Everybody can name steps the world should take to ensure a Greener future and within minutes on the computer find ways that are the equivalent of taking 30 million cars off the road and shutting down 150 coal power plants etc. etc. So why are we talking about it instead of doing? I believe a lot of it is because the discussion is on what the world should do and how a country is failing in its social obligation to the environment. A little more personal responsibility will go a long way towards changing talk into action.
There are many things that can be done today or Saturday afternoon for that will let individuals start taking steps to do their part. Low or no cost steps to getting greener in an afternoon.
- Take the paper towel dispenser off your kitchen counter. Use the sponge 4 feet away from it instead for cleaning those small spills.
- Walk to the hot water heater. Turn it down 10 degrees. You can save about 5% by doing this and unless you already have it set to 120 degrees you will not notice the difference anywhere but the energy bill.
- Does the water heater have an insulating blanket on it? In 20 minutes time and less than $30 you can save energy and reduce wear and use extending the life of your hot water heater.
- If you do not have separate bins in the kitchen for separating recyclables then get them today. Even homes that “recycle” often skip it sometimes because hurry to throw out the aluminium can when cleaning up. Recycling 1 extra can will save enough energy for 3 hours of TV use.
- On your way by the store today buy a box of 6 compact fluorescent lights and change out the incandescent in your home. Try that once a month and in several months you will be done buying light bulbs for years. Why? Try this calculator to see.
- Write rechargeable batteries on your shopping list. Aside from energy cost do your part to prevent a major environmental contamination by recharging and recycling batteries properly.
- Walk around your home and turn off the power strips that are not in use. Make a habit of switching on and off power strips instead of just the appliance plugged into them. Things like TVs and game consoles still draw power even when “off”.
- Actually go look in your attic. Many homes have unfinished attics or simply space between ceilings and roof. Many older homes contain no attic insulation. If you have less than 12 inches of most insulations than it is inadequately insulated. Putting insulation into attic is often a simple low cost ($200-$300) do it yourself process that can save up to 20% on energy costs.
- Go look at the air filter on your car. You do not need a garage visit to check the air filter – if it is grey or dirty replace it in 5 minutes on your own. It will cost 1/3rd of having it done by a service station and can save up to 10% on gas mileage starting now.
- When you shave or brush your teeth turn the water off between rinses. Over 90% off water used during these things is simply running down the drain. You will save energy and water.
These are all small simple steps that can be done right now. Instead of reading and talking about being Green take a few minutes to get Greener.