By now, everyone knows how to "go green," but what if you want to take it the next level? Let's face it: It's 2012 and no one's impressed by your 7-minute showers and your re-usable grocery bag of locally-raised, organic meat. Americans have been going green since the '70s and if you want to stick out, you're going to need to take extreme measures. Here's a list of things that will put your installation of compact fluorescent light bulbs to shame.
Brew Your Own Cow Manure Tea
Sure, you might have a vegetable garden but do you use manure tea to fertilize it? Ditching chemical fertilizers, hard-core environmentalist Mike Lieberman uses the tea, which preserves the microbes and fungi that help plant growth. "These microbes and fungi are important to plants because they help build strong root systems and help roots to better absorb nutrients,” says Lieberman.
Buy This Expensive Shower that Kicks You Out for Wasting Too Much Water
Featured in Trend Hunter, the shower by designer Tommaso Colia forces you out of it before you waste too much water. "The eco_drop shower features beautiful concentric circles that will rise to force you to stop showering when you take too long, and accordingly save water."
Ladies, Use a DivaCup
Women may have a smaller carbon footprint than men, but that's no reason to get complacent. Ladies, it's time to suit up. "The DivaCup, an innovative menstrual cup, is reusable making it an environmentally responsible choice as important as switching from plastic to canvas bags! Disposable tampons and pads create billions of units of disposable waste that is dumped into landfills each year." Enough said.
Donate Your Car
Buy a Bidet
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The thing about toilet paper is it's bad for the environment. Do like the French, or Zach Galifianakis, and get a bidet.
Sell Your Home and Live In This Eco-Friendly Shack
What's wrong: You don't want to be on a perpetual camping trip for the rest of your life? Somethings are more important! Plus, as Bellomo Architects explains, it's "Designed to be 100% off the grid, the 150-square-foot unit can be flat-packed and shipped in a box that is 4 x 10 x 3 feet in size."
Make Your Own Non-Toxic Cleaning Supplies
Take a tip from World Watch, "You can make very effective, non-toxic cleaning products whenever you need them. All you need are a few simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and soap. Making your own cleaning products saves money, time, and packaging-not to mention your indoor air quality."
Only Go to the Library
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Think buying books is a virtuous act? You must've forgotten about all the ink and paper and energy that goes into printing books. If you were Xtreme Green®, you'd go to the library. And same goes for movies. Sure you might only be able to get a decades-old French new wave film but we all have to make sacrifices.
Pee in a Bucket
Some people flush irregularly but if you're really hard-core, you'll avoid flushing altogether. "Yes, people really do this in the name of a low-flush life," writes Grist's Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan. "Get yourself an untippable container, whizz away, and dump the contents on the grass at day’s end."
[Shutterstock / Beboy]