How to Live More Green Lives

REDUCE the amount you buy, hoard, collect, forget about, etc.

REUSE things you have - go through closets and bring out things you forgot about.

REPURPOSE items that can be converted into something else - old towels and washcloths now rags, milk cartons as planters, old 8" X 11" papers cut into notepapers to keep in office or kitchen, etc.

RECYCLE packaging, cans, magazines, newspapers, etc. There is so much that can be recycled now - find out from your trash company.

REPAIR things before throwing away if they can be - a bit of glue, duct tape, needle and thread - can refurbish things for further life.

REFUSE to buy stuff you really don't need - don't collect stuff for the sake of having more stuff, or get more fresh foods you cannot eat before throwing away (if food is going to go uneaten, package it airtight and put in the freezer to use later).

RESTORE what you can - before food gets too old (produce, eggs, bread, cheese, milk, etc.), chop up and freeze it, or freeze left-overs, then bring them back out another day and use them as you would have when fresh.

DONATE your old clothes, furniture, toys, etc. so people in need can get use from them. Mattresses, stuffed toys, and the like will probably not be accepted - for fear of bed bugs and such. Old cloth type couches are not a good idea either.... Give to ARC, VVA, etc. - don't put them into the "scam" bins that people set up so they can resell your items for their gain.

How can you help? We all can reduce, reuse, repurpose, refuse, recycle, react, use energy efficient products (use less energy), waste less, and be aware. Below are options to help you figure out things to do and use. Come back often as we add to the tips. Think Green!

Things to Do to Save Energy and Conserve Resources - Think Green!

Turn your heater temperature down in cold months - don't heat your house as high as you'd like - wear more sweaters and warmer clothes in the house. Use a space heater if you spend most of your time in a certain room - don't heat the whole house.

Keep your air conditioner temperature higher - you don't need to over-cool your house. You can wear more shorts and no-sleeve tops and be more comfortable. Get a room air conditioner or a fan to cool down a particular room, not the whole house.

Get a swamp cooler instead of an air conditioner - use less energy. NewAir Evaporative Tower Fan

Get a programmable set-back thermostat - it will regulate your home temperature for you, dropping and raising the temperature accordng to when you are in the house needing it - drop the temperature at night, raise it for 1-2 hours in morning while you get ready for work or school, drop it once you leave so no need to heat or cool while no one is home.

If people are at home all day, figure out the rooms they basically use - get space heaters or fans (ceiling fans are great for cooling) for those rooms and don't heat or cool the whole house when you only need a small space heated or cooled.

Insulate your home better. Paint your home with insulating paints. INSULADD Insulating house Paints save money.

Caulk up and winter-proof your home before winter comes. Run an energy envelope to see where your house has leaks. Take a candle and, keeping the flame away from curtains and other hazards, slowly trace the path of your windows, doors, and other areas which may have air leaks. If the flame flickers and moves, there is air flow into or out of the house and that area needs to be weatherized with caulk or insulation or weather strips. Stop the leaks - your home heat will be lost to the outside, and your cool air will escape on the hot days.

Get double pane windows to keep more air insulation from the outside temperature coming into the house. Or get shutters that will close up to make an insulative air layer.

Use Eco-friendly blinds and shades. Shop for Blinds here.

Use LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) rather than incandescent - these save a lot in energy use and heat. Even if everyone replaced just one light bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb, it would make a HUGE difference!

Buy appliances that use less energy to run - cars, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, hot water heaters,computers, entertainment systems, etc.

Buy environmentally-friendly products - ones that don't put out emissions or high heat or toxins into the air or trash or drains. Change your detergents, your cleansers, your personal care products, etc. to those which don't harm the environment.

Use rechargeable batteries rather than throwing out used batteries. You should never put batteries in your regular trash - they should be disposed of safely and separately - call your trash company to see what they suggest.

Drive less - walk, ride bikes, ride the bus or train more.

Turn off lights when you leave the room - even if you intend to return in 10 minutes - it does save more energy to turn the lights off. Turn off your computer monitor and TV when not watching it.

Recycle and donate your used items and rejects. See what your garbage company will pick up and recycle (choose a trash removal company that does recycle - not all do). It may have requirements of the recycling numbers in the triangle. Mine takes aluminum and tin, cardboard, phone books, newspapers and magazines, junk mail and catalogs, and plastics with certain recycling numbers.

Have live plants in your home and in your yard - let them help filter the air - taking in CO2 and letting oxygen out.

Bonsai Pots and Plants are a fun idea - decorative, too!

Help save the environment by protecting its resources.

Buy an energy efficient car - one with low gas mileage statistics. It helps to use less gas and not pollute with car emissions. Don't top off your gas tank.

Try to generate less trash - buy less packing, bring back grocery bags to re-use, and don't take a bag if you are only getting an item or two (use boxes at bulk stores - you can recycle cardboard). Eat more fresh items than processed foods in boxes and plasticware. On plasticware - recycle or try to wash and re-use another time or two - but be aware that plastic breaks down with heat.

Get trash cans specifically for recycling pick up, if your trash company offers recycling.

Get reusable grocery bags or bring back the ones you got from a previous trip. The less plastic and paper that is used at the grocery store to hold your items, the less trash and waste there is. Many stores even give a nickel or some sort of incentive for each bag you bring in or reuse. Make sure to wash them every week!

Try to avoid plastic wraps, containers, and bags. They harm the environment, animals (choke when eating or getting wrapped in plastics), and fill up both landfills and oceans.

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