What Does Sustainability Really Mean and How Can You Get on Board?

“Going green” and sustainability are buzz words that have been around the last decade. In fact, it’s very in fashion to go green or sell green products. But what does sustainability really mean and how can you help the movement?

Sustainability, in its simplest terms, means concerting an effort to improve the quality of life now and for future generations by creating products that are environmentally friendly and economically sounds. It also means using and disposing of these products in a responsible way.

Here are some simple ways you can be a part of the sustainability movement and help protect the planet and its natural resources.

Choose Your Cleaning Products Carefully

It’s important to read the labels on cleaning products very carefully and select ones that are in concentrated form. What does this mean? It means a little bit goes a long way. Concentrated products also use less packaging so less wind up in a landfill. Also, consider using products that have a refill system. These products use even less packaging.

You shouldn’t buy a cleaning product that you know you won’t use all of. Buy in small quantities if you will use it less frequently, and instead of throwing it out if you haven’t used it up, give it to a friend or a neighbor who can use it.

Conscious Disposal

Going green is as much about using a product conscientiously as it is about disposing of it properly. Always follow the directions on the label. If no disposal directions are provided, follow these tips:

How do you use the product? If it’s one that you can mix with water, it means it is a water-soluble product. Products such as these, like liquid, gel and powdered household cleaning products can be disposed of by pouring them down the drain with some running water.

Cleaning products that are solid items like scouring pads and towels can usually be placed in the garbage. As for other chemical-based cleaners like furniture polish, drain openers and oven cleaners, you can either check with your local waste disposal facility and get their recommendation, or call the manufacturer’s 1-800 number, or visit their website to find out proper disposal techniques.

What about Those Pesky Leftover Containers?

It’s helpful to avoid any kind of possibly harmful chemical should never be reused for any reason. Once the container is empty you must dispose of it properly. You can check in with your local recycling plant to see what type of metal, plastic and cardboard containers they accept. In many cases containers that held aerosol sprays, drain cleaners and disinfectants will need to be dropped off at special hazardous waste collection events.

Here are some other ways you can go green and help save the planet:

Bike to Work or Carpool – if you live close to work you might consider biking there on a nice day. This will be great for your health and for the environment. If work is too far, consider taking public transport or carpooling with coworkers who live in the same area.

Reuse Paper – One easy way to help the sustainability movement is to reuse paper products such as paper bags and envelopes.

Install a Solar Water Heater – a cost-effective way of heating water.

Buy Energy Efficient Appliances – Before shelling out a fortune on an appliance that won’t save you money down the road, do a little research and choose ones that have an official energy star rating.

Install Low-Flush Toilets – Did you know it takes up to 6 gallons of water to flush just once? A low flush toilet can lessen that water usage by almost 5 gallons.

Those are some simple ways you can get on board the sustainability movement. The best part is, these ideas aren’t just great for the planet, they’re great for your monthly bills as well.

Categories: Green Living

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