What is going green?

For years now, going green has been the topic of many conversations. It has found its way to the forefront of American politics, families, businesses and education. But, what does going green actually mean? Ask a few people around you and they might each say different things. It’s recycling. It’s driving less. It’s conserving energy. The fact is, going green is all these things. It’s the consideration and preservation of Earth’s natural resources.

A way most people have been going green is by being sustainable. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s website, sustainability is important to making sure that people have and will continue to have the resources needed to protect their health and the environment.

Although being green can be rewarding and beneficial to society it can also be challenging to keep up with especially if you’re a student dealing with a tight budget. This website will not only explore the ups and downs involved with transitioning into a green lifestyle but will also provide quick tips and information on how to get started. So, let’s begin.

Why should I go green?

Going green can help reduce pollution and waste while conserving resources and energy. Doing so, can help the environment prosper and continue to provide people with a safe place to live. According to Livestrong.com, using natural cleaning products and purifying your air at home can help improve your personal health as well as raise your productivity. Using natural products not only helps you but the world around you. For students, being able to be more productive can definitely come in handy, especially during finals week.

Schools and businesses around the country have joined in the go green movement and have taken action in reducing their carbon footprint. The Office of Sustainability at the University of Florida is among the many schools joining the cause. According to their website, their mission is to make UF a model of sustainability through its operations, research, education and outreach.

Laurel Nesbit, a program assistant at UF’s Office of Sustainability, has been reaching out to students and community members of Gainesville, Fla., for years about the importance of going green. She’s earned her B.A. in English from the University of Florida and is a member of the Board of Directors for Alachua Conservation Trust. I spoke with Ms. Nesbit recently to understand exactly why it’s important for students and people to become more eco-friendly and for tips on how they can do so. Listen below to hear the full interview.

Quick Tips

  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Unplug appliances when not you’re not using them.
  • Instead of drying your clothes in a dryer, use a cloth.
  • For years now, going green has been the topic of many conversations. It has found its way to the forefront of American politics, families, businesses and education. But, what does going green actually mean? Ask a few people around you and they might each say different things. It’s recycling. It’s driving less. It’s conserving energy. The fact is, going green is all these things. It’s the consideration and preservation of Earth’s natural resources.
  • A way most people have been going green is by being sustainable. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s website, sustainability is important to making sure that people have and will continue to have the resources needed to protect their health and the environment.
  • Although being green can be rewarding and beneficial to society it can also be challenging to keep up with especially if you’re a student dealing with a tight budget. This website will not only explore the ups and downs involved with transitioning into a green lifestyle but will also provide quick tips and information on how to get started. So, let’s begin.
  • Reduce your shower time.
  • Walk, bike or take the bus to school or work.
  • Find a group of friends and carpool.
  • Buy locally grown veggies and dairy.
  • Use a water filter instead of buying bottled water.
  • Support local eco-friendly businesses.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water.
  • Go electronic and pay your bills online.
  • Reuse old water bottles.
  • Recycle paper, plastic bottles and glass.
  • Turn down your thermostat.

How do I get started?

Now that you are thinking of going green and being more sustainable let’s first consider the following things.

  • Take your time and don’t rush
  • Learn as much as you can
  • See what works for you
  • Have a friend join you
  • Make a list of short-term goals
  • Join a local club/organization dedicated to going green
  • Share your experience

Before getting started, you should think about what sort of things you want to accomplish while taking your journey. No. 1 rule is don’t rush. This transition is one that hopefully many of you will stick with for the rest of your life so, what’s the rush. Second, learn as much as you can and educate yourself. There are tons of helpful websites and local resources in your area. To get started on this step check out the Resources page.

Next, see what works for you. If you live in a dorm, chances are you’re not going to be able to do household tricks like changing light bulbs in the common room or making sure people don’t overuse too much water. So, find things that can work for you. Personalize these tips and make them your own. Another thing, have a friend join the journey with you. It’s always more fun and easy to have someone along for the ride.

Make sure you write-up a goals list. This will help organize your ideas and allow you to see what progress you’ve made. The last two items are to join a local environmental club or organization and share your experience. These will help you network with others trying to go green and will help you gather more information, tips and advice.

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