Today, more and more companies are creating products that help us live a green lifestyle. Everything from cars, light bulbs, utensils, straws, cleaners, mattresses, and clothing is created with environmental preservation in mind.
These products help us conserve water, energy and precious natural resources while also helping to curb pollution. The convenience these products provide make it easier than ever to live sustainably. However, many of us may be wondering why this practice is so important. Below we’ve outlined some of the most important reasons for adopting a green lifestyle.
Better Quality of Life
- Healthier Environment: Statistics from the World Health Organization report that 13 million deaths annually and almost a quarter of all diseases worldwide are due to environmental causes that could be avoided or prevented. These health issues include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease, and stroke. According to the CDC, when we make sustainable food choices, use alternative transportation, purchase eco-friendly products, and recycle, we are helping to curb the pollution causing these diseases.
- Healthier Foods: When we choose to make more eco-friendly food choices such as buying local, organic, and seasonal foods, we are supporting sustainable farming methods that protect our planet. In turn, these methods help reduce the amount of harmful pesticides that end up in our food. Research shows that exposure to pesticides can antagonise the natural hormones in our bodies, leading to health issues such as immune suppression, hormone disruption, reproductive abnormalities, and cancer.
- Save Money: Conserving water and energy will not only help us save natural resources, but it will also help us save money. Since the nationwide initiative began in 1987, the replacement of standard appliances and light bulbs with energy-efficient ones has kept 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide from polluting our air. Using energy-efficient appliances and LED light bulbs in the home can also cut up to 30 percent off our annual electricity bill. That’s an average of $627 per year depending on the appliance, home, and climate.
- Conserve Natural Resources: It is no secret that our natural resources are disappearing quickly. Since 1970, the use of natural resources has more than tripled and only continues to grow each year. However, when we recycle, we are helping to slow down the consumption of these resources. According to the EPA, for every ton of paper we recycle, we save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy, and 7,000 gallons of water.
- Curb Climate Change: The burning of fossil fuels for energy is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. This type of energy results in destructive carbon dioxide emissions that pollute our environment. One way individuals can help to combat climate change is to reduce our energy consumption. Research shows that switching to energy-efficient appliances could help to reduce carbon emissions by up to 19 percent. In 2017, recycling alone saved over 184 million tons of carbon dioxide from our environment. This is the equivalent of removing 39 million cars from the road in one year. Taking steps to conserve energy in our homes can go a long way in reducing carbon emissions and protecting our planet for future generations.
Set Up Your Bedroom for Green Living
When looking for ways to live green, it isn’t always intuitive to focus on your mattress, pillows, and sheets. Thanks to our busy lives, we can forget about the bed we sleep on for eight hours each night. But finding an eco-friendly sleep solution is a major win for you (and the environment). Here are some things to look for:
- Most mattresses are either memory foam, poly-foam, latex, innerspring or a mixture of technologies. When looking for the best mattresses, look for third-party certifications, such as Cerit-PUR US® certified, which indicate the foams were made without ozone depleters, made without PDBDe, TDCPP, or TCEP flame retardants, made without mercury, lead (and other heavy metals), made without formaldehyde, and has a low VOC (volatile organic compound) and passes the emissions for indoor quality requirement. Latex foams are another great option as latex mattresses are considered highly eco-friendly; however, keep in mind it’s more difficult to find a 100% natural latex mattress.
- Sheets can be eco-friendly as well! One of the more popular certifications for sheets, OEKO-TEX®, certifies textiles have been tested for harmful substances, were made in environmentally friendly facilities that are safe and socially responsible.
It is more important than ever to adopt a green lifestyle. These small changes can help reduce the pollution that threatens our health and our environment, while also protecting our natural resources. Fortunately, it has never been easier to live a sustainable lifestyle.
Energy-efficient appliances are more affordable than ever, recycling is available in most U.S cities, and many companies are creating convenient products using eco-friendly practices and materials. When we all take small steps toward preserving our planet, we all reap big rewards.