By Leila Hernandez, Connecticut College
How to Make Green Living Awesome and Easy While Reducing Greenhouse Gases
As more attention is being drawn towards the issue of environmental degradation, there is a clear need to shift toward sustainable consumption habits. One potential change that can benefit the planet greatly is focusing on properly managing water waste. While this may seem like a big change, there are many small ways that people can alter their hygiene routines to cut down on the amount of water they consume. The consumption of water itself greatly increases any given household’s carbon footprint. However, there are several actions one can take to reduce household carbon emissions and commit to green living.
A Zero Waste Hygiene Routine for Our Planet’s Future
One simple action that can be taken to reduce household carbon emissions is electing to use waterless products. Waterless products, such as Generation Conscious’s zero waste detergent sheets, are an eco-friendly alternative to the more damaging detergents commonly found in stores. These alternatives require less water for manufacturing and are more compact, making them easier to transport in bulk which, in turn, cuts down on travel emissions. While these slight benefits seem like a good start to minimizing waste, you may be left wondering, how does cutting down on water consumption in manufacturing significantly reduce a household’s greenhouse gas emissions?
While it is not widely known, there is a surprising amount of carbon dioxide released when excess amounts of water are used for residential and commercial purposes. The energy needed to treat, store, deliver, and consume water releases millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually.
On top of the energy used to provide water to manufacturers, many of the products that are readily available in your local supermarket also use bulky plastic containers that are harmful to the environment.
When you switch to zero waste products you are not only using less water, you are also eliminating the need for large plastics that cannot be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. By being actively conscious of the water you waste, the transition from using environmentally damaging products to more sustainable commodities can significantly cut down on any given person’s household carbon emissions.
Green Living Benefits for Your Day-to-Day
Committing to green living by implementing more sustainable habits and behaviors into your daily routine can improve the quality of day-to-day life. By altering the way we consume precious resources, we restrict damage to our environment through waste. Let’s look at water as an example.
Water, arguably the most valuable resource in terms of survival, has become more scarce in recent years. As this issue persists, the need for proper waste water management has become a frequent topic of discussion when considering environmental preservation. Specifically, there has been discussion recently about how individuals can help solve this issue through personal conservation efforts. The idea of switching to more sustainable alternatives such as eco-friendly laundry detergent sheets is a simple and effective way for people to reduce their environmental impact.
On top of reducing one’s energy use , the use of sustainable substitutes reduces resource consumption, eliminates waste, and conserves natural resources. Even on the corporate level, the prioritization of green living can be incredibly beneficial. Companies that take on the challenge of making their manufacturing processes more green will actively lower their carbon footprint while also slashing the cost of production by choosing more sustainable alternatives. By going waterless and committing to reducing plastics in the production process, companies will also lessen the amount of physical waste that must be disposed of in landfills. Small changes like these can help humanity maintain the ecological balance of our planet and ensure a healthier and brighter future for generations to come.
Yes! Waterless Hygiene Really Does Help Reduce GHGs
One significant way that the total volume of greenhouse gas emissions released annually is I impacted by in-home water usage is due to the excessive amounts of energy that is needed to complete certain activities. The amount of energy required to complete tasks such as washing dishes, doing a load of laundry, and taking a shower can release an excess amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs), especially when these tasks consume more water than actually needed.
Part of the reason why water consumption takes up so much energy is because of the numerous steps needed to process and distribute water. Processes such as heating water, pumping it through homes and household machinery, and wastewater collection and disposal all require power.. Despite the dire image this revelation creates, there are many ways to avoid overconsuming water that don’t require you to totally abandon the use of modern technology.
Waterless hygiene products such as eco-friendly laundry detergent sheets can help reduce the amount of water consumed at home which will then minimize the amount of GHGs released. By electing to use waterless products, you can cut down on the amount of water involved in your day-to-day life,, lower personal GHG emissions and conserve water that would have otherwise been consumed.
Along with minimized water consumption, , another plus point to many waterless products is how they are disposed of. More specifically, products like the aforementioned waterless detergent sheets don’t need to be discarded. Choosing products like these that come in minimal packaging and don’t need to be thrown out or recycled after use will reduce waste significantly. In general, they cause less damage to the environment as they aren’t littered or discarded in landfills. . Since the packaging of these products is much more compact and often reusable, reliance on excess packaging and plastics that are often used in less sustainable products is done away with.
Not only will this shift to waterless products reduce GHG emissions in the household, it will also reduce the amount of GHG released by companies that produce products that create less physical waste. A simple change like this one will therefore reduce energy and water consumption in the manufacturing and shipping processes as well as throughout consumer lifecycle. .
Zero Water Products
Now that there is evidence to suggest that waterless alternatives can greatly reduce greenhouse gas consumption, it’s time to answer one major question: What exactly are zero water products? Many products, specifically cleaning products, that are found in the home or at the market are believed to be composed of chemicals and preservatives. In reality, water makes up most of the products used for hygienic purposes.
So, with the background knowledge that water conservation can greatly benefit the environment, the switch to zero water products can be an incredibly simple way to reduce water consumption even further. In addition to the water preservation benefit of these products, there are many other advantages that make the switch to sustainable products more favorable than the sticking with the traditionally used ones.
For example, reducing the volume of water used in cleaning products also reduces the amount of shipping containers and vehicles needed to transport these products in bulk, thus reducing the amount of fuel that is used up in the process. Also, since these products are so compact, consumers receive products that are less watered down with higher concentrations of active ingredients typically used for cleaning. By reducing the amount of space, energy, and physical material needed for producing these products, businesses will also benefit financially as they no longer need to spend as much money on a surplus of unnecessary materials. This reduction of excess supplies bring benefit to the planet, the consumer, and the businesses that create and sell these products.
Eco Friendly Laundry Detergent Sheets
Generation Conscious is one of many organizations that is taking the initiative to promote green living by reducing the amount of excess goods consumed. Specifically, Generation Conscious is focused on promoting zero waste hygiene and cleaning products in an effort to draw more attention to personal carbon emissions.
These eco-friendly products, such as zero-waste laundry detergent sheets, promote the shift to a more sustainable way of living. They introduce customers to a small, yet significant, change in daily consumption habits that can bring about massic benefit. Eco-friendly laundry detergent sheets reduce the amount of carbon produced by a significant margin. They also come in reusable containers, making refilling your detergent sheets easy and waste free. In short, these products were created to be entirely waste free.
Making containers reusable without the presence of plastics is yet another way that switching to waste free products can benefit the environment. The goal of these detergent sheets is to reduce the emissions released through cleaning while simultaneously reducing the amount of single-use plastics. This combats the waste problems that come from improper disposal.
Reaching Net Zero Emission in Three Simple Steps
As climate change and natural resource depletion continues to impact our planet and the species inhabiting it, now more than ever there is a need for rapid change. In order to make substantial change we need to take immediate action in any way possible. The changes we make do not have to be drastic, however. Simple changes in consumption habits can be a great first step towards lowering our overall carbon footprint. Now that the benefit of lowering greenhouse gas emissions and using more sustainable resources is clear, let’s quickly identify some simple ways to reduce carbon emissions on a personal level.
Step 1: Managing Energy Consumption at Home
Something as simple as acknowledging how much power is consumed within your household can start you on the path to properly managing your carbon emissions. In order to do this, you can look at how you use power in your home and shift your habits to conserve more energy.
For example, one can look at how long they leave hot water running and make active efforts to use less whenever possible. Other household behaviors such as how long you leave the lights on in unused spaces and how high you set the thermostat can also be a great place to start looking into your own personal resource use habits. Not only is this habit beneficial to the environment, it could also be beneficial to your wallet as you begin to prioritize your resource management.
Using less energy and wasting less resources could cut down your electricity and water bills as you make an effort to prioritize energy conservation. In this sense, the benefits of switching to a more sustainable lifestyle are twofold and offer little to no repercussions. Acknowledging how much energy you may waste and taking the necessary precautions to prevent further damage is an incredible way to start promoting green living and prioritizing sustainability in an effort to preserve natural resources.
Step 2: Shifting Views on Shopping
Another simple, yet incredibly effective, way to reduce greenhouse gases in an effort to reach net zero emissions is to identify how your shopping practices may contribute to waste mismanagement. Most people today have heard of the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” and the need to maintain this practice has become more salient in recent years.
More companies are now working towards implementing more sustainable manufacturing and shipping habits. However, there is also a clear need for consumers to start shopping smarter. By researching where and how the goods you purchase are made and handled, you can actively choose to purchase products that aren’t harmful to the environment.
On top of tracking where your goods are sourced and how they can be harmful to the environment, you can also voluntarily choose to purchase items that allow you to reuse them or their containers. By simply doing a bit of research before shopping, you can begin to incorporate more environmentally friendly products into your cart. The active prioritization of consuming sustainably-made products and working towards reusing containers will help ensure that there is less waste created while helping promote businesses that are working towards maintaining the habitability of our planet.
Step 3: Wasting Less
Voluntarily phasing out products that are known to create a harmful amount of waste is yet another simple and beneficial habit to take up. However, it is important to note that this practice goes beyond just limiting plastic consumption.
While pivoting away from plastic products is a very important step to take, the application of this practice also extends to the products one consumes. Doing some preliminary research about the ingredients used in the products you purchase can be just as important when it comes to waste management. This research process can reveal just how harmful certain products can be to the environment, allowing any concerned customers to freely opt out of purchasing those commodities.
By reviewing the products you buy and ensuring that they create minimal waste and don’t contain excess materials, you are laying out an ethical framework that can greatly benefit the planet. Maintaining this habit of refusing to purchase goods that are potentially harmful to the environment can also help turn people into conscious consumers. Being aware of what exactly you consume and how it could potentially damage the environment is a great way to take responsibility for what emissions you create by actively working to reduce consumer waste.
Bring Generation Conscious to Your School or Organization
Generation Conscious has centered their initiatives around creating zero waste products in order to promote the idea of consuming responsibly. The products they promote are also a catalyst for deep discussions on how individuals can actively work towards preserving our resources in the environmentally centered effort to keep the planet clean.
These products, such as detergent sheets and waste-free toothpaste tablets, are also easily accessible. Generation Conscious is currently working towards setting up refill stations for detergent sheets in schools and organizations that are looking to promote green living. The efforts to set up these stations are currently underway and, if your school or organization is interested, you can inquire about setting up a refill station near you. If you are interested in purchasing some of these products but don’t have a refill station near you, you can always order them straight to your door as well.
Generation Conscious is continuously making efforts to promote their products as well as initiate conversations about sustainable living with any interested parties. If you would like to be a part of their efforts to promote green living, I highly recommend reaching out to Generation Conscious and inquiring about supporting the cause and promoting their incredible products.
Make A Case for Greater, Greener Living
The issue of greenhouse gas production is an incredibly poignant and pressing issue that has caused devastating effects in recent decades. Now more than ever there is a need for an all hands on deck response from people all around the world. While this challenge seems daunting, there are small changes you can make that can change the world for the better. Taking some initiative and properly managing your consumption and waste can create a world of difference, especially as more people do the same to support the cause. Small changes like the ones mentioned throughout the article will benefit the world as a whole and help promote the practice of green living. So, now that the need for sustainable living practices has become more and more urgent, how will you as an individual contribute to ensuring a better and brighter future for all living on our planet?