Politicians, scientists, business owners, and activists all promote green living, but what can you do at your own home to help the environment? Regardless of whether you live in a house in Seattle, in an apartment in Chicago, or in condos in Austin, you can do your part to save the planet.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Perhaps one of the most basic ways you can help is to follow the three R’s of green living: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Reduce the amount of disposable items you use. For example, rather than purchasing lots of small bottles of water, invest in a reusable water bottle that can be washed in the dishwasher, and either get your drinking water from the tap or from a location that provides and refills larger water containers. Reuse gift bags during the holidays instead of purchasing new ones every year. Check Craigslist for free moving boxes or ask a nearby store for any they might be discarding instead of purchasing them. Recycling can be done anywhere, even if it is not included as part of your garbage pick-up service. Many grocery stores have places to recycle aluminum cans and plastic bottles. Some libraries have newspaper recycling containers on their property. The three R’s are a great place to start.
If you have a yard, conserve water by watering when the sun is not at the highest in the sky: early morning, evenings, or overnight if your system is programmable. If you have a yard and you wash your car, consider washing your car in the yard so the excess water nourishes the grass. Otherwise, use a nozzle that shuts off the water flow when not in use. Take shorter showers. Use a low water toilet bowl, or if you have an older bathroom, place a small brick in the tank to reduce the amount of water used per flush. When you are running water in the sink waiting for it get hot, put a container under the faucet and use the water you catch for plants or chill it to drink later.
Use the Sun
The sun provides free lighting, free warmth, and free energy. Use it to your advantage to save money and help the environment at the same time. Maximize natural lighting to reduce the amount of artificial lighting you pay to power. In cooler months, open curtains or blinds and allow the sun to warm your home. Or go all out and put solar panels on the roof. Solar panels usually pay themselves off with the amount they save in energy bills. The government offers incentives for homeowners who make their homes more energy efficient as well. And eventually, your solar panels will provide so much energy that you will have excess to sell to the local energy company, saving money and saving the planet simultaneously.
Whether your home is an Orlandocondo, Austin house, orBoston apartment, these tips can be implemented. It doesn’t matter where you live; you can live green.