Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013: Resolve To Be Green

It’s resolution time! Did you resolve to be more eco-friendly in 2013? Some of us crunchy folks are kinda nuts and take things to extremes.  Maybe you aren’t ready for that just yet and desire to embark on a sane, thoughtful approach to using the earth’s resources more efficiently.  Maybe you are like me, and the decision was made based on the well being of a child or because you are cheap frugal.

Here are some tips to help you get things started…
Start recycling, especially if your municipality offers curbside pickup.  Each locale has their own guidelines as to what can be left curbside and how it should be left. 

Replace old appliances with energy efficient ones.  Heavy use appliances like washers, dryers, water heaters, furnaces, dish washers and heaters are great places to start.  You’ll also save money in the long run.

Plant trees on the west side of your house.  Not only will the landscaping be gorgeous, but it helps with heating and cooling costs.  How?  Well, in the summer, the foliage from the trees provides blockage from the sun, keeping your home cooler.  In the winter months, the absence of those same leaves lets the sun through, helping to warm your house.

Upcycle!  Upcycling is great, especially if you are crafty.  Instead of throwing out items, find ways to repurpose them.  If you still don’t know what I mean, google it, or if you are on Pinterest there are tons of upcycling boards you can get awesome ideas from. 

Start using rechargeable batteries.  We use rechargeable batteries for so many things in our house, we’ve lost track!  Video game controllers, toys, keyboards and mice, and other electronics all use rechargeables.  Not only has it saved us a lot of money, but those dead batteries don’t end up in a landfill somewhere.  The initial investment, if you are purchasing a larger set can be costly, but is worth it in return on investment.

Reduce the amount of water used.  Consider purchasing low flow shower heads, low flow toilets and faucets.  Again, initial investment here can be costly, but the return is really worth it.  We left one of our showerheads “regular” for hair washing purposes.  We have yet to find a low flow shower head that will give enough water for the amount of fluffy hair residing in our home.  Also consider reducing the amount of times you use your dishwasher per week.  While it is very convenient, dishwashers use a ton of water; much more than conventional washing would.

There are all sorts of ways you can save resources and money.  Let this be a resolution you actually keep, your wallet and the earth with thank you!

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