Thursday, February 21, 2008

10 Easy Ways to Go Green

I have been making more of an effort to be more "green" lately - it's a good thing for our world and a good lesson for the kids. I am in NO way an expert on this, but perhaps by posting a few simple ways to be more "green", I will be inspired to do even more.

10 Easy Ways to GO GREEN
  1. Make the switch to Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs. The average CFL bulb will save $30 in energy costs over the course of its life.
  2. Monitor your thermostat. Small changes make a big difference over time. Make a note of where you normally keep your thermostat. Once you've got an idea where it is usually set in the summer and winter, make the Two Degree Pledge: up two degrees in the warmer months, and down two degrees when it's cold.
  3. Clean or replace your air conditioning filter. An air conditioner with a clogged filter has to work harder, which means higher power bills and the creation of more greenhouse emissions. Running clean, you can save up to $150 each year.
  4. Unplug idle appliances and electronic devices. Just because that cellphone charger doesn't have a phone attached to it doesn't mean it's not drawing energy. The average household can save up to several hundred dollars a year just by pulling the plug on silent energy vampires.
  5. Buy a low-flow shower head with a shutoff valve. You'll reap two-pronged savings, both in water and the energy you'd have used to heat it. You're also saving your community the power it would have used to treat the wastewater.
  6. Drive smarter. First, it's a good thing to keep tires properly inflated, and this is a commonly recommended strategy for saving gas. Use your cruise control on the highway for up to a 15-percent improvement in mileage. Skip the drive-through window, park, and walk your business inside whenever possible.
  7. Get an annual tune-up for your car. Set a fixed time each year to give your car the attention it needs. And check that fuel cap, while you're at it. A loose or poorly sealed cap will vent gasoline vapor, polluting the air and costing you up to 2 miles per gallon. Tighten up!
  8. Dust-off that bike. Bicycles are the most efficient form of human transportation, and the only thing they burn is calories. Consider whether bike commuting might fit your lifestyle.
  9. Go meatless once a week. If you're not already practicing a vegetarian diet, consider cutting back on the amount of meat in you consume. Livestock production absorbs sixteen pounds of grain and soy feed for every pound of meat that actually gets to the plate. Each calorie of animal protein requires 78 calories of fossil fuels to produce, and irrigation directly associated with livestock production (including feeds) amounts to about half of all the consumed water in the United States. Give meatless substitutes like Boca Burgers a try, or scan vegetarian recipes for healthy and earth-friendly meal ideas.
  10. Buy local; buy in season. Buying regionally produced food is a keystone of sustainability: not only does it save the energy costs associated with shipping bulk produce, it keeps a portion of your grocery money close to where live. So locate your local farmer's market and add it to your weekly errands. You'll be supporting local growers while enjoying fresh, seasonal produce.


The Green Bunch said...

Go Green? I am Green! Valerie Green that is! Funny aside - those are good tips and so simple too! I don't think I'll be biking the kids to their activities though. I'm off to unplug...

Nicole said...

LOL Val - I thought of you as I was making the list!