10 Easy Steps to a Green 2007
We thought weâ€™d start the New Year off by giving you ten relatively easy steps to start your year on a green note. If youâ€™ve started applying some of the steps from the other postings, great! Keep reading for others you can add to your list. If youâ€™re just joining us, welcome! Itâ€™s a great time to get started (anytime is a great time to get started, really, but the sooner the better, in my biased opinion).
- Clean green: Buy household cleaners that are non-toxic. Itâ€™ll be good for air you breathe and for the waterways. You can find these at your local health food store. Make sure they donâ€™t contain a warning more serious than â€˜toxicâ€™ and that you understand the ingredients.
- Say no to plastic bags: We throw away 100 billion polyurethane bags annually! Bring a reusable bag with you when shopping. If you must use a plastic bag, be sure to recycle it at your local supermarket.
- Buy organic and local food: Patronize your local farmerâ€™s market. It takes about a gallon of gas for 30 pounds of food to be shipped cross-country. If the farmerâ€™s market is out of season or far away, buy organic-itâ€™s grown without pesticides and herbicides and has more nutritional value than conventional food.
- Replace each bulb that goes out with a CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulb: These use 66% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to ten times longer.
- Cut down on junk mail: Take your name off of mailing lists you no longer use.
- Turn off the lights and any electronics that are not in use: Get power strips and plug your devices into the strips. Turn the strips off when the devices are not in use.
- Buy Energy Star appliances: Youâ€™ll save money and help protect the environment.
- Walk and bike: As I noted in an earlier blog, itâ€™s a great way to exercise (if that was one of your resolutions) and be greener. Yes, I know thatâ€™s not related to the indoors, but itâ€™s just as important.
- Get rid of pesticides: Indoors and outdoors, pesticides hinder our health and pollute the waterways and soil. Look into alternatives at sites such as Beyond Pesticides.
- And of course, recycle and reuse (no, I didnâ€™t forget, I was just hoping you were already doing it!): And by this, I donâ€™t mean just bottles, but batteries, and miscellaneous items. And you can always donate items to freecycle http://www.freecycle.org/or your local charity to keep them from going to the landfill.
For those of you who are wondering if these are listed in any particular order, no, theyâ€™re not, mainly because all of these have a significant impact, and depending on how you quantify and apply each, the impact can be larger or smaller. So, take your pick, but be sure to pick at least one!