What Does Living Green Mean?
The term “Living Green” encompasses a variety of choices that we make in our daily lives which promote a healthy environment, local economy, and lifestyle. “Green” choices are those that seek a sustainable quality of life while enriching the community, conserving resources, and playing an active role in ensuring a prosperous future for the City of West Palm Beach.
How Can I Live More Sustainably?
It’s easy to do your part. Let’s first start with the mindset of living a low-impact lifestyle conscious of the “big picture” impacts that your lifestyle potentially has on the environment, community, and social well-being. As you make your daily purchasing and lifestyle decisions on your path towards living green, consider products and services which embody the following sustainable qualities:
- Conserves and protects our water resources
- Is less toxic
- Reduces energy and utilizes renewable sources
- Is derived from plants or organic material
- Is organically grown and sustainably produced
- Uses reduced packaging
- Is durable, reused, and can be recycled
- Is made from recycled or reclaimed materials
- Is locally produced
- Is there an alternative mode of transportation available (i.e. bicycle, train, bus, even walking!)
What Can You Do?
With any type of behavioral retooling you should take small steps so you don’t get overwhelmed, as you will find there are vast quantities of resources and activities one should engage in on the road to living green. The following list of living green links and online resource impact calculators will give you an idea of how you and/or your household stacks up in terms of making sustainable decisions and leading a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.
Household Calculators: Water, Carbon, and Overall Ecological Footprint
What’s Your Carbon Footprint? Provides a broad understanding of the three major household carbon emissions contributors: Vehicles, Home Energy, and Household Waste. These are then further broken down into your household recycling regiment, vehicle miles traveled, electricity consumed, renewable and/or renewable energy used. A carbon footprint measures the amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) along with other greenhouse gases which accumulate in the atmosphere as a result of human activity and the burining of fossil fuels. While greenhouse gases are a natural occurance, humans have increased the rate at which they are introduced into the atmosphere thus contributing to the phenomenon known as global climate change. When evaluating your carbon footprint review some of the alternatives suggested and compare them to the savings summary provided if you were to upgrade and/or change some of your daily habits.
What’s Your Water Footprint? Allows you to see how much water individual appliances in your home are utilizing on a daily and weekly basis. The calculator also provides comparisons for “normal” household water consumption and how much water you could save by upgrading to efficient appliances and/or slightly changing your daily habits.
What’s Your Ecological Footprint? Follow this link to evaluate impacts based on a global perspective which are based on the support of locally grown food, vehicle miles traveled, density of the neighborhood you live in, energy consumed and alternative modes of transportation. This calculator projects your impacts on the natural resources and services required to sustain your current lifestyle.