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Ten Tips for Going Green at Home
Here are ten tips to help you go green at your house. These hints will help save the environment, reduce your waste footprint, and often even save you money in the process.
1. Green Cooking Tips...Don't microwave plastic, reduce your use of prepackaged foods, and stop using cheap nonstick pans, which leach toxins into your meal as you cook. Consider buying organic foods. When choosing between two like items in the grocery store, pick the one with less wasted packaging.
2. Reduce waste. Recycle newspapers and other items whenever possible. Reduce your dependence on fast food, which creates a lot of waste products. Reuse plastic bags at least once.
3. Use less utilities. Unplug electronics when not in use, which can use up to 20% of power when not turned on. Look into the possibility of replacing high-use utilities with an energy efficient furnace, air conditioner, dishwasher or water heater. Consider installing solar panels to capture free heat from the sun. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs to save energy. Run your dishwasher and clothes washer only when they are full. Turn your thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer. Use caulk and weather stripping to insulate your home.
4. Reduce mileage in your car. Use a bicycle or walk for the close trips whenever possible. Combine trips in the car, or shop where many stores are located together. When you buy a car, look for one with low mileage, or a hybrid. If you live far from work, consider changing either your job or your residence to make them closer together. If that isn't feasible, consider changing hours so you don't have to sit in rush hour traffic.
5. Grow your own foods as much as possible. Create a vegetable garden, and use as few pesticides and chemical fertilizers as possible. Consider using a rain barrel to water your plants, instead of using public water.
6. Take up composting. Pick an out of the way spot in your yard, and use a composter. Throw in coffee grounds, eggshells, spoiled vegetables and other leftovers. Mix with dirt. Once a week or so, turn over with a shovel to provide air. You won't just help the environment, you'll create rich soil for your garden.
7. Donate your used items. If they are still usable, don't throw them away. Donate them to Goodwill or another worthy cause, including clothes, shoes, toys, and household items.
8. Avoid aerosols, which can't be recycled, and contribute to air pollution. There are many non-aerosol alternatives to any product. Research and use organic cleaning products.
9. Watch what you put in your trash can. Batteries, paint cans, and aerosol sprays all can leak toxics that can end up in our water system. Ask your community leaders about a safe disposal site for these items.
10. Limit what you buy. Think twice about filling your house up with items you'll only use once or twice. Consider sharing items with a good neighbor, such as garden tools, and go in half on them.
Going green at home doesn't just help the environment, it save you money too!
Click through more tips on Going Green, as well as Saving Green (money).