10 Environmental Green Tips

 

Some of these suggestions are simple, some involve more effort, but all are within the average person’s capability and taken together add up to a big reduction in the impact we make on Planet Earth.

All links open in a new window, so you will not lose your place by exploring the sites.

1) Start a compost pile. Very simple to do and it’s not messy or gross. Compost is the best food for your soil, keeps yard and food waste out of the landfill and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers – which helps keep our fresh water clean

For more information on the importance of composting (and how to make it), I recommend the following resources.

There is a free newsletter – “Go Organic Club” that includes an Organic Composting Guide – it’s worth visiting the site just for the free information - Go Organic newsletter and compost guide.

Or try this Achla CMP-05 Spinning Horizontal Composter to see one of the types of composters I use and recommend, especially if you don’t want to look at a compost pile or bin.

If you want to make your own compost bin, and save lots of money here is a super inexpensive book with several different plans Easy Composters You Can Build or try these free ideas at  http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=G6957

2) Plant a tree. Trees are invaluable at reducing pollution and they give us food and clean air, and if that wasn’t enough, they also add beauty, block the winter wind and summer sun, increase property values and provide habitat for the other living creatures on our planet.

Just one tree can directly remove 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year, reducing your carbon footprint without making a single change to your lifestyle or habits.

For more information about the importance of trees visit the National Arbor Day Foundation.  There you’ll also find out how to care for trees and when you join, you get 10 free trees (or you can donate them to our National Forests)!  

For information on why urban trees are important and how much pollution they prevent, check out Colorado’s site: http://www.coloradotrees.org/benefits.htm

As stated on the Colorado tree site, “Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion.” The site has a lot of research links for those of you who need facts behind the figures.

3) Replace your most used light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL). These bulbs will save you money in the long run, because they use a fraction of the electricity that regular bulbs do. The newer CFL’s also have better lighting that doesn’t distort colors. The bulbs are cooler, too, which reduces the strain on air conditioners which is another energy savings.

These lights can usually be bought on sale for reasonable prices; I bought mine for 20 cents each with a coupon. Although the usual price is around $2 to $4 a bulb, the bulbs more than pay for themselves over the life of the bulb. Occasionally, utility companies offer rebates or coupons to offset the initial high cost so that is worth checking into.

GE 13-Watt Energy SmartTM – 8 Pack – 60 watt ouput These bulbs use 13 watts of electricity, but give 60 watts of light; I use them all over my house, 10 hours a day and my electric bill stays low.

4) Eat less meat. We all know that meat consumption can lead to health issues, but did you know the raising of food animals contributes to pollution? It’s true, the grazing can lead to soil erosion which pollutes our water and destroys the top soil. The animal waste not only pollutes ground water, it also, gives off methane – a top contributor to greenhouse gases. Reducing the quantity of meat you eat can really add up in protecting the planet’s health, as well as, your own.

5) Reduce your consumption of packaged foods – especially single serve frozen meals. Not only will this reduce fossil fuel use, it will reduce your trash bill as well. Even if the packaging is recycled, it still contributes pollution during the transporting, manufacture and recycling processes. Plus, there are the health benefits of eating less packaged foods which are higher in sodium and calories (for the most part) than “do it yourself” meals!

6) Plant an organic garden. Yes, planting an organic garden is an environmentally correct thing to do. An organic garden creates pure food for you and your family, reduces transportation costs of farm grown foods and keeps the soil healthy which contributes to clean air and water. For more on the benefits of organic gardening go to “Organic Food Gardening – Beginners Manual and check out the great offers when you buy the eBook.

Sign up for Organic Gardening (2-year)and learn how to have the best garden and yard ever – they have newbie tips, too, so don’t worry if you are new to organic gardening.

A good eBook that details the importance of earthworms and how to set up an organic garden in small spaces go to D.Y.I. Wormery Manuel. The eBook also includes a bonus eBook about saving bees (one of my most passionate topics which I will address soon).

Watch this short video – The Garden Girl shows you why compost and earthworms are important J

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid17181455001?bctid=14885653001

7) Close your curtains at night during the winter and during the day during the heat of summer. This simple act, will reduce heat loss (during winter) and decrease heat gain (during the summer) through windows by 10% or more, depending on the thickness of your curtains and make your home more comfortable and quiet.

The less energy used to heat or cool your house, the less pollution from the utility company and the lower your energy bill!

Get energy saving curtains at great prices by BO Solid Thermal Blackout Window Curtain. (There are lots of styles and prices to choose from).

The payback on thermal curtains is fairly quick, too. I spend about $800 a year to heat my house; saving just 5% ($40) a year, means my curtains were free the first year and started making me money the second year! The actual savings are closer to 10% since not all of my windows are double pane, which means I spend $80 less a year in energy costs.

8) Get rid of your lawn (or go organic). I highly recommend this environmental movement. Lawns are huge users of our limited drinking water, require chemical fertilizers to look good and must be mowed regularly – usually with a power mower.

Replace the grass with low maintenance plants and save the planet while saving time and money. Check out these websites http://www.losethelawn.com/home.php and http://www.greenlivingjournal.com/page.php?p=1028

I know some people really enjoy the lovely green area next to their homes and grass does make a great place to play on. So, if you really love your lawn, go for organic care – read how to in the book
The Organic Lawn Care Manual: A Natural, Low-Maintenance System for a Beautiful, Safe Lawn

Or if you prefer watching a video you can rent or buy try The Living Series Green Gardening and Lawn Care

Not only will you reduce your lawn’s impact on our planet, you will also reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals and reduce your water bill at the same time.

9) Shop at yard sales and second hand stores. Buying used items reduces the need to manufacture new items – that should pretty much explain how this is environmentally correct. Plus, you’ll save money to buy your new energy saving appliances.

10) Replace your older appliances with new Energy Star ones. The newer models for all appliances, including water heaters, toaster ovens and microwaves, use much less energy than they did even five years ago. Get all the facts at the Energy Star website https://www.energystar.gov. Also, some of the items have tax rebates, as well – contact your local utility company for details.

Summary

 

You have just learned a brief history of recycling via my experience in “The Importance of Going Green Part One” and have found ten ways to make a difference that do not require any sacrifice or major expense from you.

You, also, have been given several resources to explore that will help you with your new mission of being an environmentalist.

No doubt, you noticed that one of the benefits of going green is saving money! That makes being a good steward a win, win situation and that’s a plus in and of its self.

Now that you have 10 things you can start today to step more lightly on our home called Earth, you are ready to learn more about why it is important to do so. My reasons are not the usual reasons, as you will see in Part Two of The Importance of Going Green.

Keep stepping lightly, and see you soon – please, feel free to leave a comment or question.

Disclosures: To help keep my site running and allow me to provide you with free valuable content some, but not all, of the links above are for affiliate sites – meaning I will earn a commission if you purchase an item from that site. “Marilyn R Williams is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.”