There are many ways that we can promote green living at home and a
healthy respect for our environment within our community. Being a
responsible consumer means making environmentally friendly choices in
our homes and in our communities that help the environment.
How Be A Responsible Consumer and Make Choices That Help The Environment
Home Choices That Help The Environment
In our homes there are many ways to practice green living. We can make
choices to do certain things and choose not to do others. Here are
• Even before buying your home, you can decide to choose a smaller
home. How much square footage do you need? Do you really need an
entertainment room, a family room, a formal living room, an office and
a dining room? Does each child really need their own bedroom? What’s
wrong with sharing a room with a sibling?
• When looking for a car, emphasize gas mileage. You may not be able
to afford a hybrid, but you can certainly choose a smaller, more fuel
• Once you have purchased a car, keep it well maintained. This means
regular oil changes and tune ups. A frequently serviced car is a fuel
• Check your driving style. Are you used to rapid acceleration and
braking? Do you consistently drive over the speed limit? Slow down and
drive smoothly. You will increase your fuel efficiency by driving
• Buy energy star appliances when you need to replace a broken one.
• Wash your clothes in cold water and do a full load whenever
• Turn off the heat dry button on your dishwasher. After the cycle
is over, just open the door to release the steam and then close it up
again. The heat inside will dry your dishes just fine.
• Keep the temperature on your hot water heater at 120 degrees.
• Cook your meals from scratch. Prepared foods are always more
expensive and are usually high in sodium and often contain MSG and
other chemicals, all of which are bad for you.
• If you have babies in your household, consider using cloth
diapers. They are a big improvement from the diapers our mothers used
to use. The initial investment is far less than years of buying
disposable diapers. Just think of all that plastic you’ll be keeping
out of the landfill.
• Use a water filter for your drinking water instead of relying on
plastic water bottles.
• As your incandescent light bulbs burn out, replace them with
fluorescent ones. They use much less wattage, burn brighter and last
• Choose green vacations. Think tent camping instead of an expensive
stay at a resort hotel. There are many choices of campgrounds to
meet the interests of your children.
Beyond The House
Your own backyard offers many opportunities to go green as well as
being a responsible consumer.
• Plant your own organic vegetable garden. You will save money on your own
home grown veggies. Just think of your peppers and onions cooking on
your outdoor grill and stove.
• Compost your kitchen scraps. Mix them with leaves or dried grass
clippings and you will have wonderful organic fertilizer for that
garden. You won’t need to buy bags of commercial fertilizer.
In Your Community
Support your local community. Here are some ways to help your local
farmers retain their family farms.
• Become acquainted with Consumer Supported Agriculture or (CSA).
Here’s how it works. You contract with a local farmer in the Spring to
receive a certain amount of what he grows. You pay for a “share” in
his farm up front, giving him money to buy seed, fertilizer and to pay
labor costs. In return, you receive on a weekly basis, whatever
portion of his produce that you have bought. You get whatever is in
season at the time.
• Farmers’ Markets provide a place for local farmers to sell their
produce. Their vegetables are very fresh, usually picked that morning
and driven only a short way to market. Many meat and dairy producers
sell their wares at the market also. The produce is usually organic
and the meats are often free range and organically grown. You can buy
local honey, breads and even crafts at the market. This is great way
to support your local community and receive delicious, fresh,
These are three areas where you can practice being a responsible
consumer. Our everyday choices can really affect the world we live in.
Start today and make environmentally responsible choices.