It seems like every time we hear "going green" it seems to entail spending a lot of "green" to get there. Many of these new and innovative ideas are great, but do you have thousands of dollars stuffed under your mattress to pay for them? So you don't have the "green" to "go green?"
Then this is for you, the beginning "greenier" (pronounced green-ee-ay). Never heard of it? I didn't think so, because I made it up. The official definition is: a person who wants to get on track with "going green" without spending too much "green." So lets get to the basics of going green. Anyone one can do it. Soon you to can be a "greenier." Here are items that cost little or nothing to do yet make a big difference. Here's what I came up with:
1. Recycling ink and laser toner.
This is so simple, even I can do it. You ink and laser toners (at least any one that I've ever bought) comes with a free package (or maybe the one you bought it in) and label so you can send it back to the manufacturer at no cost to you. They then re-use or recycle them. Here's what my laser toner packages look like (the 4 small ones) and a drum package. The labels are on the package and I'm ready to send them back. That was pretty effortless.
2. Use the recycle bin at your house.
My recycle bin is the blue one pictured to the left. If it's at your house, why not use it? I know, it's real good at attracting dust, but that's not its purpose. I put papers, milk cartons, those annoying credit offers, boxes and the such in it. It's effortless and technically has a cost, but I have to pay for it whether I use it or not, so why not? Oh yeah, if you have items with sensitive information, you should shred them first and the recycle them.
Here's what my recycle bin looks like this week. I went through a lot of old papers and magazines and loaded the bin up. Oh yeah, the green bin is for "green" items, such as lawn clippings, branches, flowers, weeds, etc.
But what if you don't have a recycle bin at your house?
Find a recycling center by clicking here.
3. Make only one outing in your car when possible.
Try to make only one outing for as many errands as possible. This not only saves time but also saves on fuel. My best example is when I get to pick up my son from school. I'll pick him up, go to the bank, the post office and stores. Or if I am on my way to work, I'll stop at the bank on the way and fit in any other errand I might need. This helps you to drive less miles, save on fuel and save on time. Truly a win-win situation.
4. Turn off lights and unplug appliances when not in use. Get rid of that old fridge or freezer.
Okay, now I'm becoming my Dad, "Turn off the lights, that costs money." Or, "I'm going to start charging you money every time you open that refrigerator." It sounded so silly back then, but now it makes perfect sense, I guess that's what we call wisdom. Buying the energy efficient bulbs are a great idea but I'm focusing on getting back to the basics and looking at things that cost no money. It really is as simple as turning lights off when not in the room ,or dimming the lights if possible.
You can also unplug appliances when they're not in use. Many appliances still draw some power even if they're off. Appliances like washers, dryers, dishwashers, computers, printers, etc. can all be unplugged (presuming they're in an accessible area.
Then there's the infamous refrigerator or freezer in the garage. It just sits there and collects dust and uses energy just so you can keep your drinks cold. Are you really going to drink 10 bottles of soda and 30 cans of beer all at once? How about donating that refrigerator or freezer and just keeping 1 bottle of soda and a few cans of beer cold in the house? When you drink one, replace it. They don't all have to be cold at once.
Well, there you have it, 4 simple steps to becoming a "greenier." There certainly are many other ways to go green, I have just listed a few. After becoming a greenier you can take more steps and eventually become a greenior, and maybe some day a greendiva. Good luck to you.