This month’s guest post from Patty Kleen provides some practical steps people can take in order to maintain a greener and more sustainable household. Best of all, her recommendations are painless to implement and share with others.
Is your home green? I’m not talking about the forest hue you painted your shutters to compliment your front door. I’m not even talking about your front lawn. These days, the term “green” is synonymous with eco-friendliness. And these days, you don’t have to build a roof out of solar panels to be eco-friendly. If you’re interested in doing your part to save our planet, you may be surprised to find out how easy it can be. Here are five things you can do to create a greener household.
Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) Bulbs
Switch all the light bulbs in your house out with these little electric powerhouses. Trading out just six traditional bulbs for CFL bulbs saves 600 pounds of carbon dioxide, and roughly $160 on you power bill, per year.
It is not unusual for garbage collection companies to pick up recyclables, and even to provide garbage containers designated solely for recycling. Recycling is easier than you might think. There is no need to separate recyclable materials (glass, plastic, paper and metal) from each other; all you have to do is separate recyclables from non-recyclables. Here is a simple way to recycle: arrange two garbage cans, side by side, and throw your garbage in either one or the other. You may be surprised to find that your recyclables outweigh your garbage – by a long shot (I recycle about four times what I throw away).
It used to be that the end product of all your hard recycling work cost more than traditional, non-recycled product. But that is no longer true, and it is therefore no longer necessary to skip on the recycled goods to save money. Look for recycled paper towels, toilet paper, and regular paper, amongst other things.
Avoid using chemicals that contaminate the earth’s resources by cleaning with eco-friendly products. You can either purchase specially-formulated green cleaners, or you can use common household items like vinegar, rubbing alcohol, club soda and hydrogen peroxide for a wide variety of cleaning purposes.
By adjusting your thermostat by two degrees (up in the summer and down in the winter), you can save thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide and hundreds of dollars per year. Additionally, making sure your water heater is never set above one-hundred, twenty degrees and keeping your refrigerator’s freezer at zero can considerably lower your energy use.
As you can see, there are a number of things you can do right now to make your home more green, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money. If the thought of going completely green seems intimidating, start small. Work your way through this list and you may find that, in no time, you are calling on those solar panels.
About the Author: Patty Kleen is a full-time writer with a passion for eco-friendly living. She also spends a lot of time researching and writing about energy sources and companies like Eagle Ford Shale, Marcellus, Bakken, and more. Knowledge is half the battle.