Going Green: Part 1

Going green seems to be one of the hot topics these days. Working in media I have access to many newspapers, journals and magazines that are all beginning to feature this topic. I think it’s a step in the right direction, but I really don’t think people and countries are doing enough. I’m not involved enough in the world or political news to keep up with all the conversations about the Kyoto Accord and things of that nature, but it seems to me that our leading countries are being jerks about the whole thing, and trying to pass the buck.

I guess it is up to us smaller folk to do what we can to preserve our Earth for future generations. We should also try and reverse some of the devastating effects our pollution has caused.

I thought that a good topic for an article would be the ways that I attempt to “go green” in my daily life, and maybe feature some interesting articles or resources about reducing our impact on the environment, etc. I consider myself lucky to have gone to a (somewhat) environmentally-conscious grade school when I was younger. Even though it was a smallish town, they still managed to teach us lasting lessons about being environmentally conscious citizens, and how we could do our part. I remember how exciting it was to plant trees and sort our paper for recycling. Before composting became a big thing, we were doing it in the classroom.

I think it is very important to teach children about the environment from a young age. Just look at how I turned out! I’m neither a Greenpeace activist nor a super-wasteful consumer. I learned the “Four R’s”. Most people know the three, but do you know the fourth?

Recycle
Reuse
Reduce
Refuse

Recycle – This one’s pretty obvious. If it can be recycled, then do it! Don’t put it in the trash!

Reuse – Reuse those old margarine and yogurt containers, wash out your ziploc bags if they’re still decent. Many people can go completely without tupperware/rubbermaid containers, simply by reusing food containers again and again.

Reduce – Don’t cut your lawn so often, reduce the number of times you do it. Install water-saving showerheads and low-flow toilets in your home to reduce the use of our resources. Turn the thermostat down just one degree and save!

Refuse – With the help of some big companies such as Loblaws, it is becoming easier to do this. Refuse to take the plastic shopping bags they offer, and bring your own cloth ones instead. Refuse to buy over-packaged products and try purchasing bulk foods instead. If we stop accepting and over-consuming unnecessary plastics and the like, we can greatly reduce our impact on the environment and landfills.

This article seems to be taking me quite some time to write, so I’ve decided to split up the idea into a series of smaller articles. I’m planning to include some links to interesting environment-related websites and articles and also my opinion and thoughts on each of them.

Stay tuned!

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