We all want to do our part to protect the environment, but without a large paycheck, that can be seem difficult, if not impossible. But doing your part doesn’t have to be hard, and it is possible to be green, sustainable and frugal. Small steps add up to a big difference, you just have to know which ones to take.
Here are three SIMPLE steps that you can take to make your home just a bit more earth-friendly.
Use less water
Saving water is all about small steps, here are a few that will help save big.
- Shut off the water while you brush your teeth
- Take showers that are a minute or two shorter
- Install a low flow shower head.
- Better yet, install one with a quick shut off. Get wet, turn off the water, wash and then turn the water back on to rinse.
- Only flush the toilet when you need to.
- Only run full loads of laundry and dishes
- Buy from sustainable producers. These are farmers, ranchers, and other producers that use techniques that pollute less and use less water. You can do some research online or ask at your local organic market to find these products.
Use less energy
If you don’t have the money to buy a hybrid car or convert your house to 100% solar power, you can make a big difference with small changes.
- Buy energy efficient appliances. They may be more expensive, but make up for the increased cost in lower energy bills.
- Unplug chargers when you’re not using them. Cell phone and other chargers use up powers even if there’s nothing attached to them.
- Put devices with remotes, like T.V.s, VCRs, and stereos, on a power strip and turn it off when you’re not using them. These devices use a lot of power to run the remote receiver even when the device is off.
- Walk or ride your bike for short trips.
- Buy local products. It takes energy to transport food and other products across the country. Buying local not only supports your local economy, it helps them use less energy.
When it comes to saving energy and water, it’s a great idea to get the children involved. You can even make it a game. Have them track how much water and electricity everyone is using. You can compete to see who uses the least water.
You can often count on children to help keep you on track when given the task.
Most of us know the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, but when we work on conserving, we often leave reuse out of the picture.
While you can often find tips on how to reuse common products from other people, what you need most is creativity. With a little thought there are many items around your home that can be reused – toilet paper holders can be used to sow seeds for the vegetable patch. And old yogurt containers can be cut into strip to make plant labels. Old food jars can be refilled with homemade dry mixes or can make great impromptu vases. (Please do NOT reuse old food jars to preserve food.)
Use environmentally friendly products. And no, I’m not advocating that you rush out and buy a bunch of “green” cleaners and products. Here’s why.
When you go to the grocery store, you probably see more and more “natural” or “eco friendly” products every time. There are generally two big problems with these products:
1. Just because they’re more natural than regular products, doesn’t mean they’re entirely natural.
2, They’re often expensive.
If you want inexpensive, natural, safe products, the best ones are homemade. Vinegar is a great way to clean and disinfect glass and other surfaces. Need to remove stubborn stains? Just add some baking soda to your vinegar cleaner.
We all knowing that going green is better for the environment, but it’s also better for you. Conserving resources also helps save you money, which is something most of us are happy to live with.