Despite the environment being a hot-button topic in global conversation, eco-consciousness has found its way into our everyday lives. More and more individuals are realizing that they, too, can have a positive impact on their surroundings. Longtime homeowners, buyers opting for new construction, apartment dwellers – they all play a role in protecting Mother Earth.
Did you know there’s an eco-friendly fix to almost every household feature? Some are inexpensive upgrades, others take green living to a whole new level, but all work to keep our environment clean, safe and sustainable.
Today’s post will be the first in a three-part series, designed to appeal to everyone on the spectrum of our planet’s well-wishers: preservationists, conservationists and activists. Today, I’ll zero in on preservationists – these folks love nature, but they’re seeking to go green without making drastic lifestyle changes. Eco-friendly upgrades in their homes have to be easy, quick and affordable. Sounds right up your alley? Live green simply with these tips:
• Create a system
You won’t remember to recycle if the process is too complicated. Store small bins in your office or bathroom, which are often overlooked areas that house many recyclable materials, and use two bins in your kitchen to separate waste and recyclables. Research your town’s recycling policies – many have streamlined systems that make it easier than ever to recycle.
• Lose the paper trail
Sign up for online bill statements and remove yourself from junk paper mailing lists. Doing this not only saves trees and limits waste, but also neatens up your office or desk. Talk about a win-win!
• Swap your light bulbs
Lower your electric bill and impact – CFL and LED bulbs last longer and use less energy, with a minimal difference in lighting.
• Ditch your kicks
Shoes not only track dirt on your floors, but also bring toxins into your home. Chuck ‘em by the entryway to avoid breathing in potentially harmful pollutants.
• Turn it off
Leave less of an environmental footprint and save on your bills each month by using timers, shutting off lights when not in use, and resisting the urge to heat your home excessively.
• Clean green
Greenworks and Seventh Generation make great eco-friendly cleaning products, but the old standby combo of hot water and vinegar works wonders, too. Both keep airborne chemicals to a minimum.
• Revise your laundry list
Small adjustments to your laundry routine, like washing your clothes in cold water and cleaning your lint filter, save energy long-term. Bonus tip: use a clothesline to air dry.
• Waste not, want not
That garbage bin in your kitchen has less waste than you think. Use a composter to turn toss-aways (think food scraps and egg shells) into fertilizer for your garden.
• Maintain your water heater
Wrap your heater in insulating material and turn it down a few degrees – as little as five degrees at night will make a huge difference.
There you have it, readers – nine ways to green your space without breaking the bank (or obsessing!) Try ‘em all, or implement one or two at a time to ease the transition into green living.
Next up: conservationists. Stay tuned!
Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s Online Associate Editor and social butterfly. When she’s not zipping around in her blue Prius, she focuses on becoming one with her spirit animal, Catherine Zeta-Jones.