As we’ve explored extensively on the BuildDirect green blog, going green and injecting some green living practices in your life is the changing paradigm of the 21st century. As such, inexpensive and easy tips to eco-friendly living can certainly come in handy, if for nothing else but saving you money on your utility bills. It’s also a way to becoming a responsible citizen of our modern world, where sustainability is becoming an imperative.
But, what are some of these easy, and inexpensive green living practices, exactly?
Writer Swan Griffin is here to outline a selection of them to help get you started.
Many people believe that “going green” is a tedious, expensive process. They think that they have to buy all new products or spend money. When in fact, going green and helping sustain the environment can be as easy as a few lifestyle changes. Small changes can make big impacts, here are eight ways how.
1. Open your windows, use less wattage
During the day let in natural sunlight. It helps regulate the temperature of your house without having to toggle the temperature settings of your thermostat. It also saves on electric bills. Why turn on the energy burning bulbs if you can use the suns rays to light your way? If you must turn on the lights, make sure you are using compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). Its an old piece of advice, but a worthy one.
CFL’s use up to 75% less energy and last ten times longer. Over the life of the light bulb, CFL’s can save as much as $60 on the electricity bills per bulb. Add that to only turning on the lights when necessary, up $100 can be saved.
2. Unplug your appliances, conserve electricity
Again, you have heard this piece of advice again and again. Unplug your small appliances and electronics because, even when off, they still use “ghost” electricity.
3. Fix a leaky faucet, save water.
Up to 20 gallons of water can be wasted a day with a leaky faucet. While you are fixing be sure to install a aerator. They are easy to install and only cost about $2 at your local hardware store. Aerator keep a layer of air in between.
4. Look for labels, boost energy efficiency
Products that carry the Green Seal certification (cleaners and chemicals) or Energy Star (appliances) are safe for the environment and your budget. Founded in 1989, Green Seal is a non profit organization dedicated to sustaining our environment. Since its founding, the organization has been using and creating scientific standards for companies and products to abide by to be considered environmentally efficient and friendly.
Energy Star is a government backed international standard for energy efficient products. Products that carry the Energy Star label generally use up to 30% LESS energy than is required or recommended by the government.
5. Pay bills online, use less paper
Paying bills online is now safe and reliable. And having your statements emailed to you makes your bills much easier to keep track of. Not to mention you could be saving a couple of trees in the process. Take it even further by scanning your current paper documents into your computer. Then shred those and recycle them. This also reduces the amount of clutter in your home. (but make sure you make back ups).
6. Set your cruise control, gain fuel efficiency
When you can, use your car’s cruise control. Staying at a constant rate helps your stay between 10-15% more gas efficient. At the price of gas nowadays, a little makes a difference. Know how you can save even more gas? Walk or have a bike ride. It’s good for YOU and the environment.
7. Install A two button low-flow toilet, save even more water
Approximately 30% of your daily water usage comes from your toilet alone. When remodeling your bathroom, install low flow water efficient toilets.You can save hundreds of dollars a year on your water bill. In toilets installed prior to 1994, the water usage per flush is around 3.5 gallons. An water efficient toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush or less. I use a dual flush toilet which lets the user push a button to alternate exactly much water is used per flush. One button uses .8 gallons of water for liquid waste and 1.6 gallons for solid waste.
8. Freecycle and donate, avoid landfill
The three “R’s” of going green are Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. If you cant reduce or reuse there could be others out in your city that can use and appreciate what you don’t need anymore. Places like Freecycle.org is a great resource. You will prevent items from going in a landfill and fulfill your duty as a citizen and help those in need.
When not writing about green living and eco-friendly lifesyle, Swan is a marketing manager for Supplyhero.com, a B2B office and janitorial supplies company.