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go green

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Go Green
Have you ever been told to “go green”? “Go green” is becoming a commonly known phrase, even though the concept is not new. Chances are you have heard this term in regards to your home, transportation, or shopping. So what does it mean anyway? Well a simple answer is to make choices in how you live and use resources that are environmental conscious, while keeping pollution and waste to a minimum. Many people have made going green a lifestyle and their behaviors directly influence their own resources, health and cost of living. This kind of lifestyle also leads to cleaner environment, reduces pollution, reduces generated waste, and prepares our children’s and grandchildren’s future for more resources.
There are many general ways to go green; such as pollution control, reducing chemicals, and conserving resources. There are even more specific ways to go green but some of them you can’t always notice the difference. The best way to start the green route is conserving resources with simple and small habits. Make green choices that directly affect your lifestyle, resources, and budget.
In the Twin Cities of Minnesota, Metro Transit is a great option to save gas and money, and helps reduce pollution. According to Metro Transit, their Rideshare participants in 2009 helped reduce driving miles by 40 million miles. That conserved 2 million gallons of gasoline, that’s a lot of money. There are a couple options to choose from, you can ride the bus (some of which are energy efficient buses), take the train or carpool aka rideshare. In 2013 the cost to own and operate a vehicle is 60.8 cents per mile, which is up 1.96% from last year. (AAA) As you have probably noticed gas prices have risen, up 14.8% from last year. (AAA) According to a public opinion poll conducted by AAA, when asked concerns reguarding driving and transportation, 19% responded concerns of direct financial cost and 15% responded concerns about gas mileage and fuel efficiency. Bicycling has also become trendier in the nicer part of the year. Nice Ride MN was up and running in 2010, this non-profit organization provides bikes throughout the cities for business or leisurely traveling around the town.
Another way to conserve resources is to reduce waste and recycle. Minnesota has over 1,800 unpermitted dumps filled with mixed municipal solid waste sites. (MPCA) Municipal solid waste landfills receive household waste and some other non-hazardous waste. In 2010, one American each day produced about 4.3 pounds of MSW. (EPA) We can reduce these numbers by reducing waste and recycling. Some ideas to reduce waste in your home is to cut down on paper usage, prevent food waste, use less packaging by buying in bulk or eating whole foods, or even try composting. You can try new recycling techniques, this mean go beyond putting the glass, paper, and aluminum in the recycle bin. Using reusable shopping bags is a big hit in the super markets. Also try finding ways to re-purpose unneeded items such as furniture or clothing, and if you can’t re-purpose it, give it away or sell it.
Water and energy conservation are another important way to conserving resources.

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