Going Green: 5 Tips to Lighten Your Footprint at Home


Hanging clothes on clothes line

More and more people understand the importance of preserving the Earth’s resources. Going green is not a fad that will pass. No matter whether you’ve bought your home or rent, there are plenty of things you can do to save energy. You can do your part in creating a better environment now and in the future by making your home environment more green. Collectively, these small changes can result in a big change to our environment.

Save water

Water is a precious resource, but we often take it for granted. This resource can easily be preserved by making small changes, such as taking shorter showers, washing only full loads of clothes instead of many small loads, and by purchasing a showerhead that minimizes water flow. Just these little steps can make a big difference in preserving this valuable resource.

Lower the settings on your refrigerator

Ensure your refrigerator has a temperature between 3 and 5 degrees Celsius. Your freezer temperature can run between -15 and -18 degrees Celsius and still keep your food safe.

Hang your clothes on a clothesline

The dryer sucks more energy than most appliances in the home. In general, anything that uses or generates heat will use the most energy. So save lots of electricity and money by hanging your clothes on a clothesline to dry. You definitely want to take advantage of sunny days, but even if it’s not sunny, hanging your clothes on a standing drying rack in your home will allow your clothes to dry naturally. If you’re worried that your clothes will be stiff from air drying use softener in your wash to eliminate the problem.

Reduce air conditioning

Reduce your air conditioning by purchasing light-coloured shades for your home that allow a breeze to easily come through. Thick, dark curtains should not be used during hot months or in hot climates as they tend to hold in heat and keep out the natural cool breeze. You can also plant trees around your home to provide shade, which cools your home.

Reduce plastic

Plastic is very convenient for our containers, water bottles, and shopping needs; however, it’s not only dangerous for our health, but for the environment since it doesn’t decompose. Reduce the plastic in our landfills by purchasing a BPA-free water bottle and fill your own water at home with a filter or water purifier rather than buying plastic water bottles. Although water bottles are recyclable, they often don’t get recycled (i.e. if the caps are left on) and end up getting thrown out after a gas-wasting detour to the recycling plant.

You can also take your stand against plastic by bringing your own reusable shopping bags to the store. Reusable bags are just as convenient, and some stores will even give you a five-cent credit on your bill for every reusable bag you use. This is just another way we can save our precious real estate so there will be land and resources for our future generations to enjoy.

[box]Kim Hayashida is a freelance writer who also holds an inactive real estate license. She gained her real estate training to learn about her environment and the ways in which it can be preserved. Kim is a firm believer in living happier for generations, which means living happy now.[/box]

image: Risager (Creative Commons BY-SA)

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