Fact: According to WHO, around 7 million people die from environmental pollution annually. Also fact: We can stop this. And adopting a Green Lifestyle can help a great deal.
Every action has an effect. We cannot harm the Earth we live in and not be affected. For example, if a forest area is degraded with oil residue it will not be fertile in the future because useful organisms in the soil will be destroyed and plants will die. The effect? We WILL starve.
Smoke from fires and cars destroy helpful organisms in the air and the horizon and replace them with harmful ones. If we breathe in that air, we WILL get sick.
All these things happen because of the choices each human makes every day.
There is a general belief that no single individual can make significant and positive change to the environment because millions others are ruthlessly contributing to its depletion. That is a lie. The truth is, if an individual lowers his footprint, he would make a mark and that mark itself is a significant change.
So to help the environment, each individual has to access and adjust his personal choices and lifestyle.
Types of green lifestyles
Lifestyle is the way a person lives. An individuals Lifestyle is based on the general interests and behavioral orientation of a person or group of persons. It is also influenced by the location of this individual. An individual’s daily decisions reflect what his main focus in life is and maps out his lifestyle.
As an example, someone could choose to live a Sedentary Lifestyle which would mean they will get involved in little or no physical activity. People who live like this are mainly focused on the easy life and constantly flee from work or stress.
Also, a person adopting an Alternative Lifestyle is mainly focused on the concept of change and freedom of choice. They want a world where anyone can be anything so they push for it even with their day to day minor choices like their mode of dressing.
An individual with a Social Lifestyle will unconsciously make decisions that will to appeal to other people and gain their acceptance and admiration. It will show in their fashion choices, their involvement in conversations, even on their social media personas.
There are some individuals whose lifestyles generally revolve around their careers so that they consciously make decisions that would not sabotage their career goals. Professional Athletes, Actors and Actresses and even Politicians are the main propagators of this lifestyle.
Then there are those who sustain a Religious Lifestyle. They let their values and morals be shaped by the instructions of the religion they believe in and follow. Some even have to avoid certain foods. Some dress only in specific ways while others just avoid certain articles of clothing.
There are several other lifestyles but The Green Lifestyle or Path is the only one that addresses our environmental concerns.
Here are a few examples of the most popular eco conscious and green lifestyles: minimalist lifestyle, conscious consumerism, zero-waste, homesteading and self-sufficient living, frugal living, eco-activism, vegan lifestyle, slow living, intentional living, sustainable lifestyle, off-grid living.
Living the green life: the necessity of being aware
Contrary to popular opinion, we can live happy and easy lives without hurting the environment.
No. We won’t have to go back to driving Bicycles and Horses or prepare all our meals from scratch. The Green lifestyle or path simply requires that we start making CONCIOUS efforts to not harm the environment around us.
Green path is simply a lifestyle an individual adopts to reduce his or her use of the Earth’s natural resources. People who adopt this lifestyle try to tailor their lives in ways that are consistent with sustainability, in ways that are naturally balanced and also respectful of nature.
Everyone on Earth can work at lessening their imprints on the planet to the barest minimum. It is very possible. We just have to take deliberate actions. We would still progress as a race without harming the Earth and the future of later generations. We would also more effectively manage resources within our means.
Knowing that this is possible is progress. Thus, educating oneself is the first key to a change. But how can we make this happen? There are a lot of ways.
Green living in private life
Activism. An individual can effectively add to Green Living by constantly talking about it. People talk about the things they believe strongly in. We ARE destroying the Earth. People need to be aware of this fact. This is a good kind of activism because it helps everyone on Earth and not just a handful. A popular activist is Winona LaDuke who is an environmental activist and a writer. She is currently fighting against pipelines that destroy the earth and river bodies around it like what is happening in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. She is at the same time creating tangible solutions that would replace oil usage.
Volunteering. An individual can volunteer for causes like that of LaDuke. To push for the complete eradication of pipelines, for example, require a lot of workshops, meetings with top officials in industries and the government etc. That requires a lot of money. People contribute for these causes in money and in kind. Some volunteer their time, travelling all around the world and effecting changes. Some volunteer by planting trees and sustainable plants in large farms and gardens. This would help stabilize the air we breathe. Hann Meiners is a popular volunteer who promotes urban farming and has helped in a lot of projects including an Eco friendly Hotel where she planted lots of plants around the building. She also helped plant large gardens and farms in her community
Waste Control. This is one of the little decisions we can change individually to help the environment. First, it would be best to reduce the amount of waste we produce daily especially from objects that are non-decomposable. Then the little waste we do produce can be recycled to be used for new products. For objects that can’t be recycled like foil, polythene bags etc they should be trashed with proper garbage disposal units. Aim to never litter ever.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle: That three R mantra in that very sequence, when observed religiously, will help decrease our negative imprint on the planet.
Smoke Emissions. Aim to use more public transports and help take off one less smoke emitting vehicle from our roads. We can equally stop starting forest fires and reduce our use of cigarettes or smoking pipes. Also avoid using crackers, fireworks or what some call, knock outs. These things are fun to look at in the night sky but they destroy our ozone layer and would definitely restrict our air flow in future.
Planting. Plant more flowers, shrubs and even trees where you can. All these would help clean up the air we breathe and reduce the amount of carbonized organisms we take in through our nostrils and to our lungs.
Energy Conservation. Turn off lights in your homes and even businesses when they are not in use. You can also adopt fluorescent lights as they require lesser energy. Also consider dropping the use of AC’s. The heat this machines produce are bad for the environment. Fans do not generate this heat so they are safer.
Green living in business
The rising wave of people around the world adopting the Green lifestyle is a huge market opportunity for entrepreneurs who also wish to carry out eco-friendly and sustainable businesses. And a lot of entrepreneurs are tapping into it.
Hotels like the one Hanna, mentioned above, volunteered to help build are sometimes called Green businesses and this is either because they have minimal negative impact on the environment or they have a positive effect on the environment. The flowers planted around the Hotel’s terrace and the whole building made it a positive addition to its local environment. Just like the owner of that hotel, individuals who have become aware of the benefits of the green lifestyle have advocated for it through their businesses.
A good example too, can be seen in the sudden explosive sale of solar panels instead of harmful generators. A lot of businesses are selling these panels in droves and many homes and business now opt for them since they hardly produce any emissions.
The production of electric cars and trains today are also a good example of Clean Tech that a lot of businesses are adopting today for the safety of the environment. These are clean and still effective modes of transport that instill less harm on the environment. No smoke emissions, just a healthy source or mode of transport. Many industries are now researching into the production of these electric-powered vehicles and are producing them in place of the fuel powered ones.
Sustainable Practices in Business
Sustainable practices in business are all practices that limit a businesses impact on the environment, economy, and equity. The sustainable practices we will discuss will be those that impact on the environment.
Reduce Waste. Businesses make conscious efforts to reduce the waste they produce and also create alternative and healthy means to dispose of them. The businesses mount portable and neat dustbins at strategic locations and also recycle as much as they can.
Prevent Pollution. Most businesses are very conscious of the vehicles they use. They make sure that their vehicles are in working order and do not emit toxic fumes. They also avoid the use of fireworks during holiday or general celebrations.
Adopt Clean Energy. Solar panels, mentioned above, are good examples. Businesses that adopt this, aim for sustainability. Apart from those who sell them, other businesses use solar as their main energy and power source because it is clean.
Conserve Water. They are conscious about the amount of water they use in production and also generally in the running of the whole business.
Plant Trees. Most businesses create platforms and movements where they plant trees at strategic locations and they also support movements that try to make this happen.
Make Sustainable Products. Most snack producing businesses make sure their packages are easily disposable. They also make sure ingredients they use in production are healthy to the human body. They also make sure devices they use in production are not toxic to the human body.
Adopt Sustainable Business Travel Policies. Some businesses will rather have E-conferences than make their staff travel long distances for meetings. These are sustainable choices. Air travel accounts for up to 25% of the carbon dioxide footprint of international companies. Because of this businesses rather use trains as their only mode of transport.
Green jobs are jobs that help to preserve or restore the environment. If you are ready to adopt this lifestyle, there are a lot of jobs you can choose from. Some individuals have chosen to be Sustainability Officers others Food Scientists and some Geoscientists etc. These are all eco-friendly and boosting jobs.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are green job boards an individual can push themselves into to support the Green lifestyle. Jobs like: Agriculture and forestry, energy and carbon capture and storage, Environmental Sciences, Conservation Job Board, Climate Careers, Green Dream Jobs, Net Impact Global, Sustainability, Planning Job Sites, GIS Job Sites
If you prefer a career in the solar field, you can still find what you want. You can be an Energy Analyst, An Energy Engineer, A Renewable Energy Consultant, A Solar Photovoltaic Installer, A Natural Resources Specialist, etc.
The Earth is depleting and it is depleting fast. The harmful effects of this depletion keep increasing daily. We will not stop this with mere wishes, prayers or seminars. We will stop the depletion with deliberate and consistent actions that are in favor of the land around us. Adopting the Green Lifestyle should not be an option. It is something we must do. Individuals and businesses need to adopt a more sustainable outlook, and jobs that boost nature and that are eco-friendly should be massively supported and adopted.
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