|Today over 50 Million Americans would like to be more "Green" but don't know how to get started...|
Don't Get Overwhelmed!
It's easy to feel like the problems are so large and the need to change so widespread that this whole idea is just too hard. Please, please believe that every little bit counts - it does! The damages our lifestyles inflict on our world and on our health are many and minor. It's the cumulative effect that's making water undrinkable and air dangerous. One product doesn't usually cause cancer - it's the chemical cocktail of tiny, "safe" exposures that eventually manifests in a malignant tumor. Your green revolution will be the sum of many small changes.
Take Baby Steps
Most of us don't have the resources of money, energy, and/or time to allow us to go from living a conventional lifestyle to a green lifestyle all in one month. To avoid burnout and unwise stress on your bank account, identify an area of most concern to you. Are you most interested in making over your nursery? Would you like to see your kitchen go green with safer cooking, food storage, and serving options? Zero in on one area of your life and take baby steps to make it green.
You will encounter loving, well-intentioned family and friends who just don't understand why you're doing all this. They'll say, "Everyone else plays with plastic toys" and "You're crazy for even attempting cloth diapers!" Realize that many people will take the changes you make personally, assuming you are judging them if they don't have the same concerns. Make sure you're NOT looking down on others and be a gentle, positive example. Also, seek out likeminded friends. They can help make going green be as fun and rewarding as it should be!
Become a Conscientious Shopper
Many of us are in the habbit of purchasing products - food, skin care, furnishings, etc. - without thinking twice about the way they are made, the effects on the environment or how safe they are for our family. The easiest way to find yourself many times greener come next year is to make every purchase a conscientious one. Start buying organic food today. Become a label-reader. Seek out stores that aim to stock green products. It's much more affordable to buy the right product the first time, than to replace products that turn out to be unsafe. It is much better for the environment if we never purchase the "bad" products anyways, especially since so many of them do harm as they decompose or fail to decompose. Those of you who are planning for your first baby have a unique opportunity to lay healthy foundations. And, every green purchase is a vote with your money for more affordable, safer choices in the future.
Want Less, Reuse!
This is probably the most challenging aspect of going green. Our culture is entirely materialistic, naturally wasteful. The easiest way to want less is to stop looking. Try to foster an attitude of contentment. Before you throw something away, think of how it could be made new with a little creativity or at least consider donating it to someone else who might want it. Examine all of the disposable products you use. In many cases, reusable, washable products are actually nicer. Advertisers have worked to convince us otherwise.