If you are new to incorporating green living techniques into your home and lifestyle, you will be interested in some green living ideas to help you make a simple start. Recently, LoveToKnow was able to speak with green living expert Trish Riley about her suggestions for a more earth-friendly lifestyle. Here is what she had to say.
Green Living Guides
Trish Riley has written a great deal of information to educate people about living green. Some of her most notable are the books The Complete Idiots Guide to Green Living and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Greening Your Business. These books provide an abundance of green living tips to help anyone have a greener, healthier life.
Trish began her writing career as a travel writer which fit well with educating her readers about their impact on the environment and the beautiful places they enjoyed visiting and reading about. She says the world as a whole was not interested in environmentalism at the time, but she was still able to include information about the environmental challenges of the parks, beaches and other destinations that she wrote about.
In 2006, Trish says the world began to care about the earth. By this time she was a well established writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Through this connection, she was able to meet the publishers at IdiotsGuides.com. This lead to the creation of her informative books.
Implementing Green Living
According to Trish, making the switch to green living isn't difficult. "You just have to make the decision to do it, just like any habit."
She suggests making the switch easier by educating yourself on the reasons why green living is important. When you understand that certain foods are saturated with chemicals and those chemicals are very harmful to your body and the bodies of your children, making the change over to clean, organic foods becomes very easy.
When asked if living green costs more, Trish responded, "It can be. You have to use your best judgment and be careful not to go overboard." She suggests starting with organic carrots because you can taste the difference. Then start purchasing produce from local farmers. When you do this you will find your food is fresher and organic, you are supporting your local economy and it is often cheaper than purchasing from big grocery chains.
Another benefit of buying locally produced foods is the reduction in transportation. Transporting foods across the country uses a great deal of fuel. When you buy local food goes from the farmer to your table without costly shipping.
Conserve Around the Home
Trish says there are several ways to green up your home. One is to reduce energy costs by by having more efficient appliances. Energy Star appliances are a good example, but Trish says there are other brands that are efficient as well. Other ways to reduce your energy usage is to take advantage of rebates to install solar or wind power. Weatherize you r home and add awnings over windows. Even something as simple as a solar water heater can make a big impact on the energy you use and the money you save.
From all of the green living ideas that Trish shares, one of the most important to to reduce the chemicals in your home. Chemicals are everywhere from our food to body care products to gardening products. She suggests using essential oils to clean because they are naturally anti-microbial. Baking soda, vinegar and lemon are great natural cleaners as well.
Items she cannot make easily, she purchases, such as natural dish soap and laundry soap. Trish goes on to explain that the fragrances in typical products are actually endocrine disruptors that are very dangerous to inhale. Using natural products and scents will avoid this problem. Admittedly, the effectiveness is not as great as chemical cleaners. Trish says they just require a little more work, which is worth it to protect your health and the health of those around you.
Think about chemicals in other places in your home as well. Consider buying antiques or used furniture to reduce the off-gassing that occurs with new furniture. Use tile (preferably locally manufactured) for your floors, select paints with no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and if you buy cotton fabrics, be sure it is organic cotton. "Cotton is one of the most contaminated natural fibers." says Trish.
You can also make your life greener by making careful choices about transportation. When possible, walk, ride a bike or use mass transit. If those things aren't options, consider getting a hybrid vehicle so your fuel consumption is lower.
Get Over the Hurdle
According to Trish, the most difficult change to make the the initial decision to implement green living ideas into your life.
"This country is trained to think that environmentalists are terrorists. But when you take the time to learn (about environmental issues), making the change becomes a no-brainer. Just change the things that you can."
"If we don't get a grip on this situation with the environment, we are going to ruin the planet and the lives of our children will be affected. We need to live in harmony with the earth."
LoveToKnow would like to thank Trish Riley for taking time out of her busy schedule for this interview. If you want to learn more about Trish and her green living ideas, visit her website, GoGreenGift.com. Also, be sure to check out her books on Amazon.com. You'll be amazed at all you'll learn about green living.