, and resources available. A useful site offered by Consumer Reports,www.greenerchoices.org, can help you make greener product choices. It offers tools and calculators that can assist with purchase decisions for several product categories, including autos, appliances, and electronics.
  2. Green Your Home
    Using all-natural cleaning products, detergents, and energy efficient lighting is a simple way to put a healthy spin on your home. Seventh Generation, (www.seventhgeneration.com), and Clorox, (www.cloroxgreenworks.com), are among several manufacturers that have all-natural cleaning product lines.Energy efficient light bulbs might initially cost more, but will last up to 10 times longer than other bulbs. According to Energy Star, an environment program for businesses and individuals backed by the government, if every American home replaced one regular light bulb with an energy-efficient bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, save more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.
  3. Spend Green
    Be particular where you spend your money. Patronize businesses that have green practices and initiatives. Recognize your spending power and put it toward a worthy cause. If you’re dealing with major companies, look for a statement of the company’s environmental policy on its Website.
  4. Teach Your Kids
    It is never too soon to introduce your kids to green living. From eco-friendly toys, birthday parties, bedrooms, and summer camps, teaching your children green habits early is possible. Try the Nature Mom’s Blog, (www.naturemoms.com/blog), for tips and ideas on how to green your family.
  5. Carbon Offsetting
    Make up for your effect on the earth by purchasing carbon offsets. Carbon offsets are financial instruments representing a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and can be bought as a way to compensate for pollution caused by everyday activities. Companies, small businesses, and individuals can purchase carbon offsets. Visit the Environmental Defense Fund, (www.fightglobalwarming.com), for more information.
  6. Eat Wisely
    You don’t have to be a vegetarian to eat in an eco-friendly way. However, you should recognize that producing meat has a greater environmental impact than growing crops. After all, it takes fuel to run tractors and transport food, and animals and manure produce greenhouse gases. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, if every American had one meal without meat per week, it would be the same as taking more than 5 million cars off our roads.Also try to minimize leftovers: Food leftovers and other compostable waste