Dec 152010

Going green is something we all want to do to help save the planet, but many times it seems that the things you need to do are very costly or overcomplicated and a lot of us feel overwhelmed and just simply don’t know where to get started. Luckily there are some simple and easy things you can do today that will help to reduce your carbon footprint and some of them will even help you save a little bit of money too.

When it comes to green living , every little bit counts and one of those little bits has to do with using paper towels. The fewer paper towels you use, the lower your carbon footprint will be. While this may seem inconsequential when thinking about our global problems, every little bit really adds up! One great way to lower use of paper towels is to get some good quality kitchen towels that you can wash and reuse and make sure you have them handy for drying your hands, wiping up spills, and drying off dishes. Limit the use of the actual paper towels to the really nasty clean-ups. It doesn’t really take much effort and you will find out that you’re spending less money on paper towels at the grocery store each week, more than enough to offset the extra initial cost of the quality towels and not placing all of those used paper towels in the garbage!

Speaking of the grocery store, another thing you can do to help the environment is to stop using plastic bags and switch to those tote bags that you can use over and over again. While the plastic ones might be convenient, there are literally millions of them that pileup in the landfills every year and may take up to 1000 years to decompose. There’s nothing green about green plastic bags that will still be around when our great grand-children are here.

Speaking of plastic, plastic water bottles are bad for the environment and also your health. Invest in some stainless steel drinking mugs to carry your water in instead of buying water in plastic bottles. You’ll be helping to reduce plastic in our landfills as well as saving your body from harmful toxins that can leach into the water you are drinking.

Heating your home is another area where you can help the environment and save money with your efforts. Have your furnace serviced to make sure that it is working most efficiently and make sure that you caulk your windows thoroughly so that they are no little places that cold air can get in. Buy a programmable thermostat so you can keep your home at a steady temperature, but try to keep at 68 or below when you are home and 58 when you are sleeping or at work.

Everyone knows that using energy-efficient appliances can help reduce your carbon footprint and save on utility bills, but not everyone can afford to buy new energy-efficient appliances. However, there are some things you can do that will help reduce your electric bill and be good for the environment. If you have a home computer (and who doesn’t these days) then make sure you turn it off, or put it into hibernate mode when you’re not using it. Don’t leave lights on in rooms that no one is in and take a good look at all the appliances that you normally leave plugged in all the time. Do they have little LEDs or lights? You might consider unplugging them as these little lights do consume some energy even when the appliance is off. Look for Energy-Star designated appliances when it comes time to replace your existing appliances.

Green living doesn’t have to mean taking extravagant measures like converting your home to solar energy, or driving an electric powered car. Every little step counts, and you will find that these little steps lead to bigger steps and a less negative impact on the environment.

Please visit our Green Living website for more tips and information on how you can help yourself while aiding our environment.

Author: Kenneth Ginsberg
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