Living Green - over 20 Tips for a Happy and Healthy House and Planet
The GREEN Living Lifestyle
What is living green? What are ways to go green?
You're probably wondering, "Exactly what is green living"? Living green is a lifestyle choice wherein, the day to day decisions you make and actions you take are beneficial to our planet. If you already recycle, you're off to a great start. Reducing waste and water use, for example, are also important. Finding ways to reuse materials-- especially ones that aren't biodegradable is also a great idea. Sometimes living green can mean buying new appliances that are energy-efficient or perhaps converting your home to solar energy. While these are great ways to live green and will save money (and the planet) in the long run, they certainly aren't cheap. But don't worry because living green doesn't have to be expensive. This list is full of ways to start living green immediately. By changing a few things here and there in your home, you'll be on your way to saving energy, money, and the planet. Check out the following green living ideas.
Pollutants in Your Home
- How to live green doesn't get any greener than plants! Houseplants are helpful-- especially aloe vera and English ivy. Both are great because they purify the air by removing pollutants like formaldahyde and carbon monoxide.
- Open the windows in your house for fifteen minutes in the morning and then another fifteen minutes at night during the wintertime. This will help prevent pollutants from building up.
- Most bacteria are killed by hot and soapy water. Don't go over-board with the anti-bacterial chemicals that are bad for the environment. Using too many chemicals down the drain can also killoff too many of the good bacteria that help break down wastes. Stick with natural, organic, and environmentally friendly (Eco-friendly) cleaning supplies whenever you can.
- Keep outside contaminents and pesticides out of your carpets and home by removing your shoes each time you enter the house.
- When cleaning house, don't forget to dust your lightbulbs. A dusty lightbulb may be working harder and costing you more money.
- When cooking, use the smallest pot or pan possible and use the right size burner or flame. Using the wrong sizes can lead to wasted energy.
- An average-sized slow cooker uses about the same amount of energy as a light bulb! Cooking in your crockpot also reduces the amount of water you'll need for after-dinner clean up since you're only washing one pot. Now you have an excuse to use your crockpot more often.
- If you're cooking something thick like a roast, turn your oven off fifteen minutes before it's finished cooking. You'll save energy and the oven will stay hot enough to finish cooking the meat.
- Don't throw away old flower vases. Turn them into a neat DIY craft like my button vase or call your local flower shop and offer to donate them.
- Don't waste water by running the tap over fruits and veggies. Fill a bowl with water and a teaspoon of baking soda and immerse your fruits and veggies in the bath. This saves water and is a more effective way to cleanse your fruits and vegetables.
- Fill one or two plastic water bottles with sand and stick them in your toilet tank. You'll use less water but make sure they're away from the mechanism that makes your toilet function.
- Don't flush your old medicine down the toilet. It's important to finish medicines as directed by your doctor-- especially antibiotics. Once pharmaceuticals are introduced to water supplies, they stay, even if the water goes through a water treatment plant. Contact your pharmacy to find the nearest drop-off location that can recycle and properly dispose of your old medicine.
- When rinsing aluminum cans out for recycling, don't leave the tap running the entire time for each one. Fill one and then transfer the water to the next and continue until they're all clean. Imagine the water you'll save.
- Stand-by mode uses almost as much energy as when the appliance is turned on. When not in use, turn your appliances completely off.
- Run your heat-generating appliances at night-- washer and dryer, dishwasher, oven, etc. This gives your AC a break from working overtime on hot summer days and keeps your home warm during winter nights when the sun is down.
- Change filters regularly. Stove, heater, and furnace filters will work harder if they're not clean.
- If your hot water is too hot to the touch when turned all the way up, adjust your water heater to save wasted energy.
- Never have your dishwasher and refrigerator next to each other in your kitchen. They'll cause one another to work harder. If this can't be avoided, snuggle some foam insulation between the two.
- Start a magazine swap with your friends. Just subscribe to or buy one magazine and then trade when you're done reading it. You'll save money and cut down on paper waste. Check out www.magazine-directory.com for hundreds of free magazines.
- Unplug your cellphone charger from the wall when it's not charging your phone. Experts say 95% of the energy used by cellphone chargers is wasted and only 5% is actually spent charging your phone.
- Turning your heater down one degree might just save you about 10% on your heating bill. You'll notice the savings on your monthly statement but probably won't even notice the one degree difference.
- Lots of household items and toiletries come in dispensers that can be refilled. Buy the container once and pick up refills each time after, eliminating wasted plastic and packaging.
Going green doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. It also doesn't take a lot of time. There are many different ways to go green, but finding ways to stay green is the key. Use this list to gauge how green your home already is. Try incorporating just one or two go green ideas into your household until they become part of your regular routine. Add more as you're ready. Share your new practices with your friends and family and encourage them to do the same.