Go green without the expense of a major lifestyle change.
It's true that huge, systematic changes are necessary to manage the changes in our climate. But you can do your part, too! Here are seven ways you can go green in your home and life today.
1. Use a high-efficiency shower head
When was the last time you updated your shower head? I know, if it's not broken don't fix it, right? Well, did you know that high-efficiency shower heads can save up to 3,000 gallons of water per person per year?
High-efficiency shower heads will help you go green by heating less water. You can make a big difference without giving up the comfort of your morning shower. You could save up to $50 a year on electricity costs and save 1000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
2. Recycle water within your home
There is no sense in dirtying up clean water if you have the right tools! Special devices that use the grey water waste from your sink to flush your toilet can keep you from using up fresh, clean water to remove waste.
If you're really looking to go green, save the cold water from the beginning of your shower in a bucket, then use it to water your plants.
3. Improve the efficiency of your water heater
Sure, it's great to have a tankless or solar water heater. But, not everyone can afford that kind of upgrade and not every home can support these changes without significant plumbing upgrades. We've listed some small improvements to help you go green and see significant savings, both in dollars and in carbon.
- Wrap your water heater in an insulated blanket
- Insulate the first few feet of hot and cold water pipes
- Reduce the heater's temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
4. Use energy efficient lighting indoors and out
You might want to shield you eyes before reading this one... A 100-watt outdoor light bulb can cost you $40 in electricity and create 400 pounds of carbon. Indoors, high-use standard light bulbs can also create significant costs.
You can avoid those crazy costs by switching to LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs. Overall, you will reduce your carbon footprints, save money on electricity and spend less of light bulbs overtime. Both LED and CFL bulbs last much longer than traditional bulbs.
5. Eating closer to home
When we focus on eating local foods and shopping at the edges of the grocery store, we often eat better and healthier. We also create less trash.
You may not have noticed, but packaged foods aren't just bad for you -- they also tend to generate more trash, which makes them worse for the environment, too. One more reason to eat whole ingredients whenever possible!
When buying meat, it's often worth purchasing direct from the butcher's counter; the price is generally the same, and you can get the product wrapped in earth-friendly paper.
6. Easy meals and easy energy savers
Don't think of it as downgrading, just downsizing! A traditional stove uses quite a lot of energy to make dinner. Using a slow cooker or instant pot will help consume significantly less energy. With no hassle and easy clean up, you don't have to worry about basting, stirring, or checking on dinner nearly as often.
7. Wash in cold water
You probably know washing your clothes in cold water will save you energy. Take it one step farther and try using cold water in the shower. Before you shiver with chills it's important to note taking colder showers is great for your skin and hair, wakes you up and saves electricity.