5 ways to go green
by Leann Zotis
Spring is the perfect time to institute those environmentally friendly changes you’ve been promising yourself to make just as soon as you got around to it. As the grass and the leaves on the trees turn green this spring, you too can make some of the “green” changes that will lead to reducing your personal carbon footprint on the environment.
Smart choices are good for the planet and also allow you to reap the benefits personally as well. Consider a few simple steps to get you started.
1) Leave your car at home whenever possible. With the arrival of spring you can take advantage of the warmer weather to walk or take your bike to work. If that’s not feasible, consider public transportation. Carry out as many chores as possible in your neighborhood using alternative methods to your car: walk or bike to the post office, grocery store or bank. You’ll benefit the environment by saving energy. You’ll benefit yourself by saving money on gas and parking fees while improving your cardiovascular health and, most likely, losing a little weight while increasing your muscle tone.
2) Consider replacing the incandescent light bulbs in your home with compact
fluorescent light bulbs when the old bulbs burn out. Changes in energy legislation are going to force the change gradually, why not start switching over now and reap the cost saving benefits on your energy bill right now. Your standard 100 watt incandescent can be replaced with a 26 watt compact fluorescent, resulting in noticeable savings on your electric bill and as much as 75% reduction in energy consumption.
3) Consider using borrowed, shared or recycled items to reduce manufacturing costs or the costs of disposing of items you no longer need. Borrow books or DVDs from the library instead of buying new ones. Borrow your neighbor’s lawn mower while he borrows your hedge clippers. Consider vintage clothing stores and give great styles a second chance at life. Take a look at refurbished electronic items. They often have newly replaced internal mechanisms and come with up to one year in warranty protection. Delay upgrading to the latest high-tech gizmo if what you already have serves your needs. When you do make the upgrade, recycle as much of your old technology as possible.
4) Cut down on water consumption. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Shorten
the length of showers by a couple of minutes and install a showerhead with reduced flow controls. If there’s rain in the forecast, forego watering the garden. Don’t wash half a load of laundry or run the dishwasher half full. If you’re in the market for a new washer, consider one of the new front loaders; they consume less than half the water of top loaders. The opportunities for water conservation are abundant at home.
5) Plant a garden. Springtime is the perfect time to start growing your own vegetables. You’ll save money, eliminate some pesticide consumption and may possible even eat a few more of those necessary vegetables each day because you have them readily available. This provides the perfect opportunity for you to shop locally when it’s growing right in your own yard.
Going “green” is fun for you and your family and it’s good for the environment. Use your imagination to come up with even more ways to reduce, recycle or re-use products in your environment as you head into summer.
For more “Going Green” articles, visit: https://mainstreetmag.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/going-green-as-seen-in-msm-march-2011/