When most people think about “going green,” they think it requires a total overhaul. Rip up those wood floors and put in rubber, right? In reality, going green doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming. Some of the simplest changes will be the most effective. Follow these six tips and you can help save the environment and reduce your family’s exposure to nasty chemicals:
- Buy appliances that have high Energy Star ratings. Buying an Energy Star rated washing machine can save you thousands in utility bills. Why? Because appliances that have these kinds of ratings are designed to save electricity, water, gas, etc. That makes them less expensive to run and better for the environment. Once you have one, saving that electricity, water, or gas is effortless.
- Stop the drip. Not only will this help the light sleepers in your house get to sleep faster (seriously—the drip, drip, drip of a faucet even all the way across the house can keep a light sleeper awake for hours), stopping drips and leaks will drastically reduce your water usage over the course of a year.
- Clean with lemon, vinegar, and baking soda. These three household ingredients are great for more than just cooking and baking. Lemon will remove hard water stains, vinegar will clean just about anything, and baking soda is a great natural abrasive for tougher jobs. The chemicals in cleaning products are the number one source of pollutants in most homes, so if you want to go green, use these all-natural replacements.
- Take off your shoes before going inside. This will keep your carpets, hardwood, or vinyl cleaner, and it can also prevent you from tracking pollutants into your home. Have you ever tried to scrub antifreeze, oil, or snowmelt out of a carpet? If you take off your shoes before you step inside, this isn’t an issue.
- Wait to do laundry. When you really think about it, doing laundry in a machine is a fantastic luxury. To save water (and money), wait to do your loads until they are really full. This will save thousands of gallons of the course of a year.
- Get thermal drapes or blinds. Keeping the cold air from leeching in during the winter or out during the summer is easier with thermal drapes or blinds. This means far lower heating or cooling costs and fewer pollutants in the environment.