You can always have a greener lifestyle. Whether you live in the city, the suburbs or the countryside, there are always lifestyle changes you can make to cut down on your carbon footprint and nourish the earth.
Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Alternative Transportation
Traffic is a pain unless you live in the countryside, and if you commute, rush hour can take hours, burn gallons of gas and release major emissions into the atmosphere. Alternative transportation options have grown in the last five years beyond the limits of public transportation and bicycles, to encompass car-sharing programs like Car2go and Zipcar. With Car2go, drivers only pay for the time they use the car. Furthermore, in downtown areas, drivers park the car for free without feeding the meter on public streets. Zipcar, on the other hand, requires a monthly or yearly subscription. These car-sharing programs limit your need for a consistent automobile option.
You can also cut down car use by living in a location near public transit stations. For instance, if your apartment is in New York City, research the public transportation options near your home. If you plan on a move anytime soon, check out cities that have bicycle-friendly infrastructure like Portland, Oregon.
- Garden Not Grass
If you live in the suburbs or the country, chances are you have a small bit of land on your property. Grass lawns are a holdover from medieval time periods in which an unused lawn was a sign of great wealth. While you are probably far more wealthy than anyone from that historical period, there’s no reason to waste space with a patch of grass instead of an organic garden. If you have kids, this can be a valuable experience for them as well. When children learn how plants grow, they are more likely to show awareness of the natural world around them. When kids help grow healthy foods like tomatoes, carrots, kale, etc., they are more likely to eat that food as well. This lawn-to-garden conversion isn’t only good for the planet, but for your family as well.
- Solar Power Roofs
The power of the sun is renewable and clean. With the advancement of technology, solar panels have also become more affordable, if not more inexpensive. Many home owners with solar panel roofs make more energy than they use, which they can sell a portion of that energy back to the power company. If you’re not a home owner, you can still live in a solar-powered building, as Elon Musk, the owner of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, has set a goal for his solar power company, SolarCity, to replace 5 million home rooftops with solar panels. While this may be ambitious — especially as the cost of solar panels, while down, are still expensive — be sure to keep an eye on the market in the next few years as more buzz will likely hit the airwaves as the project develops.
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