Tips for Living Green
Sometimes it seems like a pain to consider all the things we need to do to live a green lifestyle. Hybrid cars, clean toiletries, filtered water, we are always concerned with keeping things green and clean for ourselves and for our community. While it can be overwhelming, it is worth it to take the time to adjust habits that will make life on this planet better for ourselves and for our future generations. It makes communities stronger, and homes last longer. Read on on how to make your home and this planet a healthy haven for all.
• Fix any plumbing leaks – sinks, tubs, showers and toilets all should be inspected for drips and leaks. The tiniest drip can add up to a lot of wasted water. To take it a step further, install water-saving faucets, toilets and shower heads. It is amazing how much water you can conserve by swapping out less efficient hardware.
• Always use long-life fluorescent light bulbs. They’re more expensive, but they last several times longer than traditional tungsten light bulbs.
• Contact your local utility companies and request an audit. Many perform home energy audits for their paying clients. An audit will inform you about the areas where you are being wasteful and educate you on how you can save energy, money and in turn the environment. An audit may reveal that your doors and windows are not sealed properly. Proper insulation is very important when it comes to energy efficiency. Windows, doors and do not forget that electric water heaters and pipes proper insulation. Be sure when working with insulation near a heater that it has 6 inches of space.
• During the winter, change the filter in your furnace every month. If the filter is allowed to collect dust, it will make your furnace work harder, use more energy and potentially shorten the life of this expensive appliance.
• Always use non-toxic cleaning alternatives in your home, such as baking soda, vinegar, and water, Bon Ami. The list is endless. In fact, many home buyers these days look for homes that have been cared for with all natural products.
• Invest in furnishings that are constructed of natural materials. Even better, buy high-quality vintage or antique pieces that fit your style. Eliminate things like plastic furniture as much as possible.
• Read the labels of the items you’re buying and avoid the use of polyvinyl chloride (also known as PVC or vinyl). It can creep up in toys, flooring, shower curtains, etc.
• Learn about composting your food waste for your garden. Many communities offer classes instructing people on how to compost and there are many resources online.
• Be conscious of the number of paper products you use and reduce them. Paper cups, plates, napkins can all be replaced with reusable items that do not end up in the landfill.
• Use reusable items to replace the ones you dispose of: water bottles, batteries, razors, and food storage containers. Make a personal audit of the things in your household that you can replace with items that can be used over and over again.
• Even if you own a car, it doesn't mean you have to drive it all the time. When possible, walk, cycle, carpool or take public transportation and shuttles to your destinations. Many of the local busses and trains are wired for Wi-Fi and you can work while you commute!
• Think globally, act locally. They money and fuel that it costs for food to be transported from great distances is a terrible impact and causes pollution. Buy your food and other items from local sources. Take advantage of the plethora of farmer's markets in the area. Not only will you get amazing local items, but you will be helping the local economy.
• Cut down on your battery usage. The hazardous waste created by the lead in batteries is a danger to the environment. Instead, use rechargeable or solar-charged batteries.
• Buy products that are not encased in excessive packaging. Let companies know you have issues with them if their packaging is excessive. Your voice does matter.
• Be sure to take advantage of your communities recycling and E-waste programs. Computers, electronics, and batteries should never be thrown into the trash. Hazardous materials like cooking oils, aerosol cans and even perfume containers are considered Hazardous Materials and must be disposed of properly. Old appliances need to be recycled or donated and not thrown away. Many cities can help with that for a small fee and many cities will give you a rebate for trading out an older non-energy efficient refrigerator for a new one.
• Green living means becoming a giver. Donate items you would usually throw out. Old clothing, books, or use easy apps to sell what you have or have a yard sale. Make sure the next time you are cleaning out your house or garage that you send less to the garbage can and more to the places where people will find a good use for the items you are discarding.
It only takes a few tweaks here and there to live a life that is more green and Eco-Friendly. We only have one planet to live on. We share it with many living creatures that need or care be they animal, vegetable or mineral. Love our earth we are only here as guests.