The First Steps to Go Green

steps to go greenIt’s fantastic that you’ve decided to “go green.” Living eco-friendly means reducing your impact on the environment, eliminating waste, and building a healthier life for you and your family. I’m not advocating you live off in the land in the woods somewhere, eating bugs and making your own clothes from leaves, but in a world where our natural resources are shrinking and our air is becoming polluted, we all have to take some action to improve the situation. These steps are easy to implement, cost little or nothing, and can make the biggest impact. Here are your first steps to go green.

Eat organic and locally-grown foods.

Buying organic foods is as simple as checking the labels and signs at your grocery store or supermarket. Organic food is healthier and doesn’t come with harmful pesticides and toxins. Locally-grown food doesn’t require energy for transportation.

Cut out the chemicals.

Switch to products around your home without toxins or harmful substances. This will require some research on your part. You’ll have to evaluate the ingredients of each item before purchasing. This isn’t just about food; many household products (toys, furniture, flooring, appliances, etc.) and cleaners come riddled with chemicals.

Drink tap water.

30 billion plastic bottle are sold in the U.S. and Canada, and less than 20% get recycled into something useful. In many places in North America, tap water is completely safe and perfectly drinkable. If you aren’t satisfied with your tap water, spend a one-time cost of $100-200 for a top-of-the-line water filter. You could also refill water bottles so you maintain the convenience.

While we’re on the subject of water: reduce your waste! Our fresh water supply is diminishing. We pour too much water away while brushing our teeth or waiting for it to warm up.

Reduce your junk mail.

In a world where we’re bombarded with advertising, this task will be tougher than you think. Select the e-newsletter option whenever possible for mailers and catalogs. Sign up for paperless billing and notifications from your bank, credit card company, energy company, etc. When you come across a new piece of mail, take any steps listed to get your name off the list.

Conserve your transportation.

This is a good time to mention that going green isn’t an “all-or-nothing” lifestyle. You won’t be able to reduce your environmental impact entirely, but you can lessen it to a responsible level. In North America, it’s pretty much required that you have a car to get to work, home, and schools. Reduce how often you use your vehicle by biking, walking or carpooling wherever possible. When you do use your car, make sure it’s running tip-top so it uses fuel economically.

Reduce your energy usage.

Like transportation, this is a broad category where you should focus on eliminating energy usage over time rather than cutting it all out drastically. Energy is becoming harder and more costly to produce every year. Before you use something that requires power, or buy something that required power to make or get to you, consider if it’s really necessary. For example, an electric ice cream maker is a unique and fun product, but a hand-cranked one makes the same ice cream. If you’re really into the green movement, look into installing solar panels in your home – they recoup their investment faster than most people think.

Educate, educate, educate!

Begin a habit of keeping up to date on eco-friendly trends and methods. You could follow environmental blogs and news sites, read eco-living magazines, or connect with a local environmental group. Never stop learning. Pass your wisdom to your friends and family, without being preachy, of course – no one likes that!

organic baby toddler clothingWritten by Holly MacLean from Wee Urban

As a new mom, Holly was driven to start Wee Urban™ to offer the modern family a unique and fresh collection of eco-friendly baby gear and accessories that goes beyond the conventional and explores the exceptional! Tired of traditional pinks and blues and cute motifs, we offer sophisticated designs, “conscious” organic alternatives, practical functionality and superior quality. Using our custom certified organic cotton blends, low-impact dyes, and other trendsetting fabrics, we hope to inspire families to be make better choices and of course- do it all in urban style!

Beyond our organic cotton and azo-free dyes, Wee Urban uses 100% post-consumer packaging and tags for our Wee Dreams™ Sleep Bags. Our distinctive screen-printing is done with 100% eco-inks and are all phthalate free.

We also recycle our remnants and donate as much as possible to local elementary schools to help with arts and crafts programs.

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