With the start of the New Year, we all want to make big changes in our life, and choosing to go green can be one way to do that. But with so many new and different habits to incorporate and choices to make, going green can seem intimidating at first. Fortunately, you can start by making small changes by following these steps and evolving over time.
For The Home
Start with conserving the amount of energy you use in the home.
Turn a light off when you leave a room or when you're no longer using it.
Replace fluorescent bulbs with energy saving lights. Changing one light can save you six dollars a year in electricity costs, and they use 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs.
When watching television, consider switching to an ambient light.
Lower the thermostat during cold weather and warm-up by using heavy draping for your windows to block out any draft. You can also conserve heat by properly sealing your windows and insulating them for the winter.
Wash your laundry in cold water. Washing machines and detergents have made getting your clothes clean in cold water easy and as efficient as washing in hot water. Exposing your fabrics to less heat could also extend the lifespan of your clothing.
Collect water in a rain barrel from your drain pipe and water your lawn with it.
Avoid using chemical pesticides and toxins. There are natural fertilizer and growing formulas available in many stores and online.
Plant flowers and shrubs that do not require much water.
Consume local and sustainable produce. It travels a shorter distance, and usually costs less because of the reduced travel.
Unplug kitchen appliances when not in use.
Use eco-friendly cleaning products and home remedies to reduce the amount of toxins in your home environment.
Use washable cloths and rags instead of disposable ones such as paper napkins. You can even opt for disposable towels made from renewable resources like bamboo or cane sugar.
Recycle to minimize waste. Recycling doesn't just involve putting containers and bottles into a blue recycle bin. You can recycle by reusing products and their containers. It can also involve giving it away to someone who could utilize it through groups like freecycle.
You can switch up your commuter route by walking, cycling or taking public transportation. It reduces your expenses since cost doesn’t go towards gas, parking or tolls while simultaneously limiting air pollution. You can also choose to carpool to work.
Avoid packing lunches and lunch boxes in plastic or paper bags and use lunchboxes or reusable containers instead.
Avoid driving in circles to find the nearest parking spot – choose the first spot and walk the rest of the way.
Turn off your car engine while idly waiting.