green principles

Grasp these underlying principles and you’re on your way to being green.

value nature
Everything begins with this principle, because until we start to value nature for itself – and not simply because of how it affects us – we’ll keep creating new environmental problems even if we solve our current ones. A sustainable society has to work with nature, not against it.

be happy with less
Making all those new cars, computers, plasma TVs, clothes and so on eats up raw materials and energy, so the less new things we buy the better for the planet. Buying and using less need not mean being miserable or less fulfilled. Quite the opposite. Once you realise you don’t need these things to be happy, it can make your life simpler, save you money and give you more time to enjoy simply being alive.

reduce, reuse, recycle
Practise the green “three R” – in that order. Reduce (that is, buying less things, as above) is best and easiest. But obviously there are things you really do need. For these, try to reuse. Repairing, adapting, swapping, borrowing or buying second-hand are all forms of reuse, keeping goods in circulation for longer and breaking the “throw away and replace” cycle. And if you can’t reuse, then recycle. Buying recycled goods and recycling things yourself is a lot kinder to the planet than using natural resources to make goods from scratch.

three global warming hotspots
The three main ways most of us contribute to global warming are our homes‘ energy use; our food and our travel, especially driving and flying.

four key cuts
The four key areas in which we can limit our environmental impact are by cutting down on energy, water, chemicals and waste.

what is green
Something is likely to be “green” if it is natural, reusable, biodegradeable, renewable, locally produced and energy or water efficient. The more of these boxes something ticks, the more environmentally friendly it is likely to be.

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