Most of us want to help the environment by “Going Green” to make it a better world for ourselves and our children. However, I believe some do not practice good “green” habits because they think it is too complicated and time consuming. Not the case.
You don’t have to go to extremes to be green. Just by doing some basic, simple things, you can contribute.
A Busy Mom’s Guide to Going Green Without Going Crazy
by Audrey Cupo
Besides recycling (see Audrey Cupo’s future blog called “How To Create A Recyling Station”), you can:
Stop buying bottled water. Did you know that some bottled water is actually bottled municipal tap water? Few people can tell the difference, anyway. Bottled water is more expensive than gasoline and 250 to 10,000 times more than tap water. If you do buy some bottles, then be sure to recycle them.
Check those faucets. Office workers alone use enough water every day to fill 17,500 olympic-sized pools! Much of it comes from leaky faucets. Here’s a statistic – a leaky faucet that fills a coffee cup in 10 minutes will waste approximately 3,000 gallons of water a year! While you’re at it, check the outside faucets as well, especially since they were exposed over the winter months.
Use cold water. When doing your laundry, try to wash your clothes in cold water whenever possible. Heating water is the #1 energy consumer in many homes. And while you’re at it, use an outdoor or even indoor clothesline to dry your clothes whenever possible. I always use an indoor drying rack for my delicates and special fabrics. You can dry them on the line and then just pop them into the dryer on a low setting for a few minutes just to get rid of wrinkles and make them softer. This will keep the clothes from wearing out and fading so quickly as well, saving you money!
BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag. Instead of using the plastic or paper grocery bags the next time you go shopping, bring canvas bags. You can purchase them inexpensively at most grocery stores these days. Remember, it takes one 15-20 year old tree to make enough paper for only 700 grocery bags! And, although plastic is convenient, they are not biodegradable. They can only be recycled so many times!
Turn off your screen saver; unplug your TV. The EPA has estimated that using a computer “sleep mode” reduces its energy consumption by 60% to 70%! So, please turn off your monitor when you are not using it. At the same time, consider unplugging your tv or using a power strip with a manual on/off switch. Most TVs, DVD players, game systems and stereo receivers use electricity because they are placed in “standby” mode when you shut them off. They are not really “off”. However, keep your VCR, DVR or cable box on the regular outlet so it will not lose its programming.
Use a ceiling fan. Some manufacturers have suggested that a ceiling fan can save up to 40% on summer cooling costs and up to 10% on winter heating costs. Sometimes, all you need is a light breeze to cool the room in the Spring and Summer and by reversing the fans in the Fall and Winter, you are drawing the heat down to the floor, thereby saving energy.
You should find these tips easy to implement. Just by doing these simple things, you to can start to go green!
Audrey Cupo is a full-time Professional Organizer and sole proprietor of A BETTER SPACE based in Bucks County, PA. She specializes in residential organizing and focuses her business on helping busy moms and women entrepreneurs get organized with her in-home services and her U Can Do It product line. To sign up for her free monthly newsletter “Organizing News You Can Use”, go to www.4abetterspace.com.
*Image provided by Repax Reusable Bags.*