Green Living: Sustainable Practices and Alternative Energy
Whether it’s the air we breathe, the foods we eat or our environment, green living also known as sustainable living, means different things to different people. Some common buzz words are eco-friendly, being green, clean living, etc. But if you’re like me, overloaded and bombarded with information on a daily basis, the essence of the term green living can sometimes become a bit blurred or better still, confusing. This brings me to my question: What exactly is green living, or is it living green?
Really, it’s a bit difficult to get people to embrace a concept that they don’t fully understand. Just out of curiosity, I asked a few people (randomly) what they understood by the words “green living”. It was interesting to observe that almost all began with the words “Well, I think it means… “. Most had some idea and could proffer some type of definition no matter how vague at times, but what was interesting was the fact that very few were confident in their ability to clearly define what green living is.
So taking a cue from this, let’s take a closer look at the concept. I could proceed to give you a refined, educationally and environmentally sophisticated definition of green living, but then that would be kind of “stabbing clarity” in the foot, so I think we’ll opt for simplicity and define green living as, a lifestyle which seeks to bring into balance the conservation and preservation of the Earth’s natural resources, habitats and biodiversity with human culture and communities.
This means that as human beings living on planet earth, we need to embrace those practices, activities, foods, products, etc. that have little or no negative impact on our environment, whether this is now, or in the future. This means that it becomes primary for us to find ways of reducing waste by doing our best to work with Mother Nature and explore innovative ways to create systems that strengthen every part of the environmental web.
Now, armed with a better understanding of what green living means, a next step would be to personalize it and then decide what it means to you as an individual, attempting also to determine what role (if any) to play in supporting the lifestyle of conservation and preservation.
Green living is a very broad concept with equally broad facets for consideration. Here are some examples:
This is one of several energy sources that are viable alternatives to fossil fuel. It can be harnessed to provide power for homes, offices, and other buildings or to pump water. In fact, using wind energy to pump water is an excellent example of sustainable living.
Solar Energy (Photovoltaic or Solar Shingles)
In most areas, energy from the sun is abundantly available. It’s not possible to talk about solar energy without mentioning photovoltaic shingle systems also known as solar shingles. They allow energy from the sun to be harnessed to replace or supplement grid power without the need to deplete resources that are not renewable.
This implies building homes, offices, and other structures that are energy efficient and incorporate renewable and recycled resources, thereby efficiently using energy, water, and other resources. Sustainable construction also encompasses protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity, including reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation.
Timber companies that practice green logging adopt the practice of replacing any trees they harvest by planting new trees in their place.
Sustainable Fishing Practices
The commercial fishing industry can engage in sustainable practices by farming fish and other marine organisms in both fresh and salt water.
Finding a clear pathway to reducing pollution is a huge 21st century challenge. A clear example is the issue of air pollution not just in China but other parts of the world, as evidenced by the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
Buying Local Produce
This helps to reduce the amount of miles that food and other products travel, thereby reducing one’s carbon footprint. Simply put, your carbon footprint is the sum of all emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide), which were induced by your activities in a given time frame.
Inactivity is excusable if one is clueless, but the fact that you’re reading this implies a certain awareness, interest and hopefully, concern about the importance of green living. The question now is: what’s your take on the issue, but more importantly, what are you doing about it? Living green or green living – how you choose to word it is immaterial. The important thing is to ACT.