I have always liked to think of myself as "a nature girl". I absolutely love (almost) everything about being outside. Spending my free time hiking, kayaking, disc golfing, etc. throughout my life has opened my eyes to just how fragile nature is.
Going down that train of thought brought on an epiphany:
"What am I giving back to Mother Earth?"
Now for some honesty. I am not very motivated when it comes to changing my life or doing things I simply just don't want to do. So, I spent hours online and at the library coming up with a plan to become more green little by little. I decided to share with you all of the little things I do on my day to day as I reach my "Green Goal".
Switch to Fluorescent Bulbs!
I really don't mid them as much as some people seem to..
If you are one of them, try changing the lights you don't use as much: closets, bathrooms, hallways, etc.
Turn off Computers Nightly
I do this, as well as unplugging everything that's not in use.
By doing this you can save up to $15/year!
(You might scoff at $15, but that can buy me enough gas to take a day trip to the beach!)
TIP: Have computer set to turn on at a certain time in the morning.
Not rinsing the dishes before using the dishwasher can save up to 20 gallons per LOAD!
It really isn't necessary unless you are baking.
TIP: Be Patient! Do not open the oven.
Wash in Cold Water (or at least warm)
Also- only launder when you have a full load.
Not only will you help save energy and money, you will be saving your favorite clothes. Not drying them helps your clothes to not deteriorate as quickly.
TBH: I am guilty of drying my towels.. I don't like em crunchy. (any tips for that!?)
Monday can be substituted for any day, as long as you are going vegetarian once a week!
Did you know: ONE pound of beef takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce!?
I think I have done this one since I was itty bitty. Sometimes, being green just comes natural. I always liked to use the comics from the newspaper to wrap presents, or make a collage from random magazine pages. I have even used old fabric, used wrapping paper from gifts received, and old maps! Get creative, the possibilities are endless!
Turn off Water Between Brushing
Okay.. I admit that I do forget to do this sometimes. The running water relaxes me and I get carried away. I do try to do this though, as I can save several gallons of water by turning it off between brushing.
Take a Shorter Shower
My showers have always been short (unless I fall asleep). So I have just been "Navy Showering" which simply means I turn the water off when I am not directly using it. This also saves electricity because being wet without the hot water on makes me freeze, so I shut off the AC as well.
Shower With a Partner
OR: If your tots are similar aged bathe em together! They will have more fun while conserving water.
Use Cruise Control
I always do this is possible. Honestly, it is mainly because I am a little heavy footed when it comes to driving causing me to accidentally speed.
Water Your Grass in the AM
Go to a Car Wash
Many people think washing your car at home will save water, but it is the exact opposite, in fact. The car wash is quick and easy, and has been perfected to use as little water (and chemicals) as possible.
Don't Use Plastic Bags
Plastic is.. well.. gross to be entirely truthful. Although many reusable bags may very well be made with some form of plastic, they hold up much better and can be washed!
When I lived in Austin, Tx they implemented a city wide ban for Single use Paper and Plastic Bags!
Check it out! Austin Bag Ban
Use Rechargeable Batteries
I play too many video games to not use these.
I have saved so much money over the years.
A few more easy steps I am working on: Support smaller businesses by buying locally or at Farmers Markets, Turn out the lights when leaving a room, recycle recycle recycle, Ride your bike to places whenever possible, Donate items you don't/rarely use, Carpool, Clean your refrigerator coils, Keep your car maintained, Rent a Hybrid when going on long trips, Buy Hemp!, Share your magazines instead of throwing them out, and more.
Do you have a "Green Goal"? If yes, what steps are you taking to treat the planet better?