- Show your friends. Actions speak louder than words, and that’s certainly true of environmental issues too. You can talk all you want about helping the environment, but if your friends see your gas-guzzling Hummer parked in your driveway, all that talk isn’t going to do any good. You can show your friends by suggesting restaurants that serve local or organic cuisine for your next luncheon, or bring local wine to your next dinner party. Give them green gifts. If your friend is having a baby shower next week, purchase organic cotton onesies, or paraben-free baby cream. There are a million ways to demonstrate your environmental lifestyle to your friends, and to show how it’s benefiting your life. Be careful though, your goal is to make environmental decisions enticing, not ram it down their throats. No matter how frustrated you may be with your friends environmentally damaging decisions, slapping them in the face with a Go Organic sticker won’t achieve the desired results.
- Sign up for renewable energy through your utility provider. Call your utility provider and inquire about renewable energy. Most companies have some program to help you go green with your energy consumption, but unfortunately many of them don’t advertise it. Supporting green energy initiatives locally helps show your utility provider that you are committed to renewable energy, and you want to see those types of positive changes take place in your community.
- Identify your environmental saboteur. All of us have an area where we know we should be more environmentally conscious, but we don’t for whatever reason. For me, it’s clothes. I am horrible at buying clothing that is good for the environment. I see the $1 flip flops, and the 2 for $10 tank tops, and I can’t resist. I justify it since I’m so good about buying local and organic food, and I only buy green body products or cleaning products. But at the end of the day, no matter how good I am at all those things, I’m still supporting sweat shops that produce synthetic clothing that are damaging to myself and my environment. Take stock of your habits and find your environmental saboteur. Be rid of it. Take the initiative to cut back on whatever is keeping you from respecting the planet. You don’t have to do it overnight. Obviously I’m not going to go replace my entire wardrobe, but I can make the commitment to only buy reused or new clothes that are made with the environment in mind.
- Give up your synthetic cleaning supplies. I know this sounds like an obvious one, but how many of us have that bottle of bleach under the sink, and buy the cheap dish soap cause it’s on sale. Even Costco has environmentally friendly options these days, so your days of saying its only one bottle, or just this time, are quickly coming to an end. Green cleaning products are everywhere, and while they still have a ways to go, they keep up with synthetic alternatives. It’s time to let go of all those toxic chemicals you have lurking under the sink or in the pantry. This is especially true of households where kids or pets are present. Take the time to clean out the old chemical cleaners you have stashed around your house, and start your summer off right by only buying environmentally (and kid) safe cleaners.
- Keep up to date on environmental trends, news, and breakthroughs. How frustrating is it when you talk to someone who has seemingly never heard of Obama, or never heard of Darfur? I find it so astounding when people do not keep themselves abreast of current issues in the world today. Maybe I’m alone in this, but regardless, keeping your environmental knowledge up to date can help you save money, protect the environment, and so much more. How many of us take the time to keep up on celebrity blogs, or financial news worrying about our retirement? Keeping our environmental knowledge helps us be aware of the latest technology or products to help us in our eco-conscious goals. Also, being up to date on the latest research can help us avoid toxic substances in our daily lives. For instance, how many of you knew about the effects of BPA early on? Knowledge is power, and environmental knowledge helps give us the power to fight climate change effectively.