In the summertime when it’s warm (OK, hot) outside with chirping birds, bright sun and green grass, it can automatically put us in the “go green” frame of mind. Even with all of the advances in technology, there’s still something—many things, actually—about Mother Nature that are incomparable.
If you have a desire to do your part to preserve her for as long as possible, but you’re not sure where to start, here are five things that you can do today that are both eco-friendly and personally beneficial.
Use what you need. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, there’s a good chance that something with an on/off button or light switch is nearby. If you’re at home or in your office, make sure to turn out the lights in the rooms that you’re not using. If you’re in the car and sitting idle for longer than 45 seconds, turn your car off (you actually save more fuel that way). If you’re eating out with friends, if there is leftover fruits and veggies and you have a garden, “doggy bag it” to use as compost. And, if you’re exercising, opt to use a music player that is powered with a rechargeable battery.
Clean with household items. Did you know that baking soda can clean grease from your stove or deodorize your carpets? Did you know that three tablets of Alka-Seltzer combined with a cup of white vinegar will clean out your pipes? Or how about the fact that half a lemon can do wonders when it comes to cleaning a garbage disposal or that regular table salt can be poured on a spill in the stove to clean it up? By using items that are already in your home, not only are you staying away from harsh chemicals, but you’re saving money as well.
Go organic. Hey, we’ve all got to eat and since that’s the case, we should all do it in a way that’s healthy. When you pick up something that is organic, that basically means that you are purchasing food that was made in the most natural way possible. Because organic is such a “hot item”, it’s a good idea to look for actual organic certification along with the word on your food’s packaging. For more information on organic labeling, visit USDA.org.
Keep your home at a set temperature. You might not be able to get an electronic thermostat tonight, but what you can do is make a concerted effort to set the temperature in your home to about 70-75 degrees. It’s a good way to keep the home a comfortable temp without making your central air work overtime. To go a step further, be sure to turn it up to about 80-85 degrees when you’re not at home so that it will not run as much while you’re away. Sometimes we find ourselves turning our thermostats all the way off, but that actually drains more energy and ends up costing more money in the long run to do.
Get educated. They say knowledge is power, right? If you wanted to buy a new car, you might go to a website like Carfax to get info on your vehicle of choice. If you wanted to start training for the marathon, maybe you’d check out a stopwatch website or a place where you can get some strength training equipment. So, if you want to learn about how to be more eco-friendly, wouldn’t it make sense to subscribe to some online newsletters on the subject matter? EPA.gov, TheDailyGreen.com and GreenCleaningCouch.com are all websites that feature some of the most up-to-date info on how to go green now and how to become even more user-friendly in the years to come.