In Kansas City, the last days of 2017 were extremely cold, but on New Year’s Eve the city was alive with excitement. Throughout the Crossroads, the cold was no match for people eager to shoot fireworks, attend parties, and usher in the new year . Each year, we use this excitement to fuel our resolutions, and attempt to make changes for the better.
Sometimes though, picking the right Resolution is difficult. Other times, it’s easy to forget about your resolution by February. We chose to push ourselves to living a Greener life. All it takes is simple changes to care for the Earth. Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to quit anything cold turkey.
We’ve outlined a simple guide to going green in 2018.
This is the most simple change you can make, but it makes a big difference. Think about it like this, classic incandescent bulbs waste about 90% of the energy they use. Would you keep an employee that’s only 10% effective?
Fluorescent bulbs use 80% less energy than their outdated counterparts and deliver the same amount of light. This switch is a no brainer.
This next step is as simple as a quick Google search. It’s about putting your money where it counts, and researching how your favorite brands impact the climate, and their workers. The information about every possible brand is out there, it just takes people like you to value the ones who do it right.
Trica, for example, uses recycled metals and plastics when making their furniture, and they design their pieces to be durable, but also repairable. Gus* also cares about their impact, each year in January, they plant a tree for every order made (while also giving a 15% discount). Beyond that, they use PET synthetic down, a filling that’s made from recycled water bottles.
This next step is all about helping your home environment. Indoor plants purify the air, and help reduce the levels of harmful pollutants in a space. They’re also a big style statement.
If you need help on your search-- Ferm Living offers a great line of plant holders and pots.
This next step will take you on an adventure. Kansas City is a hub for farmers markets, and there’s probably one not too far from you.
Shopping at a Farmer’s Market not only means you’ll have fresher food, but it also means your produce was grown with fewer pesticides, by people who produce less waste than those who grow for supermarkets.
Below are links to Farmer’s Markets throughout the Metro.
A clean home is essential to healthy living, but anybody who has ever cleaned with Bleach knows the burning smell that lingers around all day. Switching to Green cleaning products allows you to eliminate harmful chemicals from your home. Harmful chemicals can sit on surfaces, and be absorbed into the skin while Green products adhere to strict standards regarding inhalation toxicity, combustibility and skin absorption.
As winter wages war on the country, it’s natural to want to crank the heat up. It’s a little known fact that every degree your heater goes above 70 costs you about 3% more, because your unit has to work harder. The solution? Keep the heat down, dress in layers, and always have a throw blanket nearby to curl up in.
Happy Habitat makes beautiful throws locally, that are up to 80% recycled cotton. They’re the perfect thing to grab instead of cranking the heat.
It’s way too easy to get in the habit of driving everywhere, even if it’s only a few blocks. Using public transport saves money-- Households that use public transportation save an average of more than $8,000 every year — even more as the price of fuel rises.
We’re lucky to have the streetcar in KC-- have you ridden it yet?
Once winter has passed, take time to enjoy Kansas City’s great parks. Parks are places that promote physical activity, produce cleaner air, and relieve stress.
If you’d like to give yourself an extra challenge, click here to get involved in caring for our parks.
Like the New Year, this list is just a starting point. We hope it allows you to grow and expand. Here’s to the lessons we learned in 2017, and here’s to a healthier, happier, greener 2018.