Five Steps to an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle
It makes me so happy that more and more businesswomen are going green by installing solar, making eco-friendly choices about packaging, greening their restaurant or retail shop, choosing sustainable suppliers, or even buying the next generation of electric vehicles.
The main five areas to consider when choosing a more "green lifestyle" include: reducing energy/gasoline usage, decreasing waste, reusing materials, recycling when possible, and composting.
In terms of reducing gas, the prius v is a great option - it has roomy space for cargo, gets up to 42 miles to the gallon, and receives great reviews. For delivery, door-to-door service, or long hauls, this is a far difference from the gas-guzzling SUVs of the past.
In terms of decreasing waste, consider what types of packaging you currently offer and how you can reduce primary materials. For example, can you offer a bonus or discount to customers for bringing their own containers? Can you choose a biodegradable option? The legislation for your city or county may be ahead of you -- many communities have implemented a plastic bag ban, reducing the unnecessary pollution of plastic and instead encouraging people to use reusable bags.
In terms of reusing materials, opportunities are available for technologies of the future, such as "mushroom packaging" and repurposing more types of plastics (think tires into playground structures, or juice containers into satchels, or billboards into shopping bags).
In terms of recycling, watch "The Story of Stuff" or "No Impact Man" to get a sense of the overabundance of unnecessary items in our lives, and how we can recycle or freecycle so much.
In terms of composting, did you know that practically everything that originally came from natural materials can be composted back, including cotton t-shirts, paper, and all green waste? If your home or industrial compost bin is "hot" enough, you can even compost meat and citrus. Some locations offer vermicomposting, which offers the added benefit of creating an excellent "worm tea" to help rebuild your soil and organic produce.
By breaking the habit of overconsumption, being smart about our choices, and choosing green/sustainable/eco-friendly, we all can make a difference. I challenge you to take five concrete steps this year to make a lifestyle change - from big items to installing solar panels or buying an electric vehicle -- to smaller items like bringing your own grocery bag or starting a compost pile. List out your five items on your Facebook feed, on your blog, or on your own business website to encourage your customers, clients, friends and acquaintances to think about this and make positive steps in their own lives, too.