8 Ways to be 'Green' (both the environment and your wallet)
Updated: Dec 10, 2018
We outline 8 simple steps you can take to start turning the tide and saving some money.
· Seal your windows. It doesn’t take much to lose a lot of your conditioned air to the outside world. Simply checking to make sure there are no
big gaps can save a small amount of money on energy spent each year.
· Get shutters or blinds. In the summer months, the relentless heat can beat down on your home or apartment, and with windows, this heat is let in but not out. By effectively blocking (but still letting light in) this sun from entering, you lessen the work done by your A/C unit to cool the space.
· Turn off your lights! Or get timers for when you always use them. Another simple switch is to get motion activated lights (in the bathroom for instance) for rooms that get little use during the day.
· Buy second hand or used products. If something is already produced and built, and is still useful, why create more waste to make something new? By going to vintage or antique sources, you cut down on both the resources and energy used to create a new product, as well as cut down on all the wastes that end up at a landfill. Plus, you get something more original, with its own story to tell.
· Reduce/reuse. This one is as old as time now, but recycling all your plastics, glass, and aluminum cuts back on the wastes generated with production and disposal. Consider using durable reusable bags when shopping. Further, when you simply reuse the containers, its even less energy intensive, and you have a container ready to go!
· Upcycle. This term may be new to most people, but it simply means repurposing a product or material from its past life to something even more useful. For instance, when a carpet company like Interface collects plastic from the ocean, then makes it into carpet tiles, they are helping to solve one problem while creating a needed material. Other little things you can do around your house are using old cabinet carcasses as freestanding bookcases, discarded egg cartons as seed starters for your garden, and old rags or t-shirts as a new quilt. If you are particularly crafty, you have more options; using scrap metal cutoff can be welded together in nearly any configuration, giving you endless furniture possibilities.
· Cook more! This is a simple skill that will benefit both your health and your wallet. Here’s three reasons why:
o Healthier- when you cook food yourself, you have full control over what goes into the meal. No hidden preservatives, ingredients, excess salt, etc.
o Therapeutic- Studies have shown that cooking reduces stress when practiced regularly. It’s a chance to be artistic and creative, be in the present, and interact with family members.
o Less wasteful- Think of all the packaging that goes into your average fast food restaurant. A lot of plastic and Styrofoam, right? Cooking with fresh ingredients (avoid those bags) cuts down on all that is lost eventually to the landfills and oceans.
· Get a green thumb. Caring for plants, both indoor and outdoor is another therapeutic exercise for any person. Studies have also been shown that house plants reduce stress in people overall. Further, when you grow and nurture a plant, you are adding a filter to your air and the surrounding environment.