So, you haven’t taken the plunge that so many others have by going green? It’s not too late! While many people have already taken steps in turning their environment into a healthier and greener life for their families, they have also paved the way for knowledge and understanding. In other words, we can take lessons from them to know what we can do, and how to do it in baby steps if necessary.
Nobody says you have to dive right into an all-green lifestyle. First, it would be overwhelming to make so many changes at once; and second, it could be costly if you don’t build up to it. Let’s take a look at 8 steps you can take to start living a greener lifestyle:
Check Your Laundry Temperatures
A simple step you can take is to use cold water when you are washing your clothes. It’s a common misconception that hot water is even necessary. Cold water can be very effective in laundering, as well as saving money on your energy bill. By using cold water, it will not only significantly reduce the energy your washing machine uses, but it will also be kinder to your clothing.
Don’t Idle When Possible
Turn the car off when you can rather than letting it idle. Of course this doesn’t mean when you are on the road waiting for a red light, but rather when you are in a parking lot waiting for someone. In fact, idling for over 10 seconds uses more fuel than is necessary for starting the car up, so there’s another myth busted!
Turn It Off
We have all heard it before–turning electronics off when they are not in use will help save energy, and that myth is not going to be broken here. Here are just a few things you can turn off or unplug when you are not using them:
- Coffee Maker
Simply shutting your computer down each night can save you about $90 a year on your energy bill. Not only that, but it will help save your computer and other appliances if you are constantly running them unnecessarily.
Turning off your electronics and unplugging small, unused appliances is just the beginning of what you can do around the home. Once you’re ready, start researching other simple things you can do around the house to be a little greener. You can start on websites dedicated to living eco-friendly like http://www.ecohomeinspired.com
Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite
Go organic with your mattresses, sheets, and bedding; it will help to remove chemicals you can pick up from your bedding touching your body all night long, as well as allergens.
Traditional bedding is developed with chemicals, which are not removed while laundering. So if you have to replace a mattress, consider an organic one. More importantly, if you are expecting a new baby who will be spending a lot of time in a crib, check out crib mattresses reviews to find an organic mattress that has high reviews from consumers.
If you live in the US, you have an option to use green power for your utilities. The Department of Energy has information for you with lists by states of providers that can help you out. Or, check with your current provider to see if they have a green power solution available.
Pay as many of your monthly bills as you can online; it will not only save on wasted paper, but some companies offer deals for paying online. You can also save money on stamps by paying online, and do I need to mention the convenience of paying a bill in just seconds?
No More Junk Mail
I don’t know about you, but I might have saved an entire Oak tree by cutting down on the junk mail that used to come to our mailbox. Simply go to the Direct Marketing Association website and look for the Mail Preference Service to get rid of the junk mail. There is a $1 fee, but in my opinion, it’s worth it. It might take up to 90 days to completely stop unsolicited mail.
Carpooling is something that became very popular years ago when gas prices soared. Well, have you looked at the pumps lately? Think of the money you can save if your commute is over 20 miles. However, it’s not just the cost of fuel, but also eliminating unnecessary carbon emissions when cutting the number of cars on the road in half.
I hope that these tips have showed you how easy it can be to turn over the metaphorical green leaf into a healthier home and environment for yourself, your kids, and their future. Not only do these steps help save the planet, but they can also help save you some money and headaches–literally.
Photo by sustainableecho/Flickr