Here are a few simples ways to be green around the house:
Waterworks for Teeth
Brush, Brush, Brush. Instead of allowing the faucet to run while brushing your teeth, turn it off. This simple act makes a huge impact. By leaving the water running while brushing for the dentist-recommended time of two minutes, twice a day you use 12 gallons of water daily, and that is 4,380 gallons per year literally going down the drain! So, conserve water and do what your mom always told you to do as a child......don't waste water and turn it off when you are brushing!
Flush and Conserve
Face it, we all use the bathroom and we all have to flush. Toilets can account for more than 40 percent of a household's water usage. Reduce water usage without even buying a new toilet. Place a 1-liter plastic bottle full of water (smaller sizes can float) inside your toilet's water tank. Every time you flush, instead of using 6 liters of water, you will use 5 liters.
Switch to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)
You got it. Remove your basic incandescent light bulb for an energy saving compact fluorescent light bulb. You get the light, but you save dramatically. CFL’s use about two-thirds less electricity than incandescent bulbs. Further, according to the book, Green Chic, making this switch in just ONE lamp that is on for four hours a day will reduce your annual carbon emissions by around 150 pounds. If every household in the U.S. did this, it would save as much energy as it takes to light 2.5 million homes per year and in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, taking 800,000 cars off the road. Just remember that electricity use is one the biggest areas for making change and it is easy and painless.
Just Turn it Off!
Save Electricity. Reduce your electric bill. Turn off the lights, computer, hairdryer, etc. Every year the average American household is responsible for producing more than eight tons of carbon dioxide from electricity usage--- the amount your car would emit if you drove from New York to Los Angeles…………seven times. If you don’t want to unplug every single plug, invest in a power strip for those areas where a great deal of items are used daily. Unplug one thing instead of 5.
Remove the Lint!
Very simply, removing lint form the dryer reduces its energy use. Clean out your dryer's lint filter before each use, and you can cut down on your energy bill, dry your clothes more quickly (and cleanly) and reduce your home's fire hazards
Keep it Cold!
Use cold water for the washing machine. Almost all the cost of clothes washing is to heat water. Afraid your sweats won’t get clean in cold, no worries. Newer enzyme detergents perform best in cold water and they are available at every store in the country. No excuses!
When you go to an ice cream store, get a cone not a cup. Save that paper or plastic. American’s throw away enough paper each year to build a 12 foot high wall stretching from New York to California. Besides, the cone tastes better.
Plastic Bags are so old school
Get reusable bags for the grocery store and the dry cleaner. More than 100 billion plastic bags are thrown away each year. A plastic bag, cap or lid takes decades to biodegrade.
Cut down on paper!
Stop junk mail. Every year 100 million trees are chopped down and 28 million gallons of water is used to produce junk mail for just one year according to www.greendimes.com. Go online instead! You can stop 75% of all junk mail by registering for the Mail Preference Service on the Direct Marketing Association website. For the fee of $1, the organization will remove your name and address from prospective mailing lists. Be patient, as it may take up to 90 days for most mail to stop … but it will be worth it!
Get It Clean.
Use natural cleaners like vinegar and baking soda or seek out brands in stores—there are more available now than ever. Seventh Generation has great products as does Method.
Get Rid of the Paper towels.
Yep. Next time your kitchen counter is wet, reach for a cloth instead of a paper towel. You'll save a lotta paper - including the small, green kind that fits in your wallet. How much green? If you use one roll of paper towels per week, you could save $100 per year by switching to dishcloths and tea towels. And cotton tea towels are thicker and can hold more water than paper towels. Take it a step further and buy organic cotton tea towels. Or if you just can’t bear to get rid of paper towels all together, go with recycled and non-chlorine bleached paper towels from companies like Seventh Generation.
Two is the magic number, or even three. In the summer, set the air conditioning thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Raise the setting 2 or 3 degrees higher when away in the day. A lower air conditioning temperature makes your costs much higher. Setting your air conditioner at 73 degrees instead of 78 can increase the operating cost by over 50%! Save green and be green. Lower is the key for winter. Setting your thermostat too high in the winter sends green out the window. Set it at 68 degrees and even lower the temperature to 65 degrees at night if you have a heat pump, or 55-60 degrees overnight if you have gas, oil or electric strip heat. Lastly, thermostats can be sensitive, keep lamps or TVs away from your air conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause your air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
Get the Star
Use ENERGY STAR® labeled products. A new refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR® label can save you up to $90 a year compared to models designed 15 years ago.
Recycle that Aluminum
We know you know about recycling aluminum. Easy to do. One more thing to add to this is crushing. Yep. Make the process more efficient and crush your cans before collection. This takes up less space in the recycle bin as well as the number of trips to take them to the recycling plant. And by the way, recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV set for three hours.