10 Ways to Go Green!

Going Green

Going Green is all the rage right now, and for good reason. We as people need to take responsiblitiy for our planet, and here are a few easy ways for you to do your part, and maybe even save some of the folding green in your wallet!

  1. Save energy to save money.
    • Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer. Believe it or not just 5 degrees cooler or warmer can make a huge difference in your electric bill.
    • Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out. Some of these bulbs are actually brighter than incandescents AND use less energy!
    • Unplug appliances when you're not using them. Or, use a "smart" power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts "phantom" or "vampire" energy use. As much as 10 percent of your electrical bill is "phantom" power.
    • Wash clothes in cold water. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.
    • Use a drying rack or clothesline to save the energy otherwise used during machine drying. Dryers use just as much electricity as a furnace.
  2. Save water to save money.
    • Take shorter showers. This will lower your water and electric bills too.
    • Install a low-flow showerhead. They aren't expensive, and they can more than pay for themselves in savings.
    • Make sure you have a faucet aerator on each faucet.
    • Plant native plants in your garden. Most native plants will thrive even without daily watering.
  3. Less gas = More Cash
    • Walk or bike to work. Saves on gas, parking, and may even help you stay in shape.
    • If you live far from your work. Consider moving closer. Even if your rent goes up, it may be cheaper in the long run.
    • Go to city council meetings and try get your local legislature to increase spending on sidewalks and bike lanes.
  4. Eat smart.
    • If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. It's not cheap, and several heart conditions stem from not eating enough vegetables
    • Buy locally raised meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can. Purchasing locally means you get a fresher product as well as supporting your community.
  5. Skip the bottled water.
    • Use a water filter to clean tap water instead of buying bottled water. It's expensive and the bottles become a problem as litter when they are empty.
    • Buy an aluminum water bottle and take it with you to work. It will keep you from buying a soda, and it's much healthier to stay hydrated.
  6. Think before you buy.
    • Check out your local flea markets and Goodwills. Sometimes they have high quality items for very reasonable prices. There are also online services such as craigslist.org that help connect people who need to get rid of something and who actually need it.
    • When making purchases, make sure you know what is a quality product and what isn't.
  7. Borrow instead of buying.
    • Borrow from libraries instead of buying personal books and movies. This saves money, not to mention the ink and paper that goes into printing new books.
    • Share power tools and other appliances. Get to know your neighbors while cutting down on the number of things cluttering your closet or garage.
  8. Buy smart.
    • Buy in bulk. Purchasing food from bulk bins can save money and packaging.
    • Wear clothes that don't need to be dry-cleaned. This saves money and cuts down on toxic chemical use.
    • Invest in high-quality, long-lasting products. You might pay more now, but you'll be happy when you don't have to replace items as frequently.
  9. Keep electronics out of the trash.
    • Keep your cell phones, computers, and other electronics as long as possible.
    • Donate or recycle them responsibly when the time comes. Used electronics contain mercury and other toxins and is a growing environmental problem.
    • Recycle your cell phone.
    • Ask your local government to set up an electronics recycling and hazardous waste collection event.
  10. Make your own cleaning supplies.
    • The big secret: you can make very effective, non-toxic cleaning products whenever you need them. All you need are a few simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and soap.
    • Making your own cleaning products saves money, time, and packaging-not to mention your indoor air quality.