Living green is not just an altruistic thing to make you feel good about yourself. Often, it is a way to live a better life. You can save money, simplify your lifestyle and improve your physical health by doing things that also help the environment. Here are the top 3 ways to live green and improve your lifestyle.
1. Live in a green building
Green buildings are designed to be energy efficient and to help the environment in other ways, such as by conserving water. This saves you money. They may also have a garden that provides fruit and vegetables.
A typical green building will have solar panels installed to reduce the cost of heating water or to provide an alternative electricity source. It will be well insulated, which lowers heating costs in winter and cooling costs in summer (a truly green building uses natural and recycled insulation materials).
Green buildings are also designed to maintain even temperatures by being positioned to capture morning or late afternoon light, and by allowing natural ventilation. They may also use biological filtration to treat grey water for garden use and have water capture systems (such as a garden tank).
You can live in a green building by buying or renting one or even constructing one yourself. It also greener and more economical to live in building that is only as big as you need. Unused space is costly and environmentally unfriendly.
2. Drive less
Driving around, particularly in a large vehicle by yourself, is bad for the environment. It generates global warming emissions and local air pollution. It also costs money and the cost is rising because of dwindling oil supplies. So there are significant benefits from driving as little as possible.
Public transport is a better alternative because it uses less fuel per person (and reduces road congestion). It can take longer (depending on how good services are in your area) but will generally be cheaper.
Cycling or walking are the cheapest ways to get around and have the advantage of improving your fitness and life expectancy. People also enjoy these activities once they get into the habit of doing them regularly.
3. Conserve heating and cooling energy
It is lazy, bad for the environment and costly to heavily rely on electricity to heat and cool your home. Generally speaking, you should only resort to using heaters and air conditioners on very cold or hot days.
You can cope with cool weather by adjusting your lifestyle. This includes dressing warmly and using a blankets or doona when doing things such as reading and watching a movie. If you are moving around a lot, your body will naturally be warmer. Keeping doors, windows and curtains closed improves insulation.
On warm days, obviously it makes sense to dress lightly. Fans cost very little to run and can be effective at keeping you cool.