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10 Easy Steps to a Green 2007

Number_one.JPGWe thought we’d start the New Year off by giving you ten relatively easy steps to start your year on a green note. If you’ve started applying some of the steps from the other postings, great! Keep reading for others you can add to your list. If you’re just joining us, welcome! It’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).

  1. Clean green: Buy household cleaners that are non-toxic. It’ll be good for air you breathe and for the waterways. You can find these at your local health food store. Make sure they don’t contain a warning more serious than ‘toxic’ and that you understand the ingredients.
  2. 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.
  3. Buy organic and local food: Patronize your local farmer’s market. It takes about a gallon of gas for 30 pounds of food to be shipped cross-country. If the farmer’s market is out of season or far away, buy organic-it’s grown without pesticides and herbicides and has more nutritional value than conventional food.
  4. 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.
  5. Cut down on junk mail: Take your name off of mailing lists you no longer use.
  6. 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.
  7. Buy Energy Star appliances: You’ll save money and help protect the environment.
  8. Walk and bike: As I noted in an earlier blog, it’s a great way to exercise (if that was one of your resolutions) and be greener. Yes, I know that’s not related to the indoors, but it’s just as important.
  9. 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.
  10. And of course, recycle and reuse (no, I didn’t forget, I was just hoping you were already doing it!): And by this, I don’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, they’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!