What was Kermit the Frog talking about....It is easy being green! The launch of Live Earth this weekend has made "Green Living" a hot topic. I thought I'd share 10 things I do in my home to cut down on my carbon footprint.
#1. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle! There are so many things to recycle from junk mail to glass bottles. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to burn 100-watt light bulb for 3 1/2 hours.
#2. Change your light bulbs. Fluorescents are a better choice. They last longer and will save about 5% on your monthly electric bill. LED's are even better, but currently a little harder to find. While we are talking about lights, turn them off when you leave the room. Seems like a no brainer doesn't it?
#3. Turn down the thermostat. Just a couple of degrees will save 2000 pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the environment. This is such a small change you won't even notice it, so why not just go turn that thing down right now!
#4. Plant a tree. They're not only pretty but also efficient in absorbing tons of carbon dioxide. Planting strategically in the yard to provide shade to your home or AC unit will save energy as well.
#5. Laundry. Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot or warm. This saves energy and saves the color in the clothes. Also, this time of year is a great time to throw jeans, towels and other laundry items in the sun to dry instead of turning on that hot dryer!
#6. Hand washing dishes instead of turning the dishwasher on every time. Maybe every other time was your dishes by hand. It takes a lot of energy to heat that water up and run it through the whole cycle.
#7. Take your own cup. Instead of drinking your coffee at work from Styrofoam cups, take a cup from home. Styrofoam and plastic leach chemicals in your beverages and food. So this is a tip for your health and the planet. While we are on this topic, I also save glass jars, everything from peanut butter to spaghetti jars. I reuse these to take my water in everyday. That way I'm not using plastic bottles.
#8. Buy local and organic foods. This cuts down on petroleum use. 30% of fossil fuels used in farming goes into making petroleum based fertilizers. Organic foods are not grown in these types of fertilizers. By purchasing locally grown foods, you reduce the diesel used to ship foods. Not to mention its better for your local economy and for your health.
#9. Cleaning products. Make your own cleaning products and reduce the amount of toxins in the air and in your lungs. 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts water and a few drops of pure essential oils make a great all purpose cleaner.
#10. Reduce your junk mail. The equivalent of 100 million trees are used to send out junk mail that we never even open. For unsolicited credit cards or insurance offers call 1-888-567-8688. You can also call the number listed on the mail and ask to be removed.
I hope that you are already using these tips in your home. If not, I hope you will start. The future of the planet is in our hands. Let's do what's right to preserve this beautiful place for generations!