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    6 Hacks for Normal, Everyday People Looking to Lead a More 'Green' Lifestyle

    If you’re like most of the rest of the world, you don’t think too much about minimizing your environmental impact. You’re not necessarily going out of your way to live an environmentally-friendly life ...

    You Can Make a Difference; Believe That You Can


    But there are plenty of ways where you can make an impact without having to fundamentally change the way you live—and some of them has benefits that go beyond just having a greener world. How can you live more ‘green’ as a normal, everyday person?

    1) Get Away From the Bottle

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    Millions of barrels of oil are used to produce the plastic that goes into our bottled water consumption. That PET plastic has an impact on the environment. Even if you’re recycling the bottles, there’s plenty of pollution that happens through the process. And that water in the bottle isn’t the only water that’s used up when you drink bottled water. There are several liters of water used for every liter that goes into a bottle.

    Save yourself some money and save the environment by using reusable bottles for water and filtering your own. A reverse osmosis filter isn’t cheap, but it’ll last for a long time. Or you could use a filter jug or water pump. There are tons of filtration options out there if you’re not a fan of city water and don’t have a well. Just get away from those plastic bottles that clutter up landfills.

    2) Turn Your Electricity From ‘Mean’ to ‘Green’

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    Coal-fired plants are still one of the world’s leading sources of electricity. And unfortunately for you, even if you’re trying to live green by driving an electric car or something like that, it doesn’t really matter if the coal is still being burned elsewhere—pollution happens just the same.

    Depending on your location, though, it may be just as cost-effective for you to use green power. Wind power is fairly common in the Great Plains of the United States and many power companies will let you choose to have all your electricity come from wind. Geothermal is common in other areas like New Zealand. Solar is also an option.

    3) Embrace Power Technology

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    Maybe your area doesn’t have green power. You can generate your own—and it’s probably easier than you think. Solar is still a bit expensive up front, but over time it pays for itself—and the bonus of not relying on the grid for your power is nice too. Solar shingles and roof panels are coming down in cost and up in reliability and durability, with Tesla being the latest company to jump in with both feet. Home geothermal is also expensive up front, but depending on the area it may be a better option than anything else. Using the earth’s own energy is a very low-footprint solution.

    There are other, more innovative options on the market too. One of the most intriguing is the Major Appliance Power Station (MAPS), a project pioneered by Geoffrey Leslie of Screems. The micro-electricity power generation device produces low-cost electricity sustainably without any fuel whatsoever. I reached out to him via email to get his thoughts on new technology in power generation. “We’ve been working to create green energy solutions for years,” said Leslie in his response. “We’re excited about MAPS, as it provides clean, sustainable, and reliable power generation. Yes, solar and other solutions are good, but the more ways we have to let people produce their own power, the better off we’ll be. Our planet needs us to get it right.”

    Going with an energy-saving solution like MAPS, the benefits on the back end are tremendous.

    4) Stop Traffic

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    Depending on where you live, this may be more or less feasible. But if you have the option, why not bike to work instead of driving? Or take public transportation instead? Cars are one of the biggest contributors to your carbon footprint, and the more you can lower your automobile usage the better off the environment is.

    In many places around the world, the bicycle is already the default form of transportation. Across Europe (particularly in the Netherlands), the streets are crowded with bicycles every morning as people head to school or work. There’s an added bonus, too: you’ll be in better shape.

    5) Put Old Electronics Where They Belong

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    Have you thoughtlessly thrown away an old phone or an old laptop without thinking about the repercussions?

    Stop yourself next time. Electronic devices are both full of pollutants and full of valuable components that can be recycled, so you can help the environment in multiple ways at once. There are plenty of electronics recycling places that are probably close to where you live—just do a quick search. Take your old electronics there and you’ll both keep pollutants out of a landfill and lessen the impact of mining for gold, silver, copper and rare earth metals. Old components can be reused and repurposed or stripped down to their base materials. And it doesn’t cost you a dime. All it takes is a little presence of mind.

    6) Simplify Your Life

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    The simplest, easiest way to lessen your environmental impact is to just buy less. Buy less single-use items like plastic cups or styrofoam plates. Buy less furniture for around the house. Buy less packaged food. Whatever it is that you can cut out without appreciably affecting your life, do it.

    You’ll cut down on the pollution that comes with manufacturing, the trash that goes into landfills and the waste that comes with consumption. Who knows? You may find that your life is simpler and your body is healthier too.

    Start Today

    None of these tips is that difficult to put into practice. You’ve probably even thought about some ways you can live more ‘green’ yourself. So why wait? Start now—don’t put it off till the future. “I’ll do it tomorrow” is the graveyard of good ideas. Do it today, and take the first steps toward a better world.

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