We hear a lot about how important it is to protect our environment but how easy is it to ‘go green?’ The good news is that you can start right away, it doesn’t take much time and you can make a positive impact immediately.
#1 Energy Efficient
Making your home more energy efficient is the biggest single change you can make, as a homeowner, to help the environment. A small act such as changing your lightbulbs can help. Compact fluorescent bulbs last 10 times longer than standard bulbs and use two-thirds less energy! Clean your air filters so your system doesn’t have to work as hard. Install a programmable thermostat which won’t waste energy on an empty home.
This is easier than you think and home composting is a fantastic way to reduce solid household waste. Save even more trash going to landfill by making your own compost which can be used as a fertilizer for plants and for farming. You can attend to it as little or as much as you want and many varieties of composting bins are available to buy.
#3 Turn it Off!
It’s so easy to leave a room and forget to turn off appliances or lights or go to bed at night with the TV left on standby. Remembering to turn off switches only takes a few seconds, so make sure everything electrical is off fully before going out or going to bed. Not only does this save the planet a little but also your electricity bill!
#4 Conserve Water
Do you leave the water running while you brush your teeth? Little actions can add up to make a big difference so take a look at how you use water. Having a leaky toilet can waste hundreds of gallons a week, as can leaving sprinklers running constantly. Flushing the toilet is incredibly water-intensive so think about whether you need to flush after every pee or whether you could leave it until next time. Only run the dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load.
#5 Recycle and Reuse
It’s easy to keep on top of your recycling if you just dedicate a few minutes to working out which material goes in which bin. Before you throw something away, think about whether there is an option for recycling it. Before throwing away household item, consider if they might be useful serving a different purpose. Do you really need to print that email or 30-page document? Take a moment to stop and think – that’s all it takes.
#6 Leave the Car at Home
If you could walk or take the bus twice a week instead of driving, you would be helping to prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1.590 pounds per year. If you do need to drive then try not to make multiple, short trips but get everything done in one hit. This will also save you time and money! Take a carpool to work if it’s too far to walk. Taking a walk is also great for your health and fitness levels so it’s a win-win for you and the environment.
#7 Clear out the Chemicals
Clear out your cleaning supplies and ditch the nasty chemicals that are harmful to people, animals and the environment. Beware of products containing bleach and see if you can find instructions online for making your own non-toxic organic cleaning materials. Alternatively, buy products that promise to be eco-friendly and not full harmful chemicals.
#8 Get a Reusable Grocery Bag
This idea can be tricky to remember all the time but while it’s easy to grab a plastic bag at the register, these bags have a pretty bad record for damaging the environment. Keep a stash of old ones or get yourself a much more stylish reusable hessian grocery bag. They are sturdier and look trendier anyhow!
#9 Don’t Idle
Running your engine while waiting for something or someone is smelly, polluting, annoying and very eco-unfriendly. A simple turning off of the engine is all it takes while you wait, as idling is particularly damaging in winter weather with exhaust emissions hanging around in the frigid air. You’re also wasting gas, wearing out your engine and ruining air quality where you live. It’s also illegal in some places.
#10 Cloth Diapers
If you have small children or thinking about starting a family then consider reusable cloth diapers. They have come a long way since the days of complicated pieces of material and strange pin fastenings. Disposable diapers are more expensive, are terrible at biodegrading in landfill sites and are full of chemicals. Cloth diapers can be reused, offer a chemical-free option for your baby’s skin and won’t sit in landfill for the next fifty years!