People use high speed internet service to conduct business, make dinner reservations and to socialize with family and friends. But one of the most promising uses for the internet is to help people live more eco-friendly lives.
The internet keeps useful things from cluttering landfills by providing venues for giving unwanted items to other people. Craigslist and Free Napkin are great sites for finding free and lightly-used items. Craigslist has a section where members post curb alerts and things they want to share. Free Napkin members post pictures of items they no longer need. The internet helps people to reuse, recycle and save money.
Food is often shipped coast-to-coast and around the world. Locally-sourced meats are often raised free-range and the produce is fresher. Many consumers are joining the local food movement and becoming localvores. You can help your local economy and eat healthier by using the internet to discover nearby farms and farmers markets.
People who want to grow their own food can go online and check out the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) and other organic gardening websites. The AGCA helps people garden and improve the quality of life in their communities. Their website has information on how to find your local community gardens. Organic gardening websites have advice on how to garden without pesticides, conserve water, making your own compost and other sustainable gardening information. Their tips, such as using garlic to repel aphids, eliminate the potential for toxic chemicals polluting our rivers and lakes.
High speed internet eliminates the need to drive to the video rental kiosk or the movie theatre. With today’s large screen HDTVs, you can download a movie and watch it in a theater atmosphere without leaving your house. Online rentals also eliminate the hassle of driving and reduce your use of fossil fuels.
The internet helps furniture shoppers find retailers with eco-friendly selections. Eco-friendly furniture is a healthier choice for your home because the manufacturers don’t use petroleum-based products or other toxic materials. Furniture made with sustainable woods, such as bamboo, or reclaimed woods reduce the need to harvest the planet’s forests. Wood specifically grown for use in wood products is also considered eco-friendly.
The Forest Stewardship Council has a certification program that identifies wood harvested by socially and environmentally-responsible forestry programs. They also identify operations that practice fair trade and retailers who market these eco-friendly products.
Consumers looking for ways to increase their green meter can check out sites like greenUPGRADER, Insteading, Ecolocalizer, and Energy.gov, for advice on how to purchase the most energy-efficient appliances, clean your home with eco-friendly products and other environmentally-friendly tips.
If you want to green your commute, check the internet for bike and car sharing opportunities. In major cities with high occupancy vehicle lanes, a vast network has transformed carpools into an innovative tool to unsnarl congested traffic. One such example is Commuter Connections. This program is a collaborative program organized to assist Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. area commuters. Carpooling programs help reduce CO2 emissions and air pollution. Other options include RelayRides, Social Bicycles, Zipcar, and Carshare.org
How have you used the internet to live a greener life? Share your thoughts in a comment!
A guest post by Spencer Hogg from the Broadband Expert, a website where high speed internet service providers can be compared.