Today’s growing awareness of “going green” or more environmentally aware often brings the cynics out. It’s too difficult to recycle. The organic products cost too much. I can’t make ___ lifestyle change.
Just as you don’t stick to your diet perfectly each day, it’s OK to slip a little and make small changes as you go. Finding the steps that fit your lifestyle can make a significant difference over time, and it certainly is better than not doing a thing at all.
You can go greener without spending significantly more money out of pocket. By making simple lifestyle changes, you can make a difference.
Here are 10 simple things you can do to go greener without losing all of your green:
- Invest in local producers. You’ll find many deals at your local farmer’s market, and the quality will be better than what you’ll find at your grocer. Buy in season and freeze (or can, if you’re adventurous) the rest for the winter.
- Shop smart. As with any “regular” thing you buy, watch coupons and sales to get the best deal. You can get great deals on organic products.
- Consider natural cleaning. And I don’t mean buying Clorox Naturals or any other branded product. Many household items, including baking soda, vinegar, even toothpaste, can do double-duty as a cleaning product.
- Watch your energy output. Unplug the cell phone charger when you’re done. Unplug appliances you don’t use often. By just being plugged into your outlet, they are utilizing energy. If you don’t believe me, feel how warm your charger or other plugged-in item is.
- Be mindful of your CFLs. You pay more upfront for these energy-efficient bulbs, but to maximize their lives you need to leave them on for at least 15 minutes at a time.
- Turn the car off. Idling is a complete waste of gasoline. Avoid the drive-through; turn off the car and go inside on your errands.
- Find a good home for things you no longer use. Many non-profit organizations will gladly accept clothing and furniture in good condition, craft materials, leftover homebuilding supplies and more. Even electronics such as your abandoned cell phone and computer can be recycled or repurposed for a person in need. mygreenelectronics.org
- Watch your water usage. Shorten your shower; fix the drip in your faucet. The savings will quickly add up.
- Let your grass grow. Grass ideally should be cut no shorter than 3 inches tall. Shorter, and the root system is not as developed and you end up using more water. And, you may have the benefit of mowing less.
- BYOB. Bring your own bag when shopping. You can buy inexpensive reusable bags at many area stores, or simply tote your own tote bag.