How to Be More Aware of the Environment in Everyday Life

How to Be More Aware of the Environment in Everyday Life

Having a green mindset takes daily effort

A green lifestyle is more than making one change and giving yourself a pat on the back. Having a green mindset takes daily effort. There are so many little choices you make in your life that can foster sustainability. Here are a few ways to keep the environment a priority in your daily routine.

1. Water Consumption

Think of how much water covers the earth. Only 2% of water on earth is drinkable and 1% is accessible, making water a vital piece to sustainable living. Conserving water is a great way to help the environment, and there are many ways you can do so.

One thing you can do to cut your water consumption is turning off the water when you brush your teeth or shampoo your hair in the shower. If you’re not directly using the water, shut it off until you need to rinse any soap. You can even opt for a low-flow showerhead to cut your daily shower routine’s water usage.

Another way to conserve water is by making sure the pipes in your home are leak-free. A daily drip will add up to gallons over time. Ensuring your home isn’t dripping water will save you money and help the environment at the same time.

2. Food Mileage

Did you know produce and other food you bring into your home affect the environment through travel? It’s called a carbon footprint. The food you eat had to come from somewhere. If it’s not local, it was shipped, which takes gas and emits carbon dioxide into the air with every mile.

You can reduce your food mileage by shopping locally. Locally-sourced produce has less food mileage and leaves less of a carbon footprint than imported produce. Not to mention that local farmers may produce more organic food because it doesn’t have to be preserved for travel.

3. Energy Consumption

Your home is an energy guzzler. Heating your home in the winter and cooling it in the summer are a high-energy cost on your wallet and the environment. Lights in your home, as well as your appliances consume energy because they require electric to run.

You can reduce your energy consumption with apps that allow you to control the energy usage in your home. Not only will this cut your energy bill, it will reduce the carbon footprint your home leaves in energy consumption.

Another simple way to cut these costs is by turning a ceiling fan on. In the winter, it will help circulate the warm air so you can turn your heat down a few notches. In the summer, it will help circulate the cool air so you don’t have to turn the AC up as high. Although a fan still requires electricity, it doesn’t consume as much energy as heating and cooling your home.

4. Recycling

People who don’t recycle are damaging the environment. Recyclable items often end up in landfills, animal habitats and even in the ocean, harming marine animals and the ecosystem. By practicing recycling in your home, you can make sure those items don’t end up in places they don’t belong, such as the environment.

When you recycle, it’s important to understand what you can and can’t recycle. Always remember to rinse out any plastics before you recycle them.

5. Second-Hand Items

Hey environmental Macklemore, you should go thrift-shopping. Second-hand items are great for the environment and look nice in your home, too. Instead of throwing an item in the trash where it will eventually be put into a landfill, you’re keeping an item in use. Less waste in landfills protects the environment from items that take years to breakdown.

The positive factor about second-hand items is they’re cheaper. You’ll save yourself money. There are so many second-hand items worth buying. Furniture is a big one because you can always refurbish it so it’s customized to your home.

Second-hand clothes don’t come with the big brand price tags. You can even purchase refurbished electronics at a fraction of the cost but still have the same quality as new electronics.

6. Chemical-Free

Going chemical-free in your home will reduce your impact on the environment. The cleaners in your bathroom will get into the water system, which eventually puts pollutants in the water supply in your area. As it goes down the drain, those chemicals mix in with the water.

Cleaning your home with non-toxic and chemical free cleaners is a great way to change your everyday life while putting the environment first. You can find homemade cleaners that won’t harm your home.

Making small changes in your daily life will have a big impact on the environment. You can make your daily life a sustainable one. Keep the environment and your life happy at the same time.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.

We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Making a Decision: an Indecisive Guide

To all the indecisive people out there: you are not alone


I am the queen of indecision. For me, making a choice will have me frantically calling both of my parents, asking all of my friends' advice and postponing all studying until the decision is made. Of course, this is because I do not want to make a choice that I regret – such as the time I decided that starting my job at 6:30 am would be a good idea, or the time when I scared my friends with how hyper I was after drinking both coffee and Boba tea. Yet when I take this caution of making the wrong choice too far, the decision-making process itself ends up being regrettable. So much so that I called my mom approximately seven times this weekend to ask her advice on a decision. So much so that my brother used an example of me not being able to choose what kind of shoe I should wear in his article.

This weekend, I was presented with two amazing opportunities to make a difference in the world this summer and I entered a stage of decision paralysis that I did not know was possible. No matter which angle I looked at each situation from, they both would provide me with a phenomenal experience, and would both require sacrifices. Despite not (as of yet) reaching a concrete decision, I learned a lot about the decision-making process and what to do in the next time I am faced with a difficult choice. So, in the spirit of finding summer jobs, gearing up to register for classes and deciding what on earth we want to do with our futures, here are the tips and tricks that I would follow to make the best decision that you can.

Don't overthink it.

Really, this goes without thinking! Or, unlike most of us, it goes with a LOT of thinking! Seriously though, if you overthink things, they will turn into a pudding mush in your brain until you don't know what you don't know anymore. There is a very fine line between thinking through all your options and overthinking them – and judging by the number of times I called my mom this weekend, definitely crossed it.

Always use the pro-con list


Ah, the Gilmore Girls. Not only did you inspire me to read every single book under the sun or have a witty conversation full of cultural references no one else understands, but you also taught me the beauty of the pro-con list. Choosing what you want can be messy and difficult to find because of the fears you might have. distinguish from the fears. Writing it all down on paper can often illuminate the right decision and show you which path is ultimately better.

Decide on your make-or-break factor

Sometimes even the best pro-and-con lists will not be enough and will leave you in a frantic analysis ("should I go for the decision with 3 cons or 3.5 cons?") When even the Gilmore method fails, fear not! Consider which factors you truly do not want to compromise on and go from there. This can mean that even the worse decision may be the right one for you.

Trust your gut

As much as it is difficult to dig through your feelings to find your true motives behind a decision, your gut can sometimes tell you what you are most passionate about and therefore what decision is best for you to take. As my Emory Reads friends tell me, passion trumps everything. Choosing which decision aligns with your values will often lead you to make the best and most-satisfying decision.

But trust your head as well

But your gut can't always be trusted. It can lie to you, and when you overthink too much, it can change its mind. Your gut feeling may be one that is furthermore borne out of fear of the other option. In that way, I have made many a good decision based on the pure basis of rationality. Using only our heart to make important decisions allows fear to be one of the factors, whereas looking at the decision rationally can help you see the ultimate path.

Ask around

When I am puzzled about making a risky decision, I often consult the people in my life who are on my side and want the best for me. These people can help you gauge what your heart truly desires, bring up factors that you haven't considered and even act as a support network for you while making this decision. When your mind kicks into over-analysis, sometimes a fresh perspective is all you need to truly make a confident choice. Decisions are hard, people. Don't make them on your own.=

Don't ask everyone

There is such a thing as consulting others to make an important decision, and there is such a thing as relying on them to make your decision. If you ask too many people from too wide a pool, you'll end up having opinions for and against what you are proposing, which means that someone will always be disappointed in your decision. The bottom line is, asking too many people for their opinions is frustrating, no matter what – whether they have contradicting opinions, or they just nod their heads and go "hmmm, tough choice" (thanks, I guess?). In order to avoid frustration, consult the people in your life who know you the best and are dearest to you, rather than the stranger in front of you in line for fries at the DUC.

"Would my dad be proud?"

Or your granddad, or your mom, or your professor, or even a TV character. Whoever you know whose morals you can measure your decision up to will often provide reason and illumination. If the decision you are making is not too wild and you feel that you will have their approval, then it is likely not detrimental.

Stick with your decision!

Resolutely make up your mind and refuse to turn back. Exercise your right as a free individual to make a choice for yourself, and then do not second-guess it. Please don't do what I did and email a company two days later saying you've changed your mind. Please.

There is not always a right decision

Sometimes both decisions you are presented with have different but equally good opportunities. In that case, lucky you! You have two amazing opportunities and therefore cannot mess up. Rather than stressing that you are picking the wrong choice, know that you cannot go wrong in either.

Realize you will grow no matter what

Decision-making should be viewed as a challenge and a privilege rather than a burden. Make big, bold and beautiful decisions. Making up your mind can lead to a phenomenal experience that you will adore or a difficult experience that will only fashion you into a better person. Positive consequences can come out of any decision, even if we land in an upsetting position. Each choice we make can positively contribute to our character, fashioning us into the person we are becoming, day by day.

By the time this article is published, I will know my decision. And hopefully, by the end of this article, you will know yours. Let's continue to make decisions courageously, following both our heads and our hearts. Let's be determined to grow through our decisions, realizing that we have made the best choice we could, and never looking back.

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