With Earth Day just around the corner we should all think about ways to make our lives greener. There are many simple ways to do this. Not only is it good for the environment but it is good for your wallet too.
Organizing carpools to work and school is a great way to start. Carpooling cuts down on gas usage, emissions and car maintenance costs. Another option is using a bike or walking if you are not going that far from home.
Turn off lights and electric components that are not being used. A video console left on idle constantly can use as much energy as two refrigerators over a year’s time. The cost of electricity alone should scare you into turning off that hall light that isn’t needed at the moment.
Try to eliminate harsh cleaning chemicals found around your house. You can use vinegar to clean windows. Use a mixture of vegetable oil and lemon juice as a wood polish. They work just as well as commercial chemical cleaners but are not as caustic. This is a great alternative especially if you have small children at home.
Set the water temperature dial on your washer machine to cold. Frankly water temperature has really nothing to do with how clean your clothes are. Your laundry detergent should take care of that. You can eliminate the energy use that is needed to heat the water.
Clean the lint trap in your dryer after every use. When the lint trap is full and clogged it reduces the efficiency of your dryer. In the late spring and summer use a clothes line to dry your clothes to eliminate the use of the dryer completely. Who doesn’t love the smell of clothes hung out to dry on a beautiful summer’s day.
Try to get rid of the use of disposable cups, plates and plastic silverware. Take your favorite mug with you to work for coffee to get rid of using Styrofoam cups. Drink filtered tap water instead of buying bottled water.
Purchase reusable grocery bags instead of using plastic or paper. You can find them practically everywhere now and they really aren’t expensive. Personally plastic really isn’t worth the hassle because they are flimsy and useless.
On an average an infant will go through two to three thousand diapers a year. And approximately four million babies are born in America each year. So go ahead and do the math. That translates to a lot of garbage in landfills. Yes I will admit disposable diapers are convenient and handy. But if you are a stay at home mom or can find a way to use cloth diapers then by all means do so. They are actually better for your baby’s bottom.
My favorite tip of all is planting. Plant trees, flowers and vegetables. They are good for our air quality. They are good for your home value and can be good for your stomach. Freshly cut flowers brought into your home from your garden makes a wonderful natural air freshener.
Start a compost pile. You can get rid of grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps and egg shells this way. You can find instructions for starting a compost pile at www.diylife.com/2008/04/14/create-a-compost-pile-in-your-backyard .
These are simple and effective ways to go green. It is good for everyone to start using green ways. Not to mention taking a small financial burden off your wallet. If we do not start taking action soon, what kind of planet will we leave for our children.