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Green living

How to go Green at home

Friday, October 07, 2011 by: Shona Botes
Tags: green living, home, health news

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(NewsTarget) Many people are under the impression that it has to cost a lot to go green at home. While fitting solar panels, skylights and LED lights may be an expensive outlay, there are many other ways to go green by simply changing the way you do things around the house.

When doing laundry, ensure that you only wash and dry when you have full loads, as these appliances will use the same amount of power to run with one or two items in them as they will when they are full. On this note however, it is also important to not overfill these appliances, as the clothing will not be washed or dried properly. Most clothing items can be washed in cold water. Not only will this save on the electricity required to heat the water, but your clothing will also last longer this way. If you have the space, line drying your laundry will help to reduce your electricity bill substantially.

Unplug any appliances and power tools that are not in regular use. This includes cell phone chargers, battery chargers and any power tools that you may have on standby in the garage. Tests have shown that appliances left on in standby mode can account for as much as 30% of a household's electricity bill. This applies to TVs and computers as well. Replace incandescent bulbs with more efficient and more environmentally friendly LED ones. Unfortunately, standard energy saver globes contain mercury, which is highly toxic to people as well as the environment.

You can actually go green by doing your daily or weekly shopping a little differently. This will involve buying local and in-season fresh produce instead of imported foods. By buying organic foods where possible, you will help the environment by reducing the amount of harmful chemical pesticides that are released into the ground and atmosphere.

Try to make a list before shopping to avoid unnecessary purchases. This will also help you to save gas by making fewer trips to the store. When shopping, use reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags. If you do forget to bring your bags from home, see if the store can supply paper bags or even an old produce box to carry your groceries in, instead of plastic bags. When shopping, try to only purchase environmentally friendly cleaning products and laundry detergents. If you eat meat, try to implement one or two meatless meals a week. Ensure that the meat purchased is grass-fed and organic, as this will help to support your local farmer instead of the inhumane factory farms.

Fix leaky toilets, taps (faucets) or showerheads. This will save gallons of water annually. Encourage your family to take shorter showers and shallower baths to help save water. When brushing your teeth or shaving, don't leave the tap (faucet) running, as this can waste a lot of water. Avoid over-watering lawns and plants.

By implementing these easy tips, you will be able to go green without making any significant changes to your lifestyle or your bank account.

Sources:

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,2...
http://www.ehow.com/how_4807537_green-home.h...
http://www.worldwatch.org/node/3915


About the author

Shona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography.
Her blog may be viewed here
Some of her photography work may be viewed here
Other articles written by her may be viewed here


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