Going green doesn’t always have to mean investing in solar panel systems and revamping your backyard with artificial turf—at least to start. The smallest of changes can often have the biggest impact. Going green also doesn’t have to be expensive; with incremental changes and small investments, you can actually save a significant chunk of change. If you’re feeling inspired and want to revamp your efforts to live a green, environmentally friendly lifestyle that provides numerous health benefits, adopt some of these habits and make a difference.
1.Switch Out Old Light Bulbs
Illuminate your life and save money on your energy bills by switching your incandescent lights to LED or CFL bulbs. These bulbs offer the same amount of brightness without wasting any energy. They also generate less heat and can last up to 10 times longer than the average incandescent light. An inexpensive fix with a significant decrease in energy spending? It’s a win-win.
By now, we all know the age old adage: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Unfortunately, many of us are still lax with the last facet. Recycling is so simple, but many of us still throw away items that could easily be repurposed. This easy behavior change can actually make a world of difference. By recycling, we prevent our landfills from overflowing. This can help reduce air pollution and conserve energy needed to create a brand spankin’ new product. All of this from throwing your plastic bottles in the right container? You betcha.
Outside of placing bottles and cans in the correct receptacle, there are a variety of additional ways to recycle your household waste. For food waste, consider starting a compost bin. For larger items such as cars, boats, and furniture, consider donating your outdated stuff. Not only will it go towards a good cause, but you can also use the donation as a tax write-off at the end of the year!
3.Use Water Efficiently
Did you know that a whopping three percent of the United States’ energy is used just to pump and treat our water? This percentage is significant, and cutting down on water usage can help us preserve this precious natural resource. Conserving water can help you save energy, both in your own home and for your greater community. The smallest of actions can help you conserve water in your home. Install aerators on faucets throughout your house, switch to low-flow showerheads, take care of any leak the moment you notice it, and only run your dishwasher or clothes washing machine when you have a full load. These actions will not only help conserve water overall, but it will also cut down your personal home water bill.
4.Use Naturally Derived Non-toxic Products
You’d be surprised at the places chemicals are hiding in your home. From the cosmetics in your bathroom to the cleaning supplies under your kitchen sink, many harmful chemicals go into the creation of some of your most used products. When it comes to cosmetics, be sure to avoid any harmful chemicals; take a look at this list, which includes the worst chemicals for your body. Be sure to avoid toxic home care products that use VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. These products dispel nasty chemicals into the air, which you and your family breathe day after day. Check out this list and discover some common household items you can use as non-toxic cleaning solutions.
5.Insulate Your Home and Use Heater and AC Wisely
In the summer months, we force our homes to work double duty to keep us cool. Unfortunately, running the AC on full blast can waste a great deal of energy and increase utility costs exponentially. Look at some small home improvements that can transform your energy usage this summer season. Even simply updating and upgrading your insulation and changing your air filters regularly can help cut down on energy waste. Using a programmable thermostat to ensure you are only using the air conditioning or heater when you are home, can also help you cut your energy costs in half.
If you’re looking for ways to go green this summer, don’t let costs and time investments deter you. Making little changes can provide huge benefits for the environment, reduce utility cost in your home, and increase your family’s comfort in one fell swoop.
Note from the GREENandSAVE Staff: Here are two examples of other articles by Ms. Winters to provide you with more perspective on her insights: