Being Green: What Does “Green” Really Mean?


Living Green means making the conscious choice to value the connectedness that we have with the environment. By understanding our daily actions and taking steps to make positive impact on our planet, we become better global citizens and Earth stewards.

Green lightbulb

Going Green is a great idea!

Simple actions can be the first steps to Going Green…

Start by keeping a diary of actions and purchases that you make in a typical week.  Write down where you spend the most time during your day such as your home, office, vehicle, school or work.   If you spend the most time at the office, start by greening your workplace.  Simple actions such as not using disposable coffee cups, unplugging your power strip at night, using eco-friendly cleaning supplies and maybe even altering your work week to working four ten hour workdays instead of five eight hour workdays to save on transportation and fuel.

If you find that you are making daily trips to the grocery store for fresh produce, you might want to think about joining a local CSA, Community Supported Agriculture,  to have fresh produce provided for you by area farmers instead of produce shipped from other countries to your grocery store. CSA is a partnership of mutual commitment between a farm and a community of supporters which provides a direct link between the production and consumption of food. Supporters cover a farm’s yearly operating budget by purchasing a share of the season’s harvest. CSA members make a commitment to support the farm throughout the season, and assume the costs, risks and bounty of growing food along with the farmer or grower. Members help pay for seeds, fertilizer, water, equipment maintenance, labor, etc. In return, the farm provides, to the best of its ability, a healthy supply of seasonal fresh produce throughout the growing season. Becoming a member creates a responsible relationship between people and the food they eat, the land on which it is grown and those who grow it.You might also want to think about learning how to grow some of your own produce.

Going Green means to be environmentally friendly.

STAYING INFORMED

Conscious consumerism is also a great place to start when Going Green. The majority of goods purchased today are bought without thought given as to how their production or transportation has affected the environment.  When you purchase goods at the market you are promoting the production of more of those particular goods.  If you purchase products that are made in areas that are not local, you have told the manufacturer that you do not mind the massive amount of fuel spent to bring the product from overseas, the carbon that the transportation vehicle has emitted into our atmosphere, or the significant amount of packaging that is needed to secure the shipment to market.  Michael Shuman, author of “Small Mart – How Local Businesses are Beating Global Competition” explains within his book that not only do small businesses stimulate the local economy by buying local supplies and services, but they adapt to higher environmental and labor regulations and participate within the community for many years if not many generations. Buying locally made goods is not only good for your local economy, but it is also a better sustainable practice to participate in.

I think , therefore I am (or should be) Green.

Green Cleaning – The use of  of chemicals and sprays that release toxic chemicals into the air should be avoided. There are green cleaning products available that are non-toxic and safe to use in your home.  They are also safer to use around small children and animals.

Green Construction –  These builders are looking for environmentally friendly ways to create houses and buildings while bring down the consumption of energy and reducing pollution.

Green Living/Greening
– Deciding to live in a way that will either be neutral or beneficial to the environment living green. This can be done by using environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, cars and fuel. Those that live off the grid are also considered greening.

“Green Collar” –  Filling a job position where the principle focus is to accomplish some end that is environmentally friendly.  Choosing a Green Career is increasingly easier now that issues like energy conservation, bio building and alternative fuel consumption and energy have risen in importance.  Colleges and Universities are making adjustments by designing curriculum and courses  to offer students seeking Green Careers more options and training for the growing number of jobs that are available in the workforce.


Greening your home is the essential first step to a greener lifestyle.

GreenGroup.com provides its readers with the information necessary to consider all aspects of their home life with the goal of providing information on reasonable changes that can be made to promote an environmentally friendly home.  Because the home is where we spend most of our time, it is important to consider all the ways we can make our home lives more environmentally friendly.  By doing so, we do our part in reducing our negative impact on the Earth. After simple first steps are taken, becoming more active in influencing your neighbors is part of being a responsible Green citizen.  This is a crucial part of Living Green.


Greening Your Office
–   It’s easy to become detached from a space that we do not own, thereby adopting a mentality of “no ownership equals no responsibility.”  However, the onus is on each individual to work toward a greener earth, with the goal of reducing their carbon footprint.  So starting recycling programs in the office or buying greener supplies are environmentally friendly ways to do business.  And in addition, they can also be cost effective.

Green Travel –   Now, there are several Green Travel Agencies, hotels and vacations designed for eco conscious consumers. A key aspect of Green Travel is just being conscious about how your travel decisions affect the environment.  Choosing to drive to a location rather than fly is a perfect example of greening your travel.  Not taking a jumbo jet that emits tons of carbon into the Earth’s atmosphere would help preserve the ozone.  The more and more people make greener decisions, the larger the overall positive impact on the planet.

BEWARE
Green Washing– People or products that promote their “green” status without proper credentialing or certification.

REFERENCE: GreenGroup.com

http://www.umassvegetable.org/food_farming_systems/csa/

To See Videos on Being Green click here

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