If you'd like to start going green, it helps to see what easy steps you can take to get started. After all, people have various degrees of “green-ness” in their lives, and everyone has to begin somewhere. Here are a few easy tips to get you started on a greener way of life.
4 Easy Steps to Going Green
This basic move is a good place to start. If you're not currently recycling you can start by contacting your local waste management/garbage collection system. There may be a program in place already, and you only have to put your recycling in a special container at the curb. If not find out if there is a recycling center nearby where you can drop off your recycling.
I find it best to use a designated recycling container such as a rubbermaid bin in the kitchen and we place all our recyclables in it. We can recycle everyday things like:
- clean tin cans
- clean glass containers
By placing these items in our designated bin we can easily grab it and take it to the recycling center closest to us!
Give your home an energy audit. Make sure your windows and doors are insulated – use weather stripping to seal up the space between the window or door and the wall. Check your attic and make sure it's thoroughly insulated.
When a light burns out change your conventional bulbs to CFLs (compact fluorescent lights), and install inexpensive timers on your lamps.
Heating and Cooling
One of the biggest energy users in the home is the heating and cooling system. If you can, install a programmable thermostat. This simple step can really save on heating and cooling bills. Another way to help preserve energy use is to keep the filter on your system clean. If you have a reusable filter you should clean it every 60 days, if not it should be changed every 60 days.
In the summer, try not to flip the AC on when the first warm day comes along. Use fans in open windows to draw in cool, night-time air, and then as the day heats up close the windows and keep the fans running to circulate the air. Fans, even running continually, do not use as much electricity as central air conditioning.
In the winter, take some simple steps to boost your home's warmth. Open curtains and blinds to let warm winter sunlight into the house. Turn the thermostat down at night, use safe space heaters around the house, and close the vents in unused rooms. You'd also be surprised at how much warmth a few candles can bring to a room!
Another simple step toward greening your life is to conserve water. Shorten your showers a little at a time, and if you pre-rinse your dishes before running the dishwasher, rinse the whole sink full of dishes, turn off the water, and then load the dishwasher. A few other simple water saving tips include:
- installing of a rain barrel
- only running the dishwasher and washing machine when they are full
- turning off the water when you brush your teeth
- install low-flow faucet aerators
- put a float booster in your toilet tank
- keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge
Hopefully these four easy steps to going green will give you a few ideas of where to start!
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