Green and happy

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[edit] Enjoy Being Green

Make your green choices ones you enjoy. Green choices that you enjoy are the choices that you will stick with and that will make you happier. Don’t make choices that you don’t enjoy - unless you happen to have the personality that enjoys penance. You will probably find that you don’t stick with choices you find onerous. Worse, you will associate green choices with discomfort and may avoid trying other green choices.

Some Compromise is better that no action. For example, if your favourite drink is imported and you want reduce the food miles and carbon footprint of your diet, don’t tell yourself you can never have it. Instead find a compromise that works for you - such as two times out of three I will buy a local product, but on the third time I’ll treat myself to the imported product. You may stay loyal to your imported choice or you might find your loyalty shifts to the local product, but this way you’ve cut the carbon footprint of your choice two times out of three rather than not at all.

So many options! There are thousands of green things to do so there are bound to be some that you find appealing. If you consider how you shop and how you live you will find green choices that match your outlook.

What matters to you?

Saving money A recession favourite. This involves on cutting back on what you use and buying less expensive products. You can find lots of green things to do here! Turning off electrical items at the switch when not in use, lighting only the rooms you are in, wearing warmer clothes and turning on the heater less often and at a lower temperature. Op shopping and going to fetes and markets to look for clothes and household items can save you heaps. Using the local library (it is free - just make sure you have a location for borrowed items and a system for ensureing you return items on time!). Using your own green cleaning kit - bicarb and vinegar are cheap!.... (see also recycling and re-using)

Trying the New We do like a bit of novelty. New tastes, new fashions... There are many new green products ( and a few old ones to re-discover) and new green stores, it is fun to see what they have on offer. Whether it is an electric scooter, a shower timer that beeps, fairtrade chocolate or coffe, a bag of rolled oats or bread flour, a cleaning cloth or hemp clothes. There are lots of things to try. If you have the money there are green architects who will design you a cutting edge house, and green landscape designers who can do the same for your garden.

Recycling & Reusing Since we have the infrastructure in place it makes sense to reycycle everything that can be recycled. It makes it doubly wasteful to throw things out to go into landfill when they could be recycled and re-used. If you have an inventive mind or a crafty streak you may be able to find second uses for many items. Pictures from cards can be cut out to be remade into other cards or decorative finishes: home magizines often have clever ideas for reusing household products. Egg cartons can be used for growing seed: gardening magazines often contain cunning ideas for the re-use of products. If you are not crafty you may be able to op-shop items so they become available for crafty people to use. Composting or using a bokashi bin, which is a good option if you don't have much, or any, garden, are other top recycling ideas.

Supporting the Locals Although green miles are not the only thing to consider, it makes sense to support local products. If you are a foodie, there are lots of local food festivals around that promote locally produced specialty foods.

Walking the Talk If you are going to get active on green issues you will feel more comfortable if your own house is in order! At least in so far as you can afford. Can you afford solar panels, hot water or green power? Can you afford a water tank or 3? It doesn't matter if the anwer to those questions is no: there are many green options that are actually save you money, others cost a similar amount, and some are not a great deal more expensive. Just put some green thought into your choices. Be aware that it usually works best to change a few things at a time, allow three weeks to develop a habit, and then look for some more ideas. It can be strangely satisfying to see the volume of waste in your bin going down, even if you haven't specifically decided to reduce your waste, through the green choices you have made.

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