The green living movement is gaining momentum. Early on there were a few strong-willed renegades willing to create a lifestyle in which they lived almost completely “off the grid.” Telling someone that you “live off the grid” creates an immediate impression. You come across as strong, independent, a trailblazer. You are self-sufficient, independent-minded, self-sacrificing, and able to provide for yourself without relying on a lot of public services.
The reality is that such a lifestyle is at times difficult, and often requires some major compromises in quality of life. The off-the-grid lifestyle is definitely not for everyone, and it shouldn’t be. Living green does not require that degree of sacrifice.
More recently, the concept of a green lifestyle has gone mainstream. Individuals around the world are increasingly embracing the importance of reducing waste, recycling, and saving energy and water. Wastefulness is definitely not “in” right now. Activities that waste scarce resources like water or trees are “out.” Anything that creates an unnecessarily large carbon footprint is looked down on as not chic. Being environmentally is definitely on the upswing.
In addition to the impact on the environment and the preservation of scarce resources, there is another significant benefit from living green: a green lifestyle can help you save money-in some cases, a lot of money.
Getting started with a green lifestyle is daunting for some people. The inertial barrier to getting started holds them back. There is no reason for this to be the case. You can start going green today and begin to enjoy the benefits of a green lifestyle immediately.
Start with one thing. Don’t choose something too ambitious at the outset. Make sure that you take that one first step toward a greener lifestyle and stick with it. Stay focused and see it through to implementation. When that first green step becomes a habit, then and only then, add a new one.
Here are three simple ideas for getting started.
1. Turn off the lights whenever you leave a room, and make sure to remind others to do the same. This is an easy way to train yourself to conserve electricity.
2. Turn off the sink faucet while you are brushing your teeth or shaving. The water does not need to run continuously, and you will save a surprising amount of fresh water from just this one simple step over the course of a year.
3. Recycle plastic, cans, and paper at home. If you don’t have separate bins for these already, create your own. You may be surprised at how much can be recycled and how big a reduction you can make in your trash that goes to the landfill.
Make one of these a habit first. Then, start on a second, then a third. You will be reducing waste, saving energy and water, and creating a greener lifestyle at home.
Good luck to you.