Monday, August 04, 2008

Going Green

I have to say, I love the idea behind the expression going "green" meaning looking for frugal, sustainable ideas to make people's lives easier.  I like the tone of it...meaning that people are making an honest effort to improve, not because they have to, but because they want to.
Each person is different and there are some who fit into the category of "environment whacko".  These are the people who wish to force others to take their views.  These people are willing to die for their cause and they expect that their commitment should be all the motivation you need.
Well, I don't feel that way.  I like the idea of going green because it improves my life in some way.
So, here are some green ideas that I find particularly useful!  I want to ease into this.  I want ideas that I can employ and make part of my lifestyle.  I want ideas that are clean.
Obviously, keep the thermostat as low as possible and still be comfortable.  Clean the vents on all appliances.  Clean filters on everything.  

1. Bring your own bags to the grocery store.  I love this one for so many reasons.  I dislike those flimsy plastic bags and prefer something more durable like canvas, etc.  But, I love the new re-enforced Tyvek bags that the grocery store sells for $1 a bag (and cheaper on sale!).  They hold everything, all heavy groceries.  I use them for more than groceries.  I use the bags whenever I need a big sturdy bag.  I keep them in my car because I had a hard time remembering to bring them with me!  New habits are hard to form!

2. Obviously, shut off lights, unplug appliances that are not used.  Some items (flashlights and even kitchen mixers) are now sold that remain plugged in the wall all the time.  Resist purchasing these.  They have very short lifespans and soak up energy constantly.

3. Try using cold water for some laundry cycles instead of hot or warm all the time.  Cold water washing requires less energy and for many clothes come out just as clean.

4. As old light bulbs die out, replace with the low energy bulbs.  Yes, the bulbs cost more initially, but they will save money over time.

5. When the sun is hot and you want a cooler home without air conditioning, pull the drapes and keep the windows open.  This reduces the temperature to bearable.  

6. Install ceiling fans when and where you can.  The fans circulate air which is so comfortable and it works when you want to cool the room or heat it by distributing heat.  They are very quiet, look great and and very affordable.

7.  Shop thrift shops, craigslist e-bay.  Even people who hate used items can find brand new items at thrift shops for a fraction of the price of new.  This is green because you "reduce and renew".

8.  Cook.  Learn to cook.  Spending time carefully preparing meals is a labor of love.  It is also healthier than buying prepared foods.  When you cook your own foods, you control the flavors, the spices and even the calories.  So many people claim to not have time to cook.  But, eating is part of life.  Eating well is quality of life.  Even beginner cooks can assemble delicious meals, fresh bread, cheese, fresh ripe fruits.  Learn to appreciate a good tomato, a crisp apple.  These can make healthy, delicious meals.  It beats a carton of fries or a yogurt tube!

Can you add to these ideas? 

1 comment:

Gramma Ann said...

I like the idea of carrying my own shopping bag. I have two or three but always forget them. It's difficult for me, because we sometimes go in the car and other times we travel in the pick-up. But, I'm going to work on trying to remember to grab them on the way out the door;))