Holiday Gift Guide

Living Green: 20 Easy Ways to Increase Your Eco-Friendly Efforts

Basil seeds (c) Barb WebbThe steps we take every day to live a “green” lifestyle make a cumulative, positive difference on our environment.  If you have ten seconds to spare today, incorporate one or more of these twenty ideas into your routine to increase the power of your eco-friendly efforts:

  1. Turn off the faucet.  Whether you’re brushing teeth or  washing dishes, don’t leave the water constantly running.  On average, tap water that is left running wastes 1.5 gallons of water per minute. 
  2. Shut off the lights when you leave a room.  Make it a habit and your pocket book will thank you, too, when you receive reduced energy bills.
  3. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) for indoor use and solar lighting for exterior use.  
  4. Try low flush or no flush.  Install a low-flush toilet or toilet switch to reduce water consumption in the bathroom.  Or take a bit more radical approach and don’t flush after every visit to the restroom (for liquid waste.) Each standard flush of a toilet uses a little under 2 gallons of water. Water conservation in this area quickly adds up when you change your habits.
  5. Eat local.  Fewer miles from your location to your plate means fewer emissions and fuel usage. 
  6. Buy local. Again, it’s a fuel savings, but also a great way to support local producers, organic farmers, artists and craftsmen, too.
  7. Grow or purchase organic foods. Grown in a sustainable manner, organic foods are a natural choice for green living enthusiasts.
  8. Use rechargeable batteries. 
  9. Recycle your electronics, old appliances and other items you normally don’t view as recyclables.  Check for donation opportunities and upcycle potential.
  10. Install a programmable thermostat. It’s an inexpensive immediate action you can take to help curb heating and cooling costs with more effective temperature regulation.
  11. Help keep your living space insulated with curtains, blinds, and weather stripping. 
  12. Set up a carpool arrangement.
  13. Take your bike for a spin, walk or use public transport on your next outing.
  14. Take a day off from the air conditioner.  Open the windows.  Use an energy-efficient fan.  Air conditioning typically accounts for about 50 percent of your energy bill consumption and costs each summer. 
  15. Turn off your computer overnight.
  16. Unplug your cell phone completely when it’s fully charged.
  17. Wash your clothes in cold water.  And use a clothesline outside to dry them, if possible.
  18. Nix your toss-away dishware.  Opt for re-usable containers for on-the-go. Replace paper towels with real ones… and so on.
  19. Shop with reusable shopping bags.  Once you get into the habit of bringing your own bags, it’s a breeze to continue this habit.  Plus you’ll be saving a lot of trees or avoiding contributions to landfill muck.
  20. Plant a seed.  No time for gardening?  Start a few herbs in a container or a few plants around your home.  Makes your world a little greener and improves air quality.

You probably already know to stay tuned to our Living Green series.  Also a totally easy and smooth eco move…

 

 


Barb Webb

Former bartender turned organic home living expert. Foodista, lover of dogs, kids, and simple, delicious cooking. Will travel for wine. Find her regularly on RuralMom.com, or touring the country on the hunt for the next hot restaurant or food trend. Tweet to her at @ruralmoms. If you'd like your brand, event, or business considered for an editorial or upcoming feature, contact us

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