Going green doesn't mean you have to be perfect. Rather than changing everything in your life in an effort to be environmentally friendly, take a few steps at a time. Check out the tips below to find some ideas that will work in your life.
1. Green tip: The power of power strips.
What could be easier than turning off everything in one fell swoop? In the average home, 75% of the electricity is consumed while your electronics are turned off. Plug several of those power suckers (cell phone chargers, laptops, and even microwaves) into one power strip in each room. When you leave for work in the morning, simply turn off the power strip. This will prevent appliances from draining energy while you are out of the house: a great way to be environmentally friendly. It also makes it easier for you-no more running around to turn everything off!
2. Green tip: Let there be light
One of the absolute easiest ways to help the environment is to change out your light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. They can be found anywhere you can find regular light bulbs, and they typically cost less than $4. Don't forget your outside lights! And listen to this statistic: If every household in America switched five regular light bulbs for five fluorescent bulbs, it would be the equivalent of taking 1 million cars off the highways for a full year. What an easy way to go green!
3. Green tip: Your booty won't know the difference
Recycled toilet paper and paper towels are just as soft and absorbent as the regular stuff. You can find 100% recycled fiber products in your grocery store. Keep your eye out for other recycled products, such as napkins and printer paper.
4. Green tip: Cold water isn't just for drinking
According to the US Department of Energy, “About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water. There are two ways to reduce the amount of energy used for washing clothes-use less water and use cooler water. " Go green by using switching to cold water washes. Your clothes still get clean. If you don't want completely commit to cold washes, just wash the clothes that you are particularly worried about, such as underwear and pillowcases, in hot or warm water, and wash the rest in cold.
5. Green tip: Dish it out
Turn off the “heated dry" option on your dishwasher and let your dishes air dry. If you don't have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open a little so the dishes will dry faster. Another tip: Rather than rinsing off your dishes before putting them into the dishwasher, just scrape the food off into your garbage or compost bin. Most dishwashers only require pre-rinsing for burned- or dried on food.
6. Green tip: Take it slow
An easy way to go green while driving is to slow down. Speeding and other forms of aggressive driving are costing you 5-33% more in gas as well as hurting the environment. Check out the gas mileage chart here: http://www.fueleconomy. gov/feg/driveHabits. shtml.
7. Green tip: Open up
Let the sun pay your energy bills. In the winter, leave your south- and west-facing window shades/curtains open during the day to let in the winter sun. Keep them closed at night for added insulation. In the summer, use white window treatments to reflect heat away from the house while still keeping it bright inside. We like energy efficient double honeycomb cellular shades that let in lots of light while keeping out the heat and the cold. Now that's an easy way to go green!
8. Green tip: Local motion
When possible, buy local and/or organic products. Most produce is shipped for an average of 1500 miles before it gets to you, which has a huge impact on our environment. Buying local minimizes that impact. The USDA defines “organic" to mean foods whose ingredients cannot have been made by using most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, genetic engineering, growth hormones, irradiation or antibiotics. Not only can these foods be better for our bodies, organic farming practices can protect water quality, prevent soil erosion, and save energy.
Taking a few minutes go be environmentally friendly will help us all go green!
Kathleen McCabe is the editor of http://www.GreenSmooch.com - a site filled with tips and articles about going green. Contact kathleen. firstname.lastname@example.org