Are you perplexed by the new green movement? Perhaps you genuinely care about the earth, but you fail to see how using biodegradable laundry detergent will change the world in a meaningful way. If someone told you how important your small changes were, and why you should care, you would be on board. Read on, because below are simple ideas that will vastly improve our earth and make your personal shade of green a little, well, greener.
While most people that care about the environment want to take action, they simply do not know where to begin. These 5 simple steps take little effort and can make a measurable impact on our environment.
1. Conserve Water
Here is an easy one. Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth. Most of us turn the water on, run our brush under the water for a moment, then brush away for a minute or two, all the while water is running down the drain. By turning off the water you will save an average of 8 gallons of water per day!
2. Go Old School
Maybe our parents had it right. Use cloth napkins and real plates instead of paper. This saves a tree, and it may even encourage your family to linger around the table a bit longer.
Our grandparents hung laundry out to dry in the fresh air and sunshine. While this is a nice idea, it isn’t very practical in terms of simplifying our daily life. We can, however, look at how we use the clothes dryer. This appliance uses more energy than any other appliance in the house except the refrigerator. Use the moisture sensor feature if you have it, which only dries clothes until they are just dry.
3. Go for the Light
This is a fun one because for little effort, you can feel pretty darned good about yourself in terms of saving energy. As your light bulbs burn out, replace them with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL). Energy saving bulbs use 75% less energy than regular bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer.
4. Ban the Bag
I find it distracting, and mildly annoying really, to be asked every time I am in the store, “paper or plastic?” Pausing while I weigh my options, I ponder over what is more useful to me versus what is politically correct. “Plastic” I say with feigned confidence. I keep my gaze straight ahead to deflect any judgmental eyebrow raising that may be done by my peers in line. Actually, the answer should always be paper, or even better, bring your own bag (BYOB).
It is estimated that one trillion plastic bags are used every year worldwide. These bags don’t completely breakdown when discarded. Rather, they become tiny particles that remain in our soil and eventually make it into the food chain.
5. Be a Turn Off
There used to be a school of thought that it was actually more energy efficient to leave a computer on 24/7. This is clearly not the case as 75% of the power consumed by home electronics takes place while they are turned off but still in standby mode. An easy solution to this is using a power strip for your electronics. When you are done in your office for instance, one flick of the switch turns off everything.
A lot of people resist going green because they feel it is too much work, or will take too much time out of their already packed schedules. However, little changes here and there actually do add up to measurable energy savings. These simple tips can get you started in moving in a decidedly green direction.
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