I started this blog over a year and a half ago. Since then, I have posted every "green tip" I can find. Buried in the 350 posts are lots of great pieces of advice. For the amateur environmentalist just looking for some good places to start changing their habits, its too time consuming to search through all that information.
So today, when I stumbled on a list of green tips on MSNBC.com, I decided to include the list on my blog so there are a few basic ways to live greener all in one post.
- Clean Green: Rather than using toxic, smelly chemicals to clean your home, use natural products that are equally effective. I have natural home cleanser recipes HERE, HERE and HERE.
- Buy New Candles: Many synthetically scented candles use phthalates, which can negatively affect your health by disrupting your hormones. Instead, purchase naturally scented soy candles.
- Improve Your Flushing: According to the EPA, a family's toilet flushing accounts for 1/3 of their water usage. Most toilets use way more water than is required for flushing. Place a full gallon milk jug or a brick in your toilets tank to reduce the amount of water it uses to flush.
- Switch Bulbs: Those old incandescent bulbs you're using produce excess heat and are terribly energy inefficient. Use 75% less electricity by installing florescent CFL light bulbs that are available everywhere. They last 10 times longer than your old bulbs too.
- Buy Sustainable Furniture: When its time to retire the old furniture, look for replacements that are certified sustainable. This means sofas and beds made of reclaimed materials, bamboo, organic cotton, etc. The label you're looking for is the FSC label, which indicates sustainable construction.
- Eat Locally & Organically: Buying groceries is a time consuming task that usually seems like a chore. Shake things up and visit your local farmers market. You will be supporting local farmers and buying food that hasn't been shipped thousands of miles. Also, try to buy organic so your food isn't connected to pesticides and toxic chemicals.
- Change Transportation Habits: Everything related to transportation is changing due to energy costs and this should include you. Consider public transportation options and carpooling. Ride your bike and get some exercise for quick errands around town. Streamline car trips by making a list of chores ahead of time so you drive less.
- Eat Reusable Lunches: Rather than bringing lunch to work or school in paper bags, use cloth bags that can be washed and reused. The same goes for baggies, try reusable containers for your food instead of constantly buying new packaging.
- Print Carefully: Reduce your printing at work. When you make a mistake, reuse the paper for notes. When you have to print, use recycled paper and print on both sides.
- Turn it Off: A large portion of our energy usage comes from electronics we aren't using. This is called phantom power. Your computer, television, stereo, DVD player, etc. burn through a lot of energy when not in use. Make sure all of this equipment is off and not in "standby" mode. This might require plugging the equipment in to power strips and shutting off the power when you're not using them.