We were only given one earth, and in order to keep it around long enough for our great-great-great-great-great-great-grandkids to enjoy we need to take care of it. Little changes can add up, here are some ideas we have to make your house a little greener.
Stop your mail. Okay, you can’t fully stop your mail, but go paperless for your bills and get off any and every mailing list you’re on. Think about all the mail you receive a day–4-6 pieces? That’s thousands upon thousands of paper that was unnecessarily printed. Any mail you can’t avoid, make sure you recycle the leftovers.
Get rid of the pollutants in your home. Nothing’s better than that “fresh paint” and “fresh carpet” smell, except nothing is worse for your body. That “new” smell is code for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can irritate your nervous system. These indoor pollutants can be up to 100x’s higher than outdoor pollutants. Make sure you spring for no-VOC products or install carpet or paint when weather is nice enough to keep windows wide open with fans running to air out the toxins.
Take ’em off. Your shoes, that is. Most people are considerate enough to ask if you’d like them to kick their shoes off upon entering your home, but if nothing else make sure your household members always leave their shoes at the door. Really think about all the disgusting and toxic things you step in all day, and if you really want to drag those fertilizers, allergens, antifreeze and oil around your home.
Switch the bulbs. Around 12% of your energy bill is lighting costs, so cut the costs where you can. Compact fluorescent lamp (CLP) bulbs use 75% energy and have come a long way since they first hit the market. If you can’t get used to the light they emit, start by just replacing the bulbs in rooms like your laundry room and closets and half the bulbs in larger rooms. Every little bit helps.
Mind the gap. Imagine leaving a window wide open in the heat of summer or the dead of winter requiring your heat or A/C to work overtime to keep the temperature regulated. Once a year find the gaps in your windows and fill them with foam or plastic. It will make all the difference.
Stop the leak. 10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons of water or more a day. That’s a lot of water! Call a plumber to do a quick fix of your leaks and save water!
Replace your toilets. Older toilets use up to 6 gallons a flush and account for 30% of home water usage. Spring for a low flow toilet that gets the job done with only 20% of the water.
Pick your plants. Make sure you pick plants that are native to your area for your landscaping. Local plants need less obsessive tending meaning less fertilizers and less watering.
Make some improvements. Did you know that you can take the runoff waterfrom your bathroom sink and feed it into your toilet tank? Or that you can install skylights that maximize light in bathrooms to minimize lights needed? These home improvements might be costly upfront, but will payoff in the long run and are great home improvements to tout when selling your home.
This subject is very dear to my heart, I believe that our native American friends where the very best and leaving a little foot print on this planet, they re-used almost everything and even though they were nomads they left nothing behind to ruin mother earth to them she was a God, and if we could in just a small way be more like that what a better planet this would be. So besides the tips in this article, remember to turn off the lights when you leave a room, turn down the temp and put on a sweater, put the temp at one setting and leave it there. And my biggest complaint with so many people is the trash that they leave behind. Please don't throw that trash out the window of your car, find a trash can and throw it away, if you see trash on the sidewalks or in a bathroom please pick it up. I go for a lot of walks in the warm weather and it saddens me how much trash I see when I am out walking. So I have been taking a bag with me to pick it up, I know it is a small thing but if we all do one thing to keep our planet cleaner for the next generation, just think of the impact we can have. So lets all to our part to have Earthday everyday and not just once a year. So have a great day and go out and do good things.
Posted by: Dianne Yelm - Century 21 Affiliated
April 23, 2015