Saturday, April 28, 2012

Simply Green: Easy Things You Can Do to Be Green and Save Money

The biggest thing right now is being green, everybody’s doing it from celebrities to your neighbor on the corner. You may be wondering though, what can you really do to live a greener life that doesn’t cost a fortune or have you munching on granola.

Trying to wade through all the green information floating around out there can be difficult. Everyone’s popping up with green tag lines and green products, but is throwing out all your old stuff and buying new eco-friendly products going to solve anything? No, it just leads more stuff in the landfill which defeats the purpose of going green.

Here are simple ways you can go green without going broke or changing your lifestyle very much. These simple things can even save you money.

Fix all leaky faucets and pipes. This will save water and save energy therefore reducing your water and energy bills.

Install low flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and toilets that use less water. The initial investment is minimal and in less than a year you’ll recoup that money through savings on your water and energy bills.

Unplug any appliances and other electronics when not in use. Even though something may be off, as long as it is plugged in it is still drawing power.

Invest in rechargeable batteries. They do not cost a great deal more than regular batteries but they last over ten times longer.

Change out regular incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent lights (CFL’s). These bulbs last 6-10 times longer than a regular bulb and use much less energy. CFL’s come in dimmable versions now, too. So if you have a light with a dimmer switch there are CFL’s available for that.

Use solar powered lights for outdoor lighting.

Reduce the length of your shower and shower with warm not hot water. You can start out hot then gradually ease the temperature down as you go too.

Wash clothing in cold water instead of hot.

Wear clothing more than once before washing it. No, I’m not talking about underwear and socks- outerwear like jeans, sweaters, sweatshirts, etc. do not have to go into the hamper right after wearing them unless they are heavily soiled, wear them a couple more times before washing them.

Put lids on pots and pans when you are cooking. I know, sounds so simple and it is. The food will heat up faster, more evenly and on lower heat, plus it will stay warmer longer. You’ll save energy all around.

Take reusable bags to the grocery store and on other shopping trips. This is another very simple thing. Keep all those plastic bags out of landfills by using durable canvas totes or other reusable bags. Keep an extra stash in your car so you always have some with you.

Reduce the number of miles you drive. Think about walking or riding a bike more, carpooling, or even talk to your boss about telecommuting. This will reduce the need for expensive gasoline and reduce the amount of transportation pollution being released into the air. Plus if you walk or ride your bike more, you’ll get in shape and be a healthier person.

When buying products look for items that are recycled, recyclable, sustainable and organic. Also look for durable products made from recycled or reclaimed materials. Organic isn’t just for food either. Organic fabrics, body products and more are now available.

Purchase recycled or tree-free paper.

Refill and recycle your ink cartridges to save money and keep them out of landfills.

Recycle whenever possible. Some products you can even get money for recycling, like certain metals.

Download songs, movies, television shows and more instead of buying CDs and DVDs.

If you really want to be green you could try your hand at making your own recycled paper, it could be a lot of fun.

Shop locally. Buy locally grown fresh fruits and veggies. If they are organic, even better.

Have a green thumb? Grow your own organic goodies. Many veggies can be grown in containers if you don’t have a lot of space.

Going green doesn’t have to mean big changes in your lifestyle but even the simplest things can have a big impact on the world we live in. So do your part and be simply green. Who knows you may enjoy it and want to do more.

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