“Going green” is a phrase thrown around a lot today, but what does it mean in your life? You can live in a “green” building, grow your own organic foods, or drive an electric car. There are tons of ways for you to aid in the nurturing of Mother Nature’s recovery from our careless damages over the years. The problem is, sometimes “going green” can feel overwhelming. With so many options out there, where does one start? That’s where I come in. I’ve picked up a few simple tricks to get the eco-friendly ball rolling.
The first tip is so simple that you might feel silly reading it, but turn everything off! That’s right! When you leave the room, turn the lights off. Not only will it save you money on the electric bill, but it can save you up to 10% on your home’s total energy expenditure. You can also save money by plugging everything into a power strip and turning it off each night. Things like your television, DVD player, coffee maker, etc. suck up a lot of energy just by being plugged in all night. Unplug them when they aren’t in use.
I thought that this tip was a little crazy when I first read it, but it is unbelievably simple and it saves you some major money. Low-flow toilets use less water with each flush, but instead of going out and purchasing several fancy new toilets for your own home, try putting a large brick in the back of each toilet. The added weight will keep your toilet from filling up with as much water, which means that each flush will use less water. This is just like those expensive low-flow models, but now you only have to buy a brick!
My next tip may be a harder habit to kick, but it’s worth it. The average person uses 3,000 paper towels each year! This takes up tons of space in landfills and though they’re convenient, they aren’t a necessity. I switched over to organic kitchen towels instead. You will have to keep a few extras under the sink in case of a major mess, but you’ll also save tons of money on ditching the paper and this switch will make a big impact on the environment.
I’m not sure if it’s a girl thing or if it’s just me, but light bulbs have never sparked my interest at all. I have no idea what the difference is in a 60 watt or a 12 watt but I finally decided to look into it and apparently “watts” refers to the amount of power being used. There are many new options on the market that promise to be “more eco-friendly” and with all of those options, it’s kind of hard to go wrong. Many of the “green” light bulbs cost more, but they last longer, so the price evens out. The best options are for you to get compact fluorescent lights or LED lights, which run on about 12 watts of power.
There are tons of eco-friendly cleaners on the market and I highly recommend switching from your normal chemical clad germ busters to something that won’t harm your family or pets. Nevertheless, the easiest way to cut down on cleaning is to drop your shoes at the door. You and your guests track in tons of creepy crawlies just from walking around outside. By taking your shoes off at the door, you will be able to cut the need for floor cleaning in half! Saving money on cleaning supplies as well as time that you deserve to spend doing something more fun!
Little steps make a huge difference. Maybe someday we can all live in houses powered by solar energy and only wear organic fabrics, but for now it is important that we each do as much as we can. The tips are super simple, save you money, and help the environment. For more tips, check out one of the many websites like www.TreeHugger.com or www.go-green.com.