Going green can give some people the blues. Trying to make the world a better place often involves some serious life changes, and this can take a lot of people out of their comfort zones, making the entire going green process a counterproductive activity. In this day and age, however, creating a greener environment is as simple as the click of a mouse. You may already be helping your environment without even knowing it. Here are a few ways we can all use the internet to lead a greener life.


Download Music


Arguably the easiest step is one that is already being done by millions: get your music online. Whether it is through iTunes, Pandora, or others, listening and grabbing music from the internet means that there’s no need for packaging, handling, transportation, or warehouses. Instead, the music gets transferred right to your computer. What could be greener than that? It’s pretty convenient too.


Reusing Used Goods


For things that are not as easy to transfer as music, there are always buy/sell/trade sites such as Craigslist. While it might not seem green at first, nothing helps out the environment more than buying from the people around you and putting to good use what is essentially trash. Buying local used goods helps not only reduce landfill clutter but also cuts down on the transportation and packaging of new materials. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, especially when you’re getting involved in your local community.


For another similar site that is explicitly dedicated to helping those around you, try Freecycle.org. It is a fantastic site where people give away things they don’t need to whoever asks for them. Get rid of your old broken down TV instead of throwing it away, and it could live a new life in someone else’s home.




Speaking of broken down TVs, do not throw anything if you can repair it first. If you do not have the skills, don’t worry! DoItYourself.com has great guides on how to fix just about anything, helping you save your money and the earth as well. DIY projects also help you learn valuable skills and gain self-confidence. Few things make you feel better about yourself than fixing your own broken down appliances and furniture.


Know Your Greens


If you still cannot fix it, and you cannot do without it, your best bet is to head to EnergyStar.gov and gather information about the products you need. Staying informed about your future purchase is both good for the environment and your wallet. The cheapest option is not always the most cost-efficient once you factor in the cost of operations and the impact it could have on your utility bill every month. As they say, knowledge is power, and electronics are getting more efficient every day.


Green ISPs


Do not forget the internet itself! Some internet service providers (ISPs) are going green as well. Because the internet is so entrenched in our daily lives and it is so widespread, any steps ISPs take to go green will be similarly large and impactful. Even something as simple as going paperless and making monthly billing statements online reduces the impact of hundreds of thousands of envelopes and paper slips, not to mention ink that simply does not need to be used. Some ISPs make sure that their resources are powered by solar or wind energy instead of gas or coal power, increasing the green factor even further exponentially. Some internet service providers go as far as to hold a sweepstakes for a hybrid vehicle as well as other green giveaways to promote their paperless ordering!

So as you can see, sometimes you can make multiple steps at once. If you’re diligent, and use the right resources, you can take two steps forward and no steps back, and walk your way into the green future.



Blake Sanders is a writer of technical information at broadband comparison site Broadband Expert. Blake specializes in internet service providers, cell phones, and high speed internet news and information.


Note: Photo courtesy of br1dotcom via FlickR Creative Commons.