Easy Ways to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly
Everyone can agree that going green is the best thing for the environment and for our individual lives. Don’t overlook a few simple things a person can do to recycle, reuse, and reduce that can make a difference in wise resource management and save on the pocketbook.
We all want to do our part to protect the environment, but have you noticed that ‘green’ products cost a more to a great deal more? The good news is that doing your part doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Small steps add up to a big difference, you just have to know which ones to take.
Here are a few steps:
Use less water.
Saving water is all about small steps, and here are a few that will save big.
- Shut off the water while you brush your teeth.
- Take showers that are a minute or two shorter.
- Only flush the toilet when you need to.
- Only run full loads of laundry and dishes.
- Buy from sustainable producers. These are farmers, ranchers, and other producers that use techniques that pollute less and use less water. You can do some research online or ask at your local organic market to find these products.
Use less energy.
If you don’t have the money to buy a hybrid car or convert your house to solar power, you can make a big difference with small changes.
- Buy energy efficient appliances. They may be more expensive, but make up for the increased cost in lower energy bills.
- Unplug chargers when you’re not using them. Cell phone and other chargers use up powers even if there’s nothing attached to them. (This surprised me!!)
- Put devices with remotes, like T.V.s, VCRs, and stereos, on a power strip and turn it off when you’re not using them. These devices use a lot of power to run the remote receiver even when the device is off.
- Walk or ride your bike for short trips.
- Buy local products. It takes energy to transport food and other products across the country. Buying local not only supports your local economy, it helps them use less energy.
When it comes to saving energy and water, it’s a great idea to get the kids involved. You can even make it a game. Have them track how much water and electricity everyone is using. You can compete to see who uses the least water. You can often count on your kids to help keep you on track when given the task.
Most of us know the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, but when we work on conserving, we often leave reuse out of the picture. While you can often find tips on how to reuse common products from other people, what you need most is creativity. With a little thought there are many items around your home that can be reused – toilet paper holders can be used to sow seeds for the vegetable patch. And old yogurt containers can be cut into strip to make plant labels. Old food jars can be refilled with homemade foods or can make great impromptu vases.
Use environmentally friendly products. When you go to the grocery store, you probably see more and more “natural” or “eco friendly” products every time. There are generally two big problems with these products:
1. Just because they’re more natural than regular products, doesn’t mean they’re entirely natural.
2. They’re often expensive.
If you want inexpensive, natural, safe products, why not just make them yourself. Vinegar is a great way to clean and disinfect glass and other surfaces. Need to remove stubborn stains? Just add some baking soda to your vinegar cleaner. Want to regularly and naturally clean your sink and shower drains avoiding having to use strong chemicals or call the plumber? Place about a handful of baking soda in the drain, and pour hot water-and-vinegar (about 1:5) down the drain. Follow with pure, hot water.
Some quick searching online will lead you to hundreds of other natural safe home-made cleaning products.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kathleen Krueger invites you to MarginsXs Ebooks, http://www.marginsxs.com. Please visit MarginsXs new site, Environmental Friendly, at http://environmentalfriendly.netii.net/ to discover what is eco-friendly, nature-friendly, and green.