While the planet we live on has suited human needs for thousands of years, Earth's bounty may not last forever. Based on research and observation, scientists and environmentalists have good reason to believe our planetary home is in trouble.
According to the United Nations, a whirlwind of issues, many of which are likely caused by man, threaten to harm our precious Earth in irreversible ways. From greenhouse gas emissions to air pollution, deforestation, and issues with water and waste, the human impact on our planet has become real. And if we don’t change, we face both unintended and potentially permanent consequences.
According to most experts, the biggest issue we face is climate change. Although the Earth’s temperature has ebbed and flowed throughout the course of history, some evidence suggests human activity is altering its natural path.
While some environmental changes can be easily explained, much of the evidence for climate change is compelling. According to NASA, global sea levels are rising faster than in recorded history and global temperatures are surging, with 15 of the 16 hottest years in history taking place since 2001. Ocean temperatures continue to rise while artic sea ice retreats. Decreased snow cover, ocean acidification, and global weather events provide even more proof our planet is changing.
Fortunately, there is plenty anyone can do to change the course of history. If you’re losing sleep over environmental issues, you can do more than worry – you can act. With the introduction of new technologies and new, Earth-friendly products, it’s easier to “go green” than ever before.
You can’t change the planet on your own, but you can take steps to reduce your environmental footprint, limit waste, and create a sustainable lifestyle. Keep reading to learn more about cheap green living and the steps you can take today.
Why Go Green?
When you think of “going green” or adopting an Earth-friendly lifestyle, what comes to mind? Do you picture living “off the grid?” Radical left protesters? Hippies abandoning regular lives to live among the animals?
Those ideas probably make you chuckle, and that’s okay. The good news is, you don’t have to be a radical or drastically change your life to help the planet or reduce your impact. When it comes to “going green” this is one of the biggest misconceptions we face. Many families assume they must uproot their lives or make huge changes to reduce their impact on the planet.
And even once you get past the stigma, you’ll also find that far too many people overestimate the costs of caring for the environment. Maybe they read how expensive going green can be in the past. Or, perhaps they just wrongly assume any potential changes they could make would be expensive.
Regardless of what you’ve read or heard, taking steps to help our planet doesn’t have to break the bank. For every costly change you make, there are several Earth-friendly alternatives that are 100 percent free!
We’ll get to some of those steps in a minute. But first, let’s talk about why. Why should you care about the Earth? Why should you take steps to change? Further, why should you spend your own money “going green?”
Believe it or not, embracing a greener lifestyle isn’t just about saving polar bears; it can also improve your health, boost your bank account, and improve your quality of life. With all those potential benefits, shouldn’t everyone want to get on board?
Here are six of the most important reasons you should adopt a green lifestyle today:
Reason #1: This is the only planet we’ll ever have.
The top reason to go green is an obvious one; planet Earth is our only home. If we spoil our planet, we can’t move to Jupiter or Mars and start over.
Reason #2: Real food is better for you.
The big benefit here is that most Earth-friendly foods are also foods that are good for you. Fresh vegetables and fruits farmed locally are some of the best foods you can find, for example.
Reason #3: Some “green” technologies can help you save money.
While it’s commonly believed that going green is crazy-expensive, this is no longer the case. Even energy-efficient LED lightbulbs, which are somewhat expensive upfront, will help you save money on your home energy bills over time. Meanwhile, the price of newer technologies like solar panels continues to decrease every year.
Reason #4: Going green can increase your home’s value.
Adding energy-efficient appliances or upgrades to your home will help you save money over the long run. And since buyers love the idea of saving on utilities and energy, you can increase your home’s value and fetch a higher sales price, too.
Reason #5: We need water to live.
If you don’t care about the health of our water, you’re forgetting one crucial detail: We need water to live. As humans, we cannot afford to ignore the health of our water supply.
Reason #6: Green living is often more humane
As the scientific journal Nature noted earlier this year, human diets are directly linked to the health of our planet. More than anything else, a vegetarian or mostly-vegetarian diet is the best way for humans to reduce carbon emissions and stop global warming.
For more great tips on green living, check out "The Ultimate Guide to Cheap Green Living" on couponchief.com.
Michael Tamez is a certified eco-consultant who shares tips, tools and strategies for green living on his website, MichaelTamez.com.
Jeff Wilson has hosted over 200 television episodes on environmental topics for HGTV, The DIY Network, and public television. He currently writes over at The Greenhouse Effect and you can find him on Twitter @tgheffect.
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