Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tips For "Amping" Up Our Green Routine

On a recent POLL we asked everyone to rate their green living efforts. A few people said that they are are just beginning the journey ... the majority said that they are doing a lot but feel there's more to be done. That got me thinking about how people who are living a predominately Eco-friendly life could amp things up. Here are a few ideas:

  • If you feel there's more you could be doing, begin by first determining what those activities are. Once you've determined what needs to be done, start planning. There might things on your list which are totally out of the question ... things like building a new home. On the other hand, perhaps something like building a home isn't an impossibility ... it might even be a dream. Whatever the activity, big or small, determine how you'll achieve it ... and then begin taking steps to make it happen.

  • Start a green living blog, write a regular Eco-feature on your existing blog or search out companies looking for articles on the environment. Nothing kicks up our efforts more than talking about them. As you research and investigate issues, you'll be amazed at how much you'll learn ... and that translates into positive changes to your green routine.

  • Do a home audit. This can be professionally done or you can do your own audit. To do it yourself, you'll want to start with a baseline ... something which tells you where you're at compared to similar structures in your area. The Energy Star site has an interesting TOOL to help. Follow that up with their HOME ADVISOR which includes a lot of great information for "fine tuning" your home. If you have an old or historic home, check out the EPA's ADVICE. Conduct a HOUSEHOLD WATER AUDIT. Once you've completed your audits, prioritize the improvements, taking into consideration the cost and time involved, the necessity (a water leak may be a higher priority than a programmable thermostat) and whether or not you'll do it yourself.

  • Become an activist. Most of us agree that our government officials need to take the environment seriously ... CONTACT your representative and voice your concerns. Sign environmental petitions from sites like Care2 or take one of the actions listed at ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND. See a restaurant, business, market, etc. doing the wrong thing? Write to them and encourage them to make positive changes. Becoming an activist moves your green efforts out of the home and into the world.

  • Join a local environmental group. Being part of a green community can open doors to new ways of living green. It's also a great way to become aware of efforts in your neighborhood ... things like cleaning up rivers or starting a recycling program.

  • Take a class. Nothing generates enthusiasm quite like learning ... and there's so much to learn in the environmental field. I did a quick search using the term "environmental classes Asheville" and found a number of offerings. If you'd rather learn from home, check out free online courses like the ones listed HERE.

Living green isn't a one-time activity ... it's an ongoing process. By expanding our vision and dreaming big, we can infuse our green living activities with energy and excitement.

How will you amp up your green routine?

Image courtesy of ponsulak / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


  1. First action on my list: Home Audit. Thanks for the great links! Will def. be checking them out! :)

  2. My goals fro 2013 are to reduce our food waste and eat less meat. Had a meat-free dinner tonight! one step at a time.

  3. Yayyyy! I'm so glad you mentioned the free classes! Tomorrow I start "introduction to US Food Systems" online via Johns Hopkins University (https://www.coursera.org/course/foodsys) - they have TONS of cool subject areas starting at all different times, for free.

    I've been a die-hard NRDC member since 1992, and love their activist alerts.

    One thing I'll recommend for those energy audits, make sure you don't promise to use their contractors as part of the "free" audit - I've found that their estimates have always been way more than using the people I know to make the home improvements. Also, if you have a really old house like me, some of the recommendations aren't great when they're implemented (i.e., sealing - houses actually need to breathe and sealing everything ensures stanky air). But it's great to do it in order to start that shopping list!

    PS - LOVE the new hummingbird template!!

  4. http://annkschin.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/our-worldsave-our-worldlooking-out-for.html

    I will again be part of the Zero Waste program om our National day. I have missed you.

  5. Planning to reduce our plastic waste and waste in general