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July 19, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Easy Ways to "Go Green"

By Colleen Hammer More Blogs by This Author

Reduce, reuse, recycle. From an early age, we were taught to live sustainably and give back to Mother Nature. With so many ways to "go green", it is easy to incorporate it into your daily life. I was surprised to find I already live sustainably, with reusable bottles and a water filter.

Everyday, we can make one step towards reducing waste and becoming substainable. You may have heard of some ways to "go green", but may think of them as unrealistic or not achievable by normal standards. Here are some easy ways to stay efficient in everyday life:

In Your Kitchen:

The next time you are standing with the refrigerator open debating what to eat, reduce the time it is open. Think about what you want to eat beforehand, and reduce the cold air that escapes. This can cut back on energy costs because your fridge is trying to replace the warm air with colder air.

Cooking your food on the back burners of your stove can also reduce indoor air pollution. Accompanying this with your hood fan on highest setting can ventilate the kitchen and allow fumes to be captured by your exhaust system. Using a gas oven versus an electric oven can also limit energy costs per month.

A simple can for your meals is adding a "meatless Monday." Reducing the costs of buying meats per week can be beneficial, and give you an excuse to add more vegetables to your diet. For more information on how to add more veggies to your week, visit:

In Your Laundry Room:

Hanging your laundry to dry can reduce fire risks and is better for your clothing. Tumbling and tossing clothing can lead to loose buttons and seams. When it is winter, hang clothes inside on a rack. Reducing expenses by hanging clothes to dry can be a great physical activity as well.

Reduce the amount you have to wash by wearing clothes more than once, if possible. Finding a more energy efficient washer/dryer may also be in your list of options, if you find energy costs are too high each month.

In Your Bedroom:

Keeping your windows insulated can reduce the use of air conditioning in the summer and heat in winter. Also, invest in some blankets that can keep you warm in the winter. This will reduce the need for heaters in the winter.

Buy an eco-friendly mattress that is free from gas chemicals such as formaldehyde. Choose an organically produced comforter instead.

Try to go for natural lighting in your bedroom, by placing mirrors in areas that receive the most light. 

In Your Bathroom:

In the shower, reduce the amount of time the water is on. When you are washing your hair, switch the water off. Limit how much water goes down the drain, and make each drop count. The same goes for brushing your teeth in the sink. Switch the water off, and use a dry toothbrush to save six gallons of water each day.
Use a safe shower curtain, that is free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics which cannot be recycled. Go for a more natural approach with linens containing organic cotton and bamboo.

Don't Break the Cycle: Recycle

  • If your living arrangements do not allow you to have a recycling bin, find your nearest recycling center
  • Give your used DVDs/video games/CDs to secondhand shops. Do the same for yourself, and buy used
  • Give away old clothes to Goodwill or Salvation Army, instead of tossing them 

Stay Green

"Going green" can be as easy as 1-2-3, but it can be easy to fall out of the habit. Keep it in your lifestyle, and if you are struggling, go to websites that can help you find your center again. With all the ways to go "go green," you may never want to go back to your previous style of living. Spread the word to your friends and family, because the more people that are on board, the more people that can make a difference altogether!

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