We all want to do our part to protect the environment, but without the right information,
that can seem difficult, if not impossible, sometimes.
However, doing your part does not have to be hard.
Small green steps add up
to make a big difference.
You just have to know
which ones to take.
Here are a few simple steps to take in your day to day life:
Most of us know the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, but when we work on conserving, we often leave “reuse” out of the picture.
While you can often find tips on how to reuse common products from other people, what you need most is creativity.
With a little thought there are many items around your home that can be reused, for example:
*Toilet paper holders can be used to sow seeds for the vegetable patch.
*Old yogurt containers can be cut into strips to make plant labels.
*Old plastic containers can be used for gardening.
*Old glass food jars can be refilled with homemade foods or they can make great impromptu vases.
*Old plastic bottles and containers can be used to hold DIY cleaning products.
*Old glass wine and beer bottles can be cut down and made into glasses.
*Old sweaters and t-shirts can be made into pillows and stuffed toys.
#2. Use Less Water
Saving water is all about small steps, here are a few that will help save big:
*Shut off the water while you brush your teeth.
*Take showers that are a minute or two shorter.
*Only flush the toilet when you absolutely need to flush.
*Only run full loads of laundry and dishes.
*Buy from sustainable producers. These are farmers, ranchers, and other producers that use techniques that pollute less and use less water. You can do some research online or ask at your local organic market to find these products in your local area.
#3. Use Less Energy
If you don’t have the money to buy a hybrid car or convert your house to solar power, you can make a big difference with small changes like these:
*Buy energy-efficient appliances. They may be more expensive, but make up for the increased cost in lower energy bills.
*Switch to CFL or LED light bulbs.
*Turn off the lights when you leave the room.
*Unplug chargers when you’re not using them. Cell phone and other chargers use up power even if there’s nothing attached to them.
*Turn off bluetooth when you are not using it.
*Turn off wifi when you don’t need to use it.
*Put devices with remotes, like televisions, recorders and music players, on a power strip and turn it off when you’re not using them. These devices use a lot of power to run the remote receiver even when the device is off.
*Clean the coils of your refrigerator.
*Walk or ride your bike for short trips.
*Buy local products. It takes energy to transport food and other products across the country. Buying local not only supports your local economy, it helps them use less energy.
#4. Get Your Kids Involved
*When it comes to saving energy and water, it’s a great idea to get the kids involved.
*You can even make it a game. Make a wall chart with them. Have them track how much water and electricity everyone is using.
*You can have the family members compete to see who uses the least amount of water.
*You can often count on your kids to help keep you on track with green practices when given the proper guidance and groundrules.
*Help your children learn more about the importance of living green by exposing them to age-appropriate books, web sites, community or volunteer projects and events.
#5. Use Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products
When you go to the grocery store, you probably see more and more “natural” or “eco-friendly” products each time. There are generally two big problems with some of these products:
Unfortunately, some labels can be misleading. Just because they’re” more natural” than regular products, doesn’t mean they’re entirely natural, free of toxins or ecofriendly.
They’re often more expensive, but there are some safe, non-toxic and cost-effective brands out there. Just do your homework.
If you want less expensive, eco-friendly, safer products, why not make them yourself? For example,
*Use vinegar to clean and disinfect glass and other surfaces.
*Need to remove stubborn stains? Just add some baking soda to your vinegar cleaner.
*Want to find more recipes for natural cleaners? A quick search online will lead you to hundreds of other green, natural and safe, home-made cleaner recipes.
*Plus you will find other DIY recipes for homemade cleaning products in upcoming articles on this site — as well as selected non-toxic cleaning products.
In Short, Live Greener and Save
We all know that ‘living greener’ is better for the environment, but it’s also better for you–and especially– your health.
Conserving resources also helps you save money, which is something most of us are happy about!
These simple suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more that we can do to make our lifestyles greener.
What are you doing in your home to live greener? What steps are you taking to use less water and energy?
Share your suggestions and comments with us below.