Because it is the inaugural Green Tip, we would like to begin with a broad tip: Increase Your Awareness. The act of being aware is the fundamental foundation to living a sustainable life. What does awareness mean? As defined by Merriam-Webster, Aware: “having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge.” This is the most critical part of being sustainable because without perceiving what is happening around you and having the knowledge of how your actions are affecting your surroundings, you will never be able to reinforce positive behaviors and diminish those that are negative.
To increase your awareness, try keeping a journal of your resource uses for one day. Use these as a guideline, but expand your notation as you deem appropriate.
- Track how many miles you drive
- How many times you throw something away?
- What types of materials are you throwing away?
- How many single use items are you receiving?
- Where is your food coming from?
- Is it organic?
- What type of packaging is it contained in?
- How are you using energy?
- How are you consuming water?
- Where are the products you purchase coming from,?
- Are the businesses you frequent local, sustainable, or both?
Once you have completed a daily journal, sit down and tally up your uses. See if there are ways to decrease your consumption of natural resources and support others who are doing the same. As you notice how you are consuming your ability to change these behaviors will drastically increase. And remember, no one is perfect, everyone on this planet consumes resources, the key is to be aware of what you are consuming and reduce or eliminate where possible.
These websites offer a comprehensive, simple approach to calculating your Carbon Footprint: