November 6, 2007

Easy Ways to Start Being a Little More Green

Everywhere you look now days you hear about global warming. A very basic explanation of global warming is that we are putting way too much pollution into the atmosphere and the pollution has no place to go. The pollution is trapped due to our atmosphere. This creates a barrier and it allows the suns rays to come into the atmosphere and then the pollution traps the suns rays instead of allowing them back out. This in turn leads to the temperature of the earth to rise.

1 - Turn down thermostat or better yet purchase a programmable thermostat and sit it at 55 when you are not there.

2 - Unplug appliances. Your TV can draw up 6% of excess energy when it is not turned on. I know that a lot of lamps and appliances are hard to unplug because the plugs are hidden but unplug what you can. We have a space heater in our bedroom and that is only plugged in when it is in use. I also unplug my microwave and dishwasher when not in use. Also don’t leave you cell phone charger plugged in when not in use.

3 - Go Green in Your Home - When the regular light bulbs burn out replace them with compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs. You will not notice a difference in the type of light. I notice that when I first turn one on it is not as bright as a regular light bulb would be but if I wait just a couple of minutes it is a bright as the regular ones. The CFL light bulbs last 12 times as long as regular light bulbs and they use 1/5 the energy.

4 - Stop using paper towels - all they do is create waste. Pick up a bunch of dish towels and wash cloths from Wal-mart and use those or make your own. It took a little while to get out of the habit of always reaching for a paper towel but now I never use paper towels. I use my dish rags for napkins at the dinner table, to clean my kitchen, clean up spills and messes, cover things in the microwave and for all of my general house cleaning. Whatever I would use a paper towel for I now use my kitchen rages. Hey if you are adventurous you can even give up toilet paper and use rags instead - but not me - I will have to stick with toilet. Also buy recycled toilet paper and paper towels to help the environment.

5 - Stop using plastic bags. Stock up on the cloth shopping bags and when ever you go into a store grab your own. I am pretty good about using my own cloth bags in the grocery store but I have to get better about using them when I go into other stores. You can find some cheap ones at your local grocery store now.

6 - Drive Less - Whenever you can walk, ride your bike, carpool or just combine all of your errands into one big one.

7 - Recycle - Recycling one pound of material equals one pound less of carbon or pollution going into the air. Recycling is easy. Check out your local recycling center to first see what you can recycle. I have two trash cans that sit next to each other. One is for recyclables (glass - green, clean and brown, plastics numbers 1 and 2, newspapers, magazines, tin cans and aluminum cans), then once a week I take the trash can to the recycle center. Other items you can recycle - your old sneakers. Ask at your local footwear store if you can donate old sneakers and then they will send them to third world countries. My local store offers me a 10% discount off a new pair if I bring in an old pair. You can also take them to any Niketown or Nike Factory Store or mail them to Nike.

These are just some small ways to help everyone live a little more green without changing much. Check out the following blogs for much more information. I am no expert and there is A LOT more that I can do. But if we all take small steps leading to larger ones we will make the earth a better place for our children.


Tigerlilly said...

Hey.. great advice. I gave up paper towels long ago (right after I realized how much I was using after having my first kid!) and have draws full of raggs! As for umplugging everything that your not using.. I never thought it actually pulled electricity when it was just sitting there... now I know better!

thanks for the work out schedule.. I am going to give it a try on Saturday!! I have to finish my weight lifting schedule for this week before I try something new!! It sounds like an awesome workout though.

How is baby coming along?

Have a great day!

Liz said...

Thanks for this list! Another point is that, if you DO have to use paper towels, they can be composted and in fact help to balance out the slimy vegetable matter (and cut down on fruit flies!