Going green is no doubt a hugely popular trend. These days, it seems to be on everybody’s mind, whether the reason is to save the planet, save some cash, or a little bit of both. The Nature Conservancy found that over 90% of Americans are recycling, but just 5% of folks have taken recommended green actions. What’s likely the case is that people just don’t know how exactly to lower their carbon footprint — other than by recycling (which is a great start). If you fall into that category, take a look at these 7 easy ways to start living green.
1. Don’t use so much energy
When you leave a room, turn the lights off. And make sure those lights are running on CFL or LED bulbs, as you’ll save a significant amount of energy by tossing those old incandescent bulbs. Other ways to reduce your energy use.
- power down desktop computers at night
- don't leave a television on when you're not actually watching it
- use a shorter cycle when you use your washing machine
- set your diswasher so it doesn't automatically dry dishes at the end of a cycle
- install a programmable thermostat so your HVAC isn't running when no one's home
2. Take shorter showers
We totally understand how awesome a long, hot shower at the end of the day is, but shortening the time you spend in there will reduce your water bill and your heating bill.
Consider adding a low-flow shower-head to reduce your water pressure.
3. Stop drinking bottled water
Bottled water creates a ton of waste — plus, it’s no fun to haul from the grocery store. Buy a water filter for your faucet to eliminate the chemicals found in regular tap water.
4. Buy used furniture
When you buy clothing or furniture from the factory, the manufacturer needs to use new resources. When you buy the product used, no new resources will be needed because the product is already made. Bonus: vintage and antique furniture is all the rage right now, and a few nice pieces with character could be great accents in your home.
5. Get proper insulation
Hire a contractor to check out the insulation in your home. The walls and ceilings need to be properly insulated because the insulation can help trap heat in the winter to keep your house warm.
6. Check your sealing
Check your doors and windows to make sure they're properly sealed. If air is allowed to escape through a tiny crack in your door, your energy costs can rise. Use a foam sealant or silicone putty to seal the problem areas.
7. Get rid of things the right way
Devices such as phones or computers need to be recycled at the right facility. According to USA.gov, contacting your local household hazardous waste collection facility is the proper thing to do. Electronic retailers can recycle your old electronics for free most of the time.
Article written by Kristin Hillery. She is a design-obsessed writer and photographer currently living in Austin, Texas. Currently the editor of Modernize, Kristin has written for Apartment Therapy, the Austin Chronicle, The Onion A.V. Club, and was a contributing author to the humor book “Please Fire Me: Posts from the Revolting Workplace." Photo via of Modernize.
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