Sustainable Living: What Does Going Green Mean?
Green consumerism is on the rise, especially among millennials who love to discuss sustainability. And when talking about getting into a sustainable lifestyle, going green surely comes up. But what does going green mean?
Going green is not only about the products you purchase. When you go green, it means that you need to be mindful of how your actions can affect the environment—from the things you use, eat, and down to the waste you produce. So, it goes beyond what you check out at the counter.
If you are only at the onset of your green journey, you are in the right place. Let this article guide you on the basics of going green.
- Sustainable, Eco-friendly, and Going Green: Are They the Same?
- Going Green: Living Sustainably
- What You Need to Avoid and Do
Sustainable, Eco-friendly, and Going Green: Are They the Same
Sustainable, eco-friendly, and going green may sound the same—but are they? There is no doubt that you can mix these terms up and confuse one for the other. And you surely cannot go jumping into a particular lifestyle without knowing what it is all about.
Hence, let us define them, shall we? Here are their dictionary definitions, according to Merriam Webster:
- an adjective used to describe the capability of being sustained
- method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged
- relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods
- an adjective used to define something that is not environmentally harmful
Meanwhile, there is still no distinct definition of going green, but taking a look at the other terms that you can use in place of it from a long list of synonymous words from Power Thesaurus, we can define it as:
- Going Green
- a verb you use to summarize the actions you do, like reducing, reusing, and recycling, as you choose to be ecologically friendly, environmentally aware or conscious, and responsible.
On the other hand, going green is the holistic environmental approach to your actions and ecological awareness. You think about how your choices and actions affect the fragile balance concerning everyone in the circle of life.
Going Green: Living Sustainably
Since going green entails basing your life choices on an ecologically aware manner, there are quite a few things you need to catch up on. You need to figure out how your actions relate to other beings here on Earth. It is not just about boycotting brands and practices that do not follow the same values as you—although it can be a great start.
But if you genuinely want to make a difference, which is the whole point of going green, then follow these essential tips on how to go green and live a genuinely sustainable lifestyle:
Global consumerism is the leading reason why Earth is constantly degrading. Almost everything you own, use, and eat uses something that the world naturally provides. Even synthetic materials use some composite for production, logistics, packaging, and whatnot.
Think about it: the more goods you purchase, the more natural resources get used up. But of course, there are essentials that you cannot live without, and a few occasional splurges are your way of rewarding yourself from slaving away at work.
Going green does not ask you to give up buying. After all, trade improves the economy, which helps uplift people’s lives.
Take this mother-daughter duo, Sherry and Briana Tautiva, Wild Habitat founders, rejecting traditional industry norms, leading reforms by creating a band of sustainable brands, and inviting athletes to be rebels for the Wild. You can listen to our little chat with them on Saltwater High Podcast to learn more about their awe-inspiring journey towards sustainability.
Case in point, when you go green, choose green purchases. Here are some examples:
- Go thrift shopping and destabilize the fast fashion industry, which destroys plants and kills animals for textile or fabric.
- Buy local and support homegrown businesses as big brands have more extensive plantations that use more materials—not to mention the logistics involved, which inhibits more carbon footprint.
- Check the label and inquire before buying to ensure that your purchase has been responsibly produced without harming or further endangering scarce resources and endangered animals.
Purchasing and supporting green products is just the first step to becoming more environmentally aware. It is a stepping stone that will help you transition into zero-waste living.
Once you figure out how much resources it takes to produce simple goods, you will value that mindset of having less is more and making sure that you get the most out of your purchases.
Here are some tips on having a zero-waste lifestyle:
- Avoid buying products with too much packaging and plastic. If you are buying food, bring your containers. Meanwhile, for those interested in e-commerce, opt for brands with sustainable and waste-free delivery options that utilize biodegradable packaging.
- Create budget estimates of the things you use and make sure to buy only what you need.
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Refuse using things that you do not need, like straws, plastic utensils, and unnecessary packaging. Reuse by getting secondhand goods that still work fine, or you can quickly repair, and instead of throwing away a worn-out product, find ways to turn it into something useful.
Following a zero-waste lifestyle is the ultimate way of going green because you make do with what you have and repurpose what can still be used. Hence, you are reducing the environmental pressures in your own way.
If you want more eco-tips and guidelines for living a zero-waste life, you can find more insights from Eco Couple, Sanny and Iñaki. They also shared their experience following a greener lifestyle on this episode of Saltwater High Podcast, telling us about the importance of ecology in their lives and how much raising a child affects their thinking about the world.
Among the many threats that endanger animals and plants is the degradation of their habitats—the culprit: climate change and global warming. And one of the leading factors contributing to this worldwide problem is the way we consume energy.
The primary sources of energy are oil, coal, and natural gas. All of these accounts for the significant carbon dioxide levels that are destroying our atmosphere, changing weather patterns, intensifying weather disturbances, and warming the Earth. Because of our need for energy, ecosystems are shutting down, and the number of endangered species increases.
Here are several ways to conserve energy:
- Choose a more efficient mode of transportation, like biking or using scooters for short distances, and using available mass transportation—fewer cars on the road means fewer emissions.
- Try to look for green fuel and an energy-efficient automobile that does not harm the environment. And do not forget to maintain your car regularly as recommended by Florida Solar Energy Center.
- Do not forget to unplug and turn off appliances whenever not in use. Your electricity bills and Mother Nature will thank you later.
Conserving energy may not seem like a big deal. How can turning off a light bulb here and there actually contribute to green living? When you use less energy, you aid in preventing the further depletion of fossil fuels and lessening toxic air emissions.
Every 4th Wednesday of October, we celebrate Sustainability Day. Start your journey through small, simple steps following these three basic principles.
Later on, you will notice how much help you already contributed to having a less environmental impact. Also, green consumerism, zero-waste living, and conserving energy all account for decreasing pollution, which will significantly help save plants and endangered animals and prolong the existence of our natural resources.
What You Need to Avoid and Do
The takeaway is that going green means that you are willing to protect the ecological balance. To do that, it would be best for you to avoid the following:
- Single-use and disposable products like utensils, packaging, grooming essentials, and the like.
- Cleaning agents with environmentally toxic chemicals that can be harmful to marine life and wildlife.
- Appliances and electronics that have CFCs and are not energy-sufficient
- Fast goods for fashion and similar trends
- Buying pets or consuming exotic and endangered animals
Instead, buy things that are sure to last and those that are made from sustainably sourced materials.
Here at Wave Tribe, we value ecological awareness; hence we go green in our own way. Our selection of surf gears is all from eco-friendly or recycled materials. Check them out below.
Going green also means valuing every life here on Earth, so please take time to check out our Heal The Oceans campaign and help save our marine friends. And do not forget to watch out for our latest Saltwater High Podcast episodes for our upcoming getting-to-know rendezvous with Protea Zero Waste’s founders, Lori Mallini.
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