Ready, Set, Be Green in 2014!

 go sign

Ramona Madhosingh-Hector, Urban Sustainability Agent, UF/IFAS Extension

It’s easier than ever to help sustain our environment by making some simple lifestyle changes. Here are some approaches to help keep you on a successful green path in 2014.

Learning a few facts about sustainable lifestyles will not only help you to have greener habits, but it will make your choices more rewarding. Understanding the difference that you are making will inspire you to be consistent and successful!  Pinellas County Extension offers many free classes about green living, gardening, irrigation, and wildlife. Visit our website and click on “classes/events” for the schedule and registration at  one of our three locations.

Recycling is a cost effective method that reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and conserves natural resources while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Use the online A to Z Guide to recycle and safely dispose of just about anything in Pinellas County.  You may also visit the EPA website for more information. 

Focus on smart habits like turning off lights and fans when you leave the room and unplugging the cell phone charger.  Use a smart power strip to help you reduce phantom energy losses. In the middle of hand-washing dishes or taking a shower, turn the water off until you’re ready to rinse. Saving water can also mean saving energy used to heat the water.

Sharing car rides whenever possible makes a big impact. Each time you plan to drive somewhere, ask yourself if family members or even neighbors might want to go with you, and possibly take care of multiple errands along the way. 

Goal setting is an essential part of making this seemingly difficult task much more realistic.  Choose your goals wisely, adopt a gradual approach, and enjoy the feeling of success you get from sticking to them.

Maximize the effectiveness of your changes by sharing goals with your family. Children learn by example, and you can be accountable to each other to stay on track throughout the year.  

A green lifestyle can save you money, protect the environment and help your community.

Resources:

University of Florida Sustainable Living

Department of Energy

Environmental Protection Agency