50 Setps to Being Green
Fifty! Holy cow, I can hear you now… “Does it take that many?”. No, that’s not what I’m saying. Any steps you take are good and help you to be green. This is a list of easy, simple things we can do in our daily lifestyles that WILL make a difference. Small “how to be green” actions and practices that will soon become habit if you just start doing them. Most of these items will save you money too. Soon you’ll be doing them without thinking. Okay? Let’s get started with how to be green (in no particular order).
1. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth. You may have heard this before but it bears repeating. You can conserve up to 5 gallons of precious water each day just by taking this simple step.
2. Air dry clothes. Simple enough although not always possible to hang clothes outside. Regardless, a rack in the laundry room works too! This saves the energy you would use in your clothes dryer and if hung outside your clothes will smell fresh and clean.
3. Do away with incandescent bulbs. Spiral fluorescent bulbs use 1/4 the energy and are much better than when they first came out. Costs have come down and they’re available in more color temperatures than they used to be. I use the “daylight” ones and they seem a lot brighter. You may prefer the soft white or warm white. If you don’t like the fluorescent bulbs there are LED bulbs making their appearance on the market. These new LED bulbs are still quite pricey but use a fraction of what the fluorescent bulbs do. Just do it.
4. Pay bills online. This is actually the way we already pay 95% of our bills. It reduces waste of paper going back and forth as well as the energy required to transport that paper statement, check, envelope, etc. Easy peasy.
5. Reuse and repurpose, upcycle.We throw things away every day that can be repurposed for other uses or “upcycled”. Turning old bottles into glassware is one example. I reuse baby food jars to store small screws, nets, bolts, etc. in my workshop. There are lots of opportunities here, or you can visit Hipcycle and see what all the fuss is about. A great “how to be green” step.
6. Recycle Aluminum. If you’re wondering how to be green the most effective way, this is one of the top items. Aluminum has been the most favorite and easy to recycle metal going for several decades. A large percentage of all aluminum used today is recycled. A great example of how to be green.
7. Kill the Vampires. If you look around your house you will notice a lot of items that consume power on a continuous basis. The little LED lights on equipment that indicate status. The digital clock on your microwave, on your coffee maker, on your cook range. I mean, how many digital clocks does one need in the kitchen? You can plug some of these items into power strips that you can easily shut off to save a bit of the electricity these vampires are constantly sucking. Some people leave their computers on all the time. Turn them off at night.
8. Do away with your answering machine, use voice-mail instead. Personally I like my answering machine but it is a constant power consumer when the same service is provided by most telecoms. Some people don’t even have home land lines anymore, relying on cell phones, so this isn’t an issue for them.
9. Laundry in cold water. Saves the energy of heating the water. New cold water detergents make this possible to get clothes clean without heat. You may want to wash some things in hot still, but the majority of the laundry can be done in cold.
10. Use eco-friendly reusable grocery bags. Those plastic grocery store bags are landfill stuffers. Visit EcoBags and get some reusable ones. I mean, how many little trash can liners do you need anyway?
11. Recycle glass. Glass takes about a million years to go away in a landfill. Nearly all recycling centers take glass, you just have to separate it from the other stuff. Never mix glass with paper recyclables even at the combined recycling centers as glass will contaminate the paper.
12. Recycle newspaper.
13. Recycle Steel.
Okay, that’s only 14 but I’ll add more later. Come back and check.
Happy how to be green !