Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Go Green

So, it might be time for me to jump on the "Go Green" bandwagon. Why not learn how to be more efficient with your energy and money?

Today Oprah provided a variety of small ways that make a huge difference in the impact on our environment. One of my favorite being making your own cleaning supplies! Click here to see how some basic household items (vinegar, water, baking soda...etc) clean well but are also great for the environment (can save you up to $600 a year). 

There are tons of other ways to make your home more green. For example: 

1.Clean out your dryer lint regularly to help increase the efficiency of your dryer and lessen the amount of power needed to dry your clothes (not hard and keeps your bill lower). 

2. Switch from incandescent lightbulbs to LED bulbs. Although they are just short of $40 to start, they last for ten years and save you $740 over the life of the bulb, as well as being way better for the environment. 

3. Use weather stripping around all the openings in your house to keep out the unwanted heat/cold. 

4. Keep your blinds closed when you aren't home so that your house is not heated unnecessarily.

5. Invest in a water aerator that cuts the amount of water that comes through your faucet by 1-5 gallons daily. They are $2 and don't change the pressure you feel coming out of the faucet. 36 towns will face droughts over the next few years so this is a way to reduce the amount of water you use, as well as cut down on your bill.

6. By buying a water purifying pitcher for $30, you save over $300 a year in bottled water (not to mention how much better it is for the environment to not be using so much plastic.

7. Drive the speed limit, reduce the amount of aggressive driving and lane switching and save money on gas. 

8. Use only reusable containers for lunches, snacks and water. 

9. Choosing to not eat meat one day a week is the equivalent of taking 20 million mid-sized sedans off the road. By pushing meat aside, you bring fruits and vegetables to the center of your plate which means you eat healthier. 

10. Eat foods that are living and will eventually rot. Processed foods cause the most waste while also taking the most fossil fuel to produce. Eat foods around the outer ring of the grocery store, that's where the healthier choices are. 

11. If you can afford it, buy organic and sustainably grown food. Most regular fruit and vegetables only have 50% of their original nutrients (requiring you to eat more in order to get all the benefits), while organic and sustainably grown food still have a majority of their nutrients. 

I've never been a "tree-hugger" but many of these suggestions save you money, protect the environment, and are ten times healthier. Why not choose to go green?

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