Monday, January 27, 2014

How Do You Go Green?

In our culture today it seems to be the new modern trend and cool lifestyle to “go green,” but how exactly are these self-proclaimed hipsters actually going green? Is this something that an average, everyday person can accomplish or is it something that only new age, environmental hippie can achieve?  As a busy student with limited funds, I often have to be extra creative when it comes to living a green lifestyle.  Lets be honest, as much as we all would love to ride our bikes to and from work everyday many of us live in an area that does not allow us to do this, whether it’s because of the way the city is built or because of the weather conditions.  For example, many cities in Florida are spread out and make it impossible for the average commuter to be able to ride their bike to school, work or any daily activity.   An easy and possibly cheaper way to go green to get to work or school is to carpool with friends or coworkers.  It will not only help reduce your weekly gas bill, and produce less cars on the road, but it may make the morning rush hour traffic a little more bearable with a buddy to jam out with! Another small, easy and practical way to go green is try to forego buying that morning cup of coffee, usually about $4 a cup.  Instead, bring your own coffee in a reusable, travel coffee tumbler.  If making coffee is not your thing and you insist on buying that over priced cup o’ joe, bring your own cup.  Many coffee shops reduce the price if you bring you own cup. This will not only save you money in the long run but it will also reduce an extreme amount of waste. A reusable coffee mug will provide about eight years of use for the average daily coffee drinkerIt’s been documented that 68 million Styrofoam coffee cups are thrown away everyday in this country! Disposing of these coffee cups contribute directly to the creation of major greenhouse gases on top of creating a lot of unnecessary waste. One cup per day results in 23 lbs. of waste by the end of the year, just from these cups that are thrown away! One last, final and practical way to go green is a custom that has become quite popular throughout the country-bring your own reusable bag to the grocery store.  I know this is a very simple concept but it can be very easy not to do.  Sometimes I am in such a rush that I run out the door and completely forget to bring my bags with me.  However, I came up with a plan, that as soon as I’m done unpacking my groceries I put the bags right back in my car and leave them there.  I’m usually on the go anyway and usually make an impromptu trip to the grocery store on my way home from school or work and this way I’ll always have the bags with me.  You can also be creative with these types of bags and no longer have to have the plain, boring, and single color bag with the store logo on it.  You can have your own custom bag that displays your personality.  I have a reusable basket that I bring with me that has a cute design and a monogram of my initials on it. Whether it’s one of the ways listed above or another personalized way that you are “going green”, the important aspect is that you’re trying and doing it for the right reasons.  Don’t just do it because it’s a fad or the “cool-thing” to do, do it with the intention that these are going to be permanent changes that you believe will help preserve and save our planet for future generations to enjoy!
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- Courtney Stasi, Legal Intern