Ideas To Go Green – Tips on Becoming an Earth-Friendly Consumer

April is Earth Month, a time for people to stop and think about how they can do their part to help the environment.

According to Environmental Defense, a leading nonprofit organization committed to protecting the environment, the United States is ranked the No. 1 global warming polluter. What can you do to help change that? Here are some small steps that you can take every day toward becoming a more conscious consumer:

* Buy in bulk. It’s cheaper in the long run, and you buy more of the product and less of the packaging.

* Look at the businesses you buy from. Does your coffee shop recycle? Does your rental car agency have hybrids? Businesses take note of consumers’ questions your inquiry could be the one to tip the scale and make a change.

* Make an appointment for the Earth. At participating Aveda salons, a minimum of 1 will be directed to Aveda’s Earth Month partners when customers make appointments for a haircut, style, massage or facial.

* Support your local farmers. Farmers’ markets are where some of the healthiest and freshest food can be found. By supporting farmers in your own community, you’re doing your own body good and cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions of food transportation.

* Recycle! Plastic comes from crude oil and paper comes from trees. By recycling just these two items in your household, you’re helping to save two of the Earth’s valuable resources and reducing your home’s carbon dioxide emissions.

* Pay your bills online. It saves stamps, paper, fuel for mail transport and ultimately saves you money.

* Purchase thoughtful gifts. Aveda’s limited edition Light the Way candle, for example, is made with certified organic rose geranium and helps support organic farms in South Africa. All proceeds from the candle will go to organizations working to save threatened and endangered species.

* Think eco-fashion. A number of designers are now using clothing materials that go beyond organic cotton, such as biodegradable fabrics and fibers made of recycled plastics.

* Spread the word. If you find a green product or company that you like, tell your friends. Consumers can use their collective purchasing power to spearhead change.