How to Live Green as an Activist

Posted on Aug 8 2014 - 4:29am by Suzanne De Vita

GL3_superheroToday’s post is the last in my green living series, designed to appeal to everyone on the spectrum of our planet’s well-wishers: preservationists, conservationists, and activists. This final blog aims to give activists, or eco-superheroes, ideas for ramping up their green agendas. If you’re passionate about the environment and want a complete green overhaul, check out these upgrades:

• Get audited
Think of this as a home energy checkup – hire a professional technician to assess where your house is losing energy (and money) and the best ways to repair these issues. Concerned about the cost? Many states offer tax rebates for energy audits.

• Insulate your attic
Attics are notoriously hot, but if you get them properly insulated, they can prevent cool air from escaping in the summer. Like audits, many states also offer tax incentives for this upgrade.

• Find a replacement
If an appliance has an ENERGY STAR label, use it. These are EPA-approved, low-energy, water-efficient alternatives – a bit more expensive, but like any investment, worth it in the long run.

• Let it rain
Using a rainwater barrel attached to your gutter will save gallons of water, most of which usually runs off into storm drains and waterways.

• Irrigate responsibly
Conserve water by forgoing a complicated sprinkler system and using a hose to water your plants. If you need to use sprinklers, use them in the morning or at night, when water is less likely to evaporate. Installing a new system? Opt for in-ground or drip-type varieties.

• Go native
Indigenous plants don’t require as much water as exotic ones, so stick to natives when landscaping your yard. If you’re a container gardener, choose pots made of biodegradable materials.

• Stay au naturel
Silk curtains, bamboo flooring, reclaimed wood furniture – select eco-friendly, natural finishes to make your home a true testament to green living.

• Let the sunshine in
Purchase (or rent!) solar panels; they’re not as expensive as they used to be, and with generous tax rebates, they ultimately pay for themselves.

If you’re an eco-ambassador looking to elevate your green living standards, these upgrades definitely raise the stakes. Some can be costly to make, but all will transform your home into an abode that’ll make even the most zealous environmentalists green with envy.

As I close this series, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t matter how involved you are – what matters is being a part of the solution. Whether you plan to adopt new habits or set lofty goals, making any impact is better than no impact at all.

What green adjustments will you make to your lifestyle?

Suz_ThumbSuzanne 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.


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