The following is a guest post from writer, Jamie Claros.
When Kermit the Frog first sang his classic, “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” he probably never anticipated the “green” craze that would sweep the world decades later. Now it seems everybody wants to be green. And though it may not have the same meaning as the Muppets tune, being green has, in fact, become very easy. Well, at least at home it is.
Trust me, I know a thing or two about making things easy for yourself. As a recent college graduate, I consider myself an expert in the art of efficiency and convenience. For four years I picked courses that allowed me maximum sleep and social time, dorm buildings that were close to both the best dining halls and my classes, and courses that were interesting and relevant to my future. I’m part of the generation of instant gratification, so I understand that what most people want is ease, especially when they’re in their own homes.
That’s why I wanted to debunk a common myth that’s just that: a myth. Being green doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming; in fact, it doesn’t even need to involve anything you don’t already have in your own house. That’s right: being green isn’t only about expensive solar panels and recycling apparatuses (though, if you have the resources for these things, then by all means go for them!), it’s about smaller things you can do around your own house that can make a huge difference not only for the environment, but for your expenses as well.
An easy tip that my school always repeated was to unplug electronics whenever they weren’t in use. It’s easy to think that because something’s not on, it isn’t consuming electricity, but that’s not the case. If your phone isn’t charging, pull the charger out and tuck it away nearby (this also eliminates unsightly electric cords!), if you’re not using heated hair tools, unplug those, too (an easy way to make sure you never accidently leave them on!). Of course this doesn’t work for bigger appliances like refrigerators, which need to run all day, but the countless small devices you own can easily be unplugged while you’re out of the house.
Another way to make being green easy, and a personal favorite way of mine, is to utilize candles. Candles offer the dim lighting that can turn any room into a cozy retreat, and can also give a different sensory feel to your home depending on the scent you choose. I love coming home and lighting my favorite candle (Mahogany Teakwood by Bath & Body) while I get ready for bed or watch a little TV. There’s something about the rich smell and the luminous glow that just put me at ease. And that’s what being home should feel like, shouldn’t it?
The truth is, there are countless ways to be green, and many of them can be utilized in your own home with things you already have. For more ways to be environmentally-friendly, check out this article by the Worldwatch Institute. Being green can be convenient, cost-effective, and add a different feel to your home. It’s that easy. Take that, Kermit.
Header image courtesy of Flickr user Average Jane