A greener home is the first place to begin making small changes to help the environment and create a healthier and more enjoyable place to live. Here are 10 simple steps to green up your life and change the planet. It’s Phase Two of GREEN for beginners!
1. Buy Only What You Need
Plain and simple-don’t over purchase. AND DO consider the packaging. You might have to write to a product distributor and tell them that you love their product but you do not like thier wasteful packaging. Don’t forget to bring your own shopping bags and wash them regularly. Plastic bags are doing serious damage to our oceans. And please pat yourself on the back for saving money!
2. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!
Recycle, reuse, and properly dispose of all materials. Everything from plastic bags to construction materials. But, recycling is not just limited to the cans, glass, and paper we go though everyday. Call Tech recyclers to recycle your computers. Drop your old batteries at Walgreens.
3. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs
When your incandescent light bulbs burn out, replace them with energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) CFLs use 2/3 less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs and last 10 times longer. Making this upgrade saves you money and saves energy.
4. Use Green Cleaners or Make Your Own.
Buy only environmentally safe cleaners for your home and business. Phase out old traditional cleaners. You will breath easier in your home. You family will not be in constant contact with cancer causing agents. http://tinyurl.com/yfyzah7 (Green Cleaner Blog)
DO YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR WATER?
Not only do many traditional cleaners have cancer causing agents or allergy causing agents, they are terrible to put down the drain: It takes 11 Federal, State & City agencies to bring your water to you; and remove your waste water. They are over budget. They are overburdened by too much waste-water and rain. And they constantly have to expel unclean sewage water from your home directly into our rivers and lakes when there are heavy rains. And we all end up drinking the toxins and medicines that you threw down the drain.
5. Keep Your Gadgets Green
Electronics become outdated very quickly. To insure you are responsible with your gadgets, practice the following:
Resist the urge to upgrade every time a “newer” or “cooler” gadget comes out. Reduce at the source-you save money and the time (and frustration) to learn how to operate and program the new gadget!
Donate working electronics to charities or school programs that resell or refurbish them.
Refill or recycle your inkjet or toner cartridges
Close the recycling loop and buy recycled, post-consumer content paper for your printer. Most local office supply stores, such as Staples, offer a growing selection of environmentally friendly papers.
6. Conserve Every Drop
It take 11 agencies working together to bring Chicago its water. DID I SAY THAT ALREADY? And they are all overburdened with budget cuts, excess water run-off and water waste. So turn off the water faucet when brushing your teeth and shaving. Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full; avoid small, partial loads. Cleaning your driveway or sidewalk by hosing it down with water wastes at least 80 gallons of water every time; Use a broom instead.
7. Adjust Your Thermostat
Have you ever heard of lowering your Carbon Footprint? Carbon gets into our air from Coal Power Plants. The less energy wasted in each home and business saves from putting more carbon into the atmosphere which is causing our Global Warming.
A few degrees difference in temperature can make all the difference in both your energy savings and your financial savings and keeping your personal Carbon Footprint lower.
8. Keep the Air Clean
Carpool, ride the bus, use public transportation, or bike to work. Cars + traditional fuels = Carbon!
9. Save the Trees
USE CLOTH NAPKINS INSTEAD OF PAPER NAPKINS. And use cloth instead of paper towels. You will save money and it is less energy and water and less trees wasted when you just throw rags in the washer. Pay your bills online: saving paper, time, and postage. As the price of paper cards and postage increases, consider emailing e-cards instead of mailing them out. Email documents and information instead of printing and mailing them. Whenever possible, save documents on your computer or on a disk instead of as a print copy in your filing cabinet.
10. No more plastic water bottles. Buy a non-aluminum water bottle to refill instead of continually buying water in plastic bottles. The water that the companies are harvesting is no better than Chicago tap water and we do not have any more room in landfills.
http://www.chicagoclimateaction.org/ is a great place to start for Phase Three of Green for Beginners. It has information on Carbon Footprint and what we can all do in Chicago.
Phase Three: The more you know about being green, the more you will sleep at night. It’s kind of the opposite of what you originally thought about going green, huh? Because of my personal journey, I know that there are thousands of people doing their best to make this world a better place. The more that I have learned about what is available to me to be a better Green-guy, along with some personal action, the more I felt like I was part of making this world a better place. I’m doing my small part. It feels good.
Here are the 5 Phases of Green for Beginners.
- Phase One: Let the Idea of being green blossom and get rid of the mind chatter of why you would or would not be green.
- Phase Two: Take Action in your own home and your work place.
- Phase Three: Learn what is interesting to you about being green.
- Phase Four: Join a website or cause that you are interested in and learn and contribute your time, talents or dollars.
- Phase Five: Become a Leader in your own household or workplace or neighborhood.