Going Green

Sustainable living is becoming more and more of a hot-button subject in today's social circles. It's about more than saving the Earth, it's about cleansing life from dangerous impurities and living mindfully of how actions and products may positively and negatively affect our lives and the lives of those around us. Going green extends from recycling to using less chemically harsh cleaning products to ensuring that all products are humanely collected and created. This lifestyle starts in the home, though it doesn't stop in the home. Its primary purpose is to spread and create a thriving community full of people who are watching out for each other in every sense of the word.

Going green doesn't always take more green- it can be cost effective to use more eco-friendly items. One common misconception about living a more green lifestyle is that it is more expensive than living in a more "normal" lifestyle. That may have been true in days gone by, but now that the movement is in the public eye, may products and appliances are becoming more affordable. Likewise, it's assumed that anyone who wants to make steps toward eco-conscious changes is willing to dive in front of a bulldozer just to save a tree from destruction. This is also not often the case. It's totally possible to think about different areas of life and make a concerted effort to change in favor of eco-friendly habits while maintaining other areas that are less environmentally conscious like switching out old light bulbs for newer, more energy efficient light bulbs while sticking with the existing appliances in the house. Going green doesn't require a huge lifestyle change, but even the smallest of steps can still make a big difference.

Another hurdle that many can't seem to clear is the idea that furniture, building supplies, and other design elements are inherently unattractive. When design companies were just picking up on the idea, it took a bit for them to figure out what products were ethically produced and how to use many recycled materials or materials that were durable and helped to save energy. This meant an adjustment period where many products like particleboard were heavily relied upon as a primary ingredient in manufacturing green products. We've come a long way since going green really meant going brown. There are so many newer, sleekly designed products available in fresh designs and with many color options. Often, furniture and other commodities are more stunning and fit better in a home's design than the less ecologically conscious counterparts available on the market.

There are many out there who are in the process of upgrading their furniture, or who have already put in the money to purchase higher end couches and such. Time and again, people who inquire about the processes and materials used in creating their higher quality products find that the things they are purchasing are eco-friendly, but the companies don't necessarily advertise it as their main selling point. It's not uncommon for high quality to be synonymous with products produced using natural ingredients and people-friendly practices during creation.

Many newer homes are being built with energy star appliances and safer, more eco-friendly choices included as part of the construction costs. Many construction companies are giving back to their local communities by making these things standard in hopes or a cleaner, brighter, more sustainable future. This means that people who might not have been interested in using green products and practices have these as standard in their homes and don't even have to give it a second thought.

Unfortunately, since the manufacturing and construction fields are still learning and growing, homeowners who have particular designs in mind may have to work harder to find the exact thing they are looking for. In this case, the design may not be available yet and custom is the only route to go. This can be a bit more spendy, but that's not always a negative. Those who find themselves in this position may be more happy with the end results because they have input and will come out in the end with a personal result that is catered to their needs. Not everyone is looking to build a new home. Luckily, even remodeling to sustain a more green lifestyle is becoming more possible thanks to current strides in the fields of construction and appliance manufacturing. We, as a planet, know more about our impact on the world and our carbon footprints than has ever been acknowledged in the past. Because of this, it's easier to feel like living well and being mindful of waste and energy usage does make a difference in the world and on a more local scale.

Using energy saving things such as refrigerators and toilets not only makes the earth happy, but it also makes the pocketbook happy. A price cut in utilities is definitely a great perk because there is less water, electricity, and gas being needed. Some power companies even offer an option to support and use local clean energy resources instead of the standard options available. Though these are often offered at an additional monthly cost, it's frequently less than five dollars a month and can be one of the small steps toward a brighter tomorrow.

It is an amazing feeling to be able to help out the planet and others through supporting more ethical workplaces and ecologically sound practices. Even greater is the idea of saving money on utilities. The green movement is a force to be reckoned with, and it keeps getting better. All it takes is a tiny change.