Opinions

The following are tips, advice, and opinions from readers of GreenGordo.com. If you would like to share any tips with our readers, please feel free to contact us and send them our way!

I live in the city, so I don’t have a yard where I can grow vegetables, but that didn’t stop me from growing my own healthy food. I decided to start container gardening on my balcony. In order to reuse the food scraps from my kitchen in my container garden, I started composting. Since I live in a cramped Brooklyn apartment, I didn’t have the space for a traditional compost bin. I built a red worm composting bin by drilling holes into two plastic storage boxes. I found the instructions on the web. The worms eat the food waste and leave worm castings, which are a great fertilizer for your garden. Joe Schuburt, Brooklyn, New York City

To teach my kids the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling, I started making crafts with them at home using items from the recycling bin. For example, we eat a lot of eggs in our household, so we always have a large supply of egg cartons handy. I’ve taught my kids to make a variety of crafts out of the egg cartons, such as egg carton gardens, insects, flowers, and animals. My kids have a blast doing it and they play with the toys they make for a long time afterwards. Making crafts with reusable items is a fun way to help your kids express their creativity and it reduces the need for you to buy commercial toys, which are expensive and manufactured with non-sustainable materials.  Kerry Ibanez, Long Beach, California

Living a green lifestyle is tough when few others around you care about it or understand it. I know that this isn’t feasible for everyone, but for me, moving to a city where I was surrounded by others who also cared about the environment made it much easier for me to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle. Back in my hometown, people scoffed at the idea of going green. I understand the importance of trying to spread the word and encouraging people who aren’t “in the know” to go green, but I felt that living in my hometown actually made me fall back into old, unhealthy routines. When the opportunity to transfer to a position in a more environmentally-friendly city was presented to me, I took it. My life has changed for the better. I can now commute to work by bike because there are bike paths, shop at a food co-op in my neighborhood, and eat organic, vegetarian food at local restaurants. None of this was possible back home. I have far more options now and find myself making positive changes in my life each day. What I’m trying to say is that if you’re having a hard time living a green life where you are now, try moving to a place where you’ll have support. It really helps to be around like-minded people.  Dave Salloe, Seattle, Washington

A British friend once told me that she thinks it is silly how in the US, houses are warm in the winter and cold in the summer. And it’s true because in other countries, it’s the other way around, as it should be. If you’re cold in your house in the winter, don’t take that as a sign to turn on the heater. Wear a sweater, thermal underwear, warm socks, and layers. If you’re still cold after that, you could turn on the heater a bit, but don’t blast it. If you’re wearing a t-shirt in your home in the wintertime, something’s wrong. In the summer, use a fan and wear light, loose organic clothing. Your house should not feel like a walk-in refrigerator!!! I think the problem with our culture is that we want everything to be perfectly comfortable 100% of the time. We really need to go back to following nature’s rhythms. Set your thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and a few degrees lower in the winter.  Zoe Petersen, Boston, Massachusetts

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