10 Tips For Going Green At Home

It’s time to go green for spring! With unreasonably warm winters and a spate of stories about how our actions are changing the environment, it’s time to think about what we can do to stop global warming. Here are some strategies to give this planet a fighting chance!

1. Consider going green. Cleaning supplies, paper products, and other household essentials that are environmentally friendly, or “green,” are available at most major markets and department stores. Usually, they’re clearly labeled, but if in doubt, stop by your nearest Whole Foods store.

2. Whenever possible, buy in bulk. This isn’t merely convenient and time-saving; it also saves on packaging that you’ll eventually throw away.
3. Limit or even eliminate your use of plastic bags. They are generally not biodegradable and do not decompose thoroughly. If your purchase is small, either skip the bag, or do as many Europeans do and bring along your own canvas sack. Most stores sell bags like these today or give them away with their brands plastered all over them. 
4. Recycle all your paper, glass, and plastic products. If there is no recycling program in your building or neighborhood, use the internet to find the recycling center nearest you. 
5. Fix leaky faucets, which can waste up to twenty gallons of water a day, and running toilets, which can waste up to a hundred gallons a day. Turning the faucet off while you brush your teeth can save gallons of water per minute!
6. Buy a low-flow showerhead for your bathroom. This will cut your water consumption by almost 50 percent! Soaping down in the shower? Turn off the water until you’re ready to rinse. 
7. Turn your thermostat down one degree, and your heating costs will immediately decrease. And, of course, lower your thermostat if you’re going away for the weekend. Keep your air conditioner at a respectable temperature. There’s no reason to suffer, but there’s no reason to be wasteful, either (no one needs to sleep in a meat locker!).
8. Almost two hundred thousand tons of batteries end up in the garbage every year.  The metals inside them can seep into the earth, threatening our water supplies. Reduce your use of batteries by using electric sources whenever possible- or by investing in rechargeable batteries.
9. Avoid aerosol sprays. You can’t recycle their cans, which means that they’re destined for a landfill near you, and many of their ingredients contribute to air pollution, too. Shop instead for dispenser bottles, liquids, powders, and roll-ons.

10. Unplug! Appliances such as cell phone chargers, and TVs still draw energy- and cost Americans up to a billion dollars a year in electricity! 

-Colin Cowie

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