Live Green: A Friendly Guide to Sustainable Living
The way we live our lives is inextricably linked to the health of our planet. The goal of the Live Green series is to provide an overview of what’s going on right now and show you how you can help reverse the harmful effects on our bodies and planet.
The curricula is still being developed, but in the meantime you can see what topics we’ll cover and feel free to get started by reading the suggested articles below.
Lesson 1: What’s toxic, what’s not?
This lesson covers how to choose products (including household items and cosmetics) that are made from safe, eco-friendly ingredients. You’ll also learn how to make some of these products yourself using all-natural ingredients.
- Read about five common toxins and what products to avoid (Martin, David. 5 toxics that are everywhere. CNN, 2010)
- Which natural, chemical-free ingredients could you use to make just about every cosmetic product (shampoo, soap, lotion, deodorant)? (7 ingredients — 20+ DIY Natural Beauty Recipes. Wellness Mama)
Lesson 2: You are what you eat–our planet is too
The second lesson is all about food. You’ll learn how our choices as consumers determine how entire industries operate and impact our environment on a massive scale. We’ll take a macro look at where our food and water come from and the policies surrounding what’s happening. You’ll learn what you can do to contribute to the wave of activism that’s already helping to reform these broken systems.
- Explore a variety of to-the-point articles that describe how certain food production systems and supporting policies can harm us and our environment (TakePart Food)
- “Veggie libel” laws scare people into speaking out against food production systems (Williamson, Dean. Veggie Libel Laws. Community Food Co-op, 2010)
Lesson 3: Reduce, reuse, recycle
You will explore how we can all reduce our consumption, reuse as much as possible, and recycle what’s left. You’ll learn what can and can’t be recycled and why and what happens to your trash and recyclables after you throw them out. This lesson will also cover composting.
- Learn what can be recycled and what can’t. (What Can I Recycle? Waste Management)
- Watch this video on how to separate your recyclables (How to Separate Your Recycling, HowCast)
Lesson 4: Conserve energy, save money, and lower your carbon footprint
In this final lesson you’ll learn about different sources of energy and how you can save money by using those that are environmentally friendly, like solar power. You’ll hear tips and tricks to lower your carbon footprint to lessen your impact on the environment and save money in doing so.
- Explore the environmental impacts of various types of energy (How does electricity affect the environment. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2013)
- Read how solar panels can save you money on electricity bills after about 17 years (Bennett, Rachel. Can I really save money by putting solar panels on my roof? NerdWallet, 2012)