Green living means making sustainable choices about what we eat, how we travel, what we buy, and how we use and dispose of it. We can implement sustainability in our workplace practices, and by greening the buildings we inhabit. Our everyday choices can create a sustainable lifestyle.
Every person consumes a portion of Earth's total resources. We can calculate an individual's consumption or Ecological Footprint each year by the land required to grow our food, landfill our trash and generate natural resources. For the average American, the land required to sustain each of us is over 22 acres. If the entire population of the world consumed this many resources, the current population would require more than one Earth.
Another way to determine your impact on the environment is to estimate your household's greenhouse gas emissions. Calculate your carbon footprint with EPA's Greenhouse Gas Calculator. Learn more about things you can do, and here are some other tips:
Food: Buy local and organic food which requires less fuel for shipping or petrochemical based fertilizers and pesticides that can be harmful to human health and the environment.
Goods: Assess products on the basis of their entire life-cycle, not simply the time you use it. Support companies that will take back products after their useful life and reuse the materials. Be informed about the contents of personal care products and pharmaceuticals.
Housing: Change your incandescent lightbulbs to compact flourescent lights. The selection of energy efficient types is expanding and you'll save money on your electricity bill. Use strategies to green your home. If you have a yard, green landscaping can improve the sustainability of your yard.
Transportation: Use mass transit and carpool whenever possible. Explore biking and walking options and alternative fuels. If you drive, take the Drive Smarter Challenge.