In the spirit of upcoming St. Patrick’s Day , we thought we’d share some easy ways to go green in your life (besides simply throwing on a green shirt to avoid being pinched). Going green doesn’t have to mean abandoning everything that you once knew in favor of a strange new lifestyle. In fact, you can live a greener life by making some simple adjustments to the way you do things now.
With minimal effort, you will see big changes in the amount of energy you use, the impact you have on the environment and how you influence those around you to go green. Here are just 10 examples of greener living that won’t cost you a pot of gold and will greatly affect the world around you for the better.
- Saving Energy– Washing your clothes by hand or on a cold setting will drastically reduce your energy costs. Whenever possible, you can further reduce energy by skipping the dryer and allowing clothing to air or line-dry. Switch out traditional power strips for those that regulate power, and unplug appliances you’re not using to cut down on “vampire” energy usage.
- Utilize Greener Transportation– You don’t have to give up traditional transport altogether, but you can make a difference in both your fuel bills and the environment by traveling smart. You can carpool, take public transportation or bike to where you need to go. Consider making quick trips on foot, and you’ll be able to fit in a bit more exercise while slashing your fuel use.
- Spring Cleaning– Most electrical devices work much more efficiently when they are clean. This is especially true of refrigerators, HVAC units, computers/laptops, and any other equipment that uses vents or fans. Keep vents and fans clear of obstruction, allowing air to flow freely and prevent dust and dirt from accumulating. You’ll notice better performance, and use less energy to power everyday items.
- Upcycle– Everyone is always talking about recycling, but few people are actually upcycling. You can repurpose old items, including magazines, empty cartons, wood and much more. If you’re artistically inclined, you can even create some amazing artwork from unused items that are lying around your home.
- Reduce Heating and Cooling Costs– Many homeowners have a habit of presetting their HVAC systems based on summer and winter, without ever making adjustments. Consider adjusting your thermostat by a few degrees in either direction – you may not even notice much of a difference in your home’s temperature. What you will notice, however, is big savings on your electrical bills.
- Make a Compost Heap– Compost gardening is a great way to go green, and it isn’t difficult to learn with the right guidance. There are plenty of online sources to take you through the process, which will help you eliminate the element of trial and error. Before you know it, you will have a blossoming garden of edible fruit and vegetables that will make your life a little bit greener, without resorting to chemical fertilizers or sending food waste to a landfill.
- Free to a Good Home– With an ever-increasing online world, a new trend of generous, giving people have banded together to create digital exchanges for unwanted goods. These items, such as clothes, electronics, toys and more are given for free to people in need. One particular group, which has become a worldwide effort, is Freecycle. You can find groups in your area through Facebook or community centers, helping you reduce your household waste and aid those in need.
- Eco-Kids– There is a large, global community of eco-parents who are making a better world for the adults of tomorrow. Part of this effort involves blogging about eco-friendly toys, food and clothes for kids. Invest in your kids’ future by making an effort to protect the earth on which they will live, and work to teach them about the importance of caring for the planet.
- Skip the Bottled Water– It’s no secret that water is the healthiest way to stay hydrated. When the water from your tap tastes unpleasant, many people turn to bottled water as an alternative. However, it’s easier and more eco-friendly to skip the bottled water in favor of non-disposable containers and a high-quality filter.
- Slow Down– Today’s world is a fast-paced, frantic place. What you may not realize is that you’re not only endangering your own life and that of those around you by breaking the speed limit, but also the health of the planet. Driving at or below the speed limit reduces the amount of fuel your vehicle uses, thus leaving less of a carbon footprint and reducing the amount of fuel you need to purchase.
We hope these green living tips have inspired you to go green in more ways this St. Patrick’s Day! Leave a comment below with easy ways you have gone green in your home or apartment!