Going Green: What Does it Mean?

Learn how to Go Green with Patch with these basic tips.


The phrase going green gets some people motivated for change, while inciting fear in others. Many believe that going green requires drastic lifestyle changes that they just don’t have the time or energy for. Besides, you just don’t see yourself as the “crunchy” type anyway. Right? 

Luckily, like the variety of colors found in the simple beauty of the natural world, there are many shades of green. (Yes, I did consider sticking “50” in front of the word “shades,” but figured that might be going a little too far.) 

Regardless, the ultimate goal of going green is to try and become completely independent from fossil fuels and other pollutants, which harm the environment and our health. Simply put, going green is an earth-friendly approach to living.

In practice, going green means to:

  • conserve energy
  • reduce pollution
  • conserve resources
  • reduce consumption and waste 

I like to think of going green as a journey; a process, if you will. Going green today means incorporating some smaller changes into the hustle and bustle of our daily lives that will add up over time, making us more aware of the change that needs to happen, while working towards a goal of being greener.

Here are a few basic tips (some of which you may already be doing anyway) to get started on your going green journey. You might begin to notice that you actually consume less, waste little and even save money along the way! Be careful, though, or people might start accusing you of being one of those “green types.”

  • . Many people don’t realize it, but up to 75% of the energy that is used during washing clothes, is used to heat the water. By switching to cold water washing, you could save nearly 1,000 pounds in CO2 emissions each year. In addition, hanging clothes out to dry on a clothes line instead of using a dryer will cut back significantly on your electric usage and, ultimately, your electric bill!
  • Switch your light bulbs. By changing the lighting in your home to compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs, you will use 60% less energy than the traditional incandescent bulbs and could save up to 2,000 pounds of CO2 emissions each year. Plus, these bulbs last longer than traditional bulbs and will lower the cost of your electric bill.
  • Be conscious of the food you are eating and where it comes from. Do you know where that ground up meat sealed behind the plastic sheet in the supermarket came from? If not, you probably don’t want to know. By shopping locally and understanding the concerns about our food supply, you can help with environmental food concerns and save your health in the long run. Not to mention, choosing local products will support a local farm.
  • Recycle and buy products in recycled packaging. Reduse waste by recycling items like glasses, cans and plastics. Look for products that use recycled packaging. Go one step further and through composting.
  • Buy non-toxic cleaning products or make your own. Always buy non-toxic cleaning products to save the planet and the health of your family. The key words to look for when purchasing green cleaning products are "biodegradable", "non-petroleum based" and "phosphate free.” Making your own cleaning products is also a cheap and healthy way of going green. 

Stay-tuned for next week’s Going Green with Patch column where we offer some natural cleaning solutions!

What small changes are you making to go green?

JS188 July 30, 2012 at 10:49 PM
I think it's nice to have some information and articles on Patch that don't involve small town politics. The focus of the above article is to inform people about things they can do to better the environment and reduce their negative impacts on the environment, not what Melissa Schlag can do for you. Patch was finally getting nice without every article written by or about Melissa Schlag and was getting back to a nice town news site instead of small town political antics.
Arthur Abbott July 31, 2012 at 01:17 AM
JS188, forgive me but you seam to be very confused. I will not pick on you as you may be handicapped or never given a real name. That or you are a robot. Actually you come across as a hater with out a clue. You must not read Patch very often because there are many articles that do not involve politics. That and the ones that do ( just do not open it!) are important to many in the community. If you think the State Senate seat is small town politics, again you are missing the boat. The candidate I mentioned represents all you speak of environmentally and you slander? What you consider antics, I feel are very important topics. You can remain part of the problem and ignore the candidate that represents what you say are your ideals, or you can become part of the solution and get on board. To Patch please never stop keeping us politically informed, it is invaluable! To JS188, read Patch more often and you will see a myriad of articles and they are by far not at all political. You simply have a grudge and are not able to cover it intelligently.
JS188 July 31, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Arthur, In response to a simple comment about how I enjoy reading local news without politics being involved you stated I was " handicapped", "confused", "a robot", "hater" and "unintelligent". If these are the types of people that Melissa Schlag associates herself with and are her supporters I would highly recommend people look into NOT supporting her in any way. Your comments are insensitive, inaccurate and offbase. I believe many would find your negative association of people with disabilities in regard to my expession of opinion highly offensive. Everyone has the ability to express their opinion however he/she wishes, thats the great part about living in a country with freedom.
Arthur Abbott August 01, 2012 at 12:24 AM
JS188 LOL...Nice spin! Not a bit factual but funny either way. Read what was written not what you think. Yes freedom, if you do not like beans do not eat them and then complain to those that do. I apologize but JS188 sounds like a new jet or robot. What am I to think when one has something to say as strong as you do but hides behind a fake name? Anyone that knows me or the candidate realizes you are way off base. Closet comments = 0 Just slander from a hater....
JS188 August 01, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Arthur, This will be my last response to you because I can clearly see you are going to do nothing but accuse me of being a "fake" and hater. I have the ability as does anyone else to write comments to articles in this forum. I can choose to identify myself or not, and choose not to. I do not feel as that invalidates my comments, just as we vote anonomiously. I as do you have the ability to freely express my opinion and as someone associated with a professional would hope that you would represent yourself and a candidate in a professional and respectful manner. Good luck campainging for your candidate and I hope we will be represented by someone who expresses more class, respect and sensitivity that what has been expressed and stated above.


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