Living Green Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
Living green doesn’t have to be hard. While it may feel like you need a major lifestyle change to get eco-friendly, the truth is with a few simple changes, you can live green with no inconvenience—and even save some money while doing so. The trick is to start small. Don’t reinvent the wheel; just make a few simple changes in your routine and go from there. Then, before you know it, you’ll be living green.
A simple first step is to start turning off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth. When you bathe, resist the urge to fill the tub to brimming. While a long, hot soak is a nice treat, is it really necessary to have all of that water if you’re getting in and out in a hurry? If you shower, consider buying a water-efficient shower head. Make sure the dishwasher is full before you run it, or better yet, wash those few dishes by hand.
Little things that cost nothing and save loads include lowering your water heater to 120 degrees F, washing your clothes in cold water, lowering the thermostat during winter, and in warmer weather giving your dryer a rest and line-drying your clothes. Low-cost ideas include: insulating your water heater, attic, and HVAC ducts; installing a programmable thermostat; and ensuring your home is properly sealed against large air leaks (i.e. by having proper Door Insulation).
Travel and Commuting
Depending upon where you live, commuting “green” may seem one of the more difficult things for you to embrace. But there are alternatives you can at least consider. Check out your local public transportation and see if there is a feasible option to driving to work every day. Taking the bus may seem unpleasant at first, but you may find time a commute spent reading, listening to music, or just watching the scenery puts you at work more relaxed than if you had driven.
Consider car-pooling. It might not be an option for work, but think about getting together with neighbours for shopping trips or play dates to the park. Think about walking instead of driving; taking your bike; or selecting vacation spots a bit closer to home.
When it comes time to buy a car, consider fuel-efficient models. But, don’t just replace the car you have in order to “be greener”. The energy used in new car production may outweigh the benefits of replacing the one you have.
Probably one of the easiest ways to live green is to become aware of waste. How much of what you throw away can be recycled or reused? With most neighborhoods offering recycling programs, there is really little excuse to not participate. Donate unwanted items to charity; find out what stores participate in e-waste recycling programs and get rid of old electronics that way; return iPods and cell phones to the manufacturer for use as parts. There are some companies, such as Gazelle, that buy used electronic devices and recycle them.
These are just a few of the many simple ways you can live a greener life with no hassle. Think about it. If it’s this easy to be green, then what excuse can you have not to be?