Why Go Green - Making An Impact
Savings, health, environmental benefit. Last month we looked at how you could bring small changes into family life, we set intentions and got the kids involved. During February we will look into the why. Why should we make those small changes, what difference does it actually make and is it worth the effort. Yes, it is if you want to see a financial benefit, health benefit and environmental benefit.
Buying only what we need and cutting back on impulse purchases keeps the savings in our accounts, clutter out of our homes and excess product out of the garbage. Turning off lights, unplugging electronics not in use, taking shorter showers, hanging your laundry to dry are actions that over the course of the year will help to reduce your energy bill. According to BC Hydro you could save up to $65 a year if you do for example eight loads of laundry a week and use your clothesline for 50% of those clothes.
The BC Hydro website is a great resource for further cost saving tips that also add to the balance sheet of savings to the planet. Currently BC Hydro Power Smart is running a Reduction Challenge, which could see you earn yourself a $50 reward if you are successful in your challenge by the end of the year. If you aren’t in the BC area or Canada that’s ok, tell me, when was the last time you checked out the website of your energy provider? What tips, incentives, energy saving advice do they offer, check it out. Read to the end of this blog before you do though;)
Yes, going green can bring health benefits too. Get your steps in as you leave the car at home and walk to the store, do the daycare run on foot and perish the thought run for that bus. Walking is one of the simplest ways to improve your fitness and it gives you time to think, you arrive at your destination alert and unstressed because you haven’t had to deal with the added tension of traffic or looking for that elusive parking spot. Cycling is of course another way of getting around that provides great exercise and gets you to those further distances more quickly than walking.
As well as physical exercise and what we do to our bodies, what we put into them makes a difference too. Studies have shown that reducing your meat intake, especially red meat and substituting it for plant-based proteins and high quality plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts can benefit your heart health, help with weight management and can lead to better overall health.
As we just talked about reduced or meat free diets let’s look at that first. For instance cutting out fish and seafood helps reduce the strain on the oceans and the over-sourced fish populations within. A study published in November 2021 that linked GHG emissions to over 3000 generic foods found that non-vegetarian diets had 59% higher GHG emissions than vegetarian.
Leaving the car at home for a journey or two also helps reduce your GHG emissions. Turning your lights off doesn’t just save money it saves energy, which is reflected in the outputs at the power station (remember you are not working alone in this – power in numbers (or should I say power savings?). Buying less is good for the environment on so many levels that it probably deserves its own blog. A few benefits to mention would be the reduction of production, import emissions, raw material excavation, less waste to landfill… the joyous environmental benefit to having less stuff is phenomenal!
I hope you are motivated to stick with or revisit the green living intentions you set in January. If you didn’t set any, well it is NEVER too late to start, everything we do has an impact, how much of an impact depends on you and your choices. Remember, there is no pass or fail with intentions, don’t judge yourself too harshly, each day is a new start and a chance to make environmentally wise choices.
Look back on the Green Living Intentions I suggested last month or choose some of your own. Don’t forget today it’s a choice but for the younger generations living green will be the norm, the necessary way of life. Help your little ones make it a habit now so they have the capacity to take on greater environmental challenges in the future.
You are doing great Green Living families!
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For those interested the study referenced that looked at the GHG emissions of over 3000 foods was titled Variations in greenhouse gas emissions of individual diets: Associations between the greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient intake in the United Kingdom