Seven Simple Steps to Go Green on St. Patrick's Day
While for some, St. Patrick's Day invokes thoughts of shamrocks and leprechauns, one ever-present theme for all is the color green. This year, SCA's Tork® brand is encouraging you to embrace another type of green by giving our planet a bit o' Irish good luck and making more environmentally responsible choices leading up to Earth Day, and beyond.
Joshua Radoff, Tork® Green Hygiene Council™ Member and founder of YRG Sustainability, encourages individuals to make their household more sustainable starting on St. Patrick's Day, the most famous green holiday of the year.
"Our lifestyle choices, methods of transportation and everyday routines play an important role in the condition of the environment," Radoff said.
Radoff suggests the following easy steps to "Erin Go Green!" your routine and support the effort to recycle, reuse and conserve for a lifetime of sustainable living.
Erin Go Green! Your Routine: 7 Steps to a Greener Life
- Reduce waste at home Hopefully you're already recycling at home, but how about being more proactive by buying fewer items that you can't either recycle or compost? You can go green by buying products that can be recycled and feature minimal packaging, or bringing your own reusable bags to the store. For those who already have the basics of recycling down, try out a compost bin and start keeping your food waste out of the landfill as well.
- Kick plastic water bottles to the curb Although plastic bottles can be recycled, they typically end up in landfills. And even when they are recycled, it takes enormous amounts of energy and water to convert them back to a usable plastic. Fortunately, we have municipal water that is safe to drink. In fact, some studies have shown that municipal water has less bacteria content than bottled water. Go green by using reusable metal water bottles, which are cheaper and can be healthier than purchasing expensive bottled water.
- Re-think "green" when it comes to your lawn This spring, give your lawn a makeover. Turf grass is both water and fertilizer hungry, and lawn irrigation is one of the leading uses of water in certain regions. Consequently, water scarcity is becoming a major problem. So, as you plan for and develop your home's landscape, look for region-specific plants that don't need as much irrigation or start a vegetable garden that will use water more efficiently.
- Warmer weather means less car time What is good for you is usually good for the planet. Walking, biking, ride-sharing, taking public transportation are some of the most impactful ways to lessen your footprint. As gas prices continue to rise, using the above methods to get from place to place should become a better alternative.
- Buy local! St. Patrick's Day means that springtime is around the corner and local farmers will have more goods for you to enjoy. Try buying 50 percent of your produce, dairy and meat from local sources either direct from a local farmer, a farmers market or even grocery stores that carry local produce in season. Go to http://www.localharvest.org/ to find a local food resource near you. Also, when going out to eat, look for restaurants that source local, organic food. Meals are likely to be tastier and healthier.
- Do you know where your home's energy comes from? It takes quite a bit of energy to keep all of your electronics running, your lights on, and your appliances working. Be conscious of when you're using your heat, air conditioner and energy-sucking appliances. There are a myriad of ways to go green and lessen your ecological imprint by responsibly limiting energy consumption. For example, use cold water to wash your clothes or unplug appliances when not in use.
- Understand your footprint Want to learn more about your own impact? Visit the Global Footprint Network to use the Footprint Calculator and determine how your choices are affecting the planet. This helpful tool allows you to input details about daily habits and routine to evaluate how your lifestyle or business decisions are impacting the environment.