Mother Nature’s birthday is just around the corner. How can you help her? Start with these five simple green ideas.
By Danielle Rita
Reduce Your Food Miles
In many cases, food travels miles and miles before reaching your dinner table. The more your food travels, the less fresh it is and the more preservatives it requires. Buying locally grown food is a greener way to go. Farmer’s markets and organic grocery stores are ideal, including my favorite, FRESHFARM markets.
Do it for your wallet and the high obesity rates. Instead of driving everywhere, consider other alternatives. Walk to the local corner store instead of driving. On a nice day, ride your bike to work/school… yes, a bike. Capital Bikeshare stations are located in Maryland, Virginia and the District. Using public transportation or carpooling can also help reduce the amount of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere.
Take advantage of natural sunlight. Open blinds and shades during the day. When exiting a room, turn off all lights and electronics. To eliminate “phantom” electricity, unplug all electronics that are not being used, which will noticeably decrease your monthly electric bill if you make it a habit. Consider the transition to more energy-efficient household products such as compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Green Your Lawn
Every American takes pride in his or her green, freshly cut lawn. Although fertilizers make your lawn look healthy, they’re actually progressively poisoning our planet. There are chemicals in fertilizers, which contaminate local drinking water. They also affect the water cycle and will inevitably lead to acid rain. Look for organic lawn care products near you.
Buy Reusable Bags
Each of us leaves a trail of plastic footprints through our heavy use of plastic bags, which are not biodegradable. Think about how many plastic bags you use each time you go shopping. Now, calculate how many plastic bags you have used over the past five years. If this equation seems impossible, then consider purchasing reusable bags. Yes, recycling is great, but reducing production altogether is even better.