Spring is almost here! I can feel it. I’m excited and I won’t lie when I say I’m ready for Spring Cleaning! I know, that’s weird for me. Excited about cleaning? Along with our spring cleaning comes a review of the things we do to stay green. We look at what’s been working over the past year and what needs an overhaul.
There are things we always try to do, such as buy energy star appliances, turn lights off when we’re not using them, and turning the water off when we brush our teeth. You know, the basics like that. In honor of this tradition, I thought I’d share five simple ideas to get you started on green living.
If you’re brand new to green living this will give you a simple springboard to get you started. If you’ve been living green for awhile, I might have some new ideas for you.
5 Green Living Ideas
1. Low Water Plants. When you’re deciding what flowers to put in your landscaping this year, choose low water plants. These are plants that don’t need as much water, so you get all the benefit of beauty and color while watering them less! Our gas/water company sends us a packet of low water seeds every year, so for us it’s even a cheap alternative.2. Unplug When Not in Use. Chargers and other appliances continue to draw a charge even when they’re not in use. Save energy by unplugging these products when you’re not using them. Do this enough and you may even notice a decrease on your electric bill. Think unplugging the big stuff when you go on vacation. A week of saved energy, that’s gotta make an impact!
3. Use Products Made with Recycled Materials. I usually watch packaging to see what materials a product has in it. Paper is usually the one people notice most often. At first I hated using the flimsy recycled paper I often found, but quality has improved! Now I find that I prefer to use recycled paper when I handwrite things. I hand write a lot of things. It’s something that makes me feel a bit more connected to my thoughts, as opposed to just typing them on a screen.
Did you know there are other products out there that are made with recycled materials? I recently found out you can get Energizer EcoAdvanced batteries! It’s a brand new product from Energizer and the first on the market to use recycled material! I love the direction Energizer is moving. They come in both AA and AAA. We mostly use AA so that’s what we picked up.
I finally found them at Walmart, and I picked them up immediately because I love that they are using recycled materials which means less in a landfill!
I always cringe at the amount of batteries we use in this house, from flashlights to remotes to toys. Now I don’t feel quite so bad about all of this battery use because Energizer is the longest lasting alkaline ever which is yet another reason there will be less stuff going into landfills.
4. Donate. Spring cleaning always means going through my closet, as well as other places, but I always do my closet first. By donating your old things you’re helping out in a couple of ways. First, you’re helping someone in need which is an act of kindness I love! Not everyone can afford new clothes, so if you donate instead of keeping them around when you’re not wearing them, or throwing them away, you’re making a difference in someone’s life. Also, if you shop in thrift stores, or at least donate to keep them in business, less new products need to be made! It’s going green at it’s finest. Let’s reuse old clothes and donate them to make sure others can do the same.
5. Eat at Home More. I love to cook at home. This opens so many doors to green living, I didn’t realize it until I started doing it. First, you’re not driving to restaurants, so less gas and pollution there. Next, if you focus on where your food comes from, you can pick up a lot of food from local providers. We like to reach out to local farmers for our meat, and often go in with friends to reduce the cost and save space in our freezer. Our grocery store often prominently points out where produce is coming from, so we can easily navigate to the local growers. Every now and then we also like to hit up the Farmers Market. So many great options! The other thing I found with cooking more at home is I create a lot of food waste. You know, peels, cores, seeds, etc. This year we have a plan to start up a compost pile. Some kind that has less smell and can easily be used in a suburban area. We’re still researching, but I think this will also greatly reduce the amount of trash we produce, so less in the landfill! Green all around!
Now that I’ve shared some green living ideas, I also want to fill you in on the GuiltFreeEnergy Giveaway hosted by Energizer! They are giving away $1000 in gift cards and it’s easy to enter! Check it out.
What are your favorite going green tips? Share yours in the comments and inspire the rest of us!