Going green is important these days. Going green at home is the initial step, which you can do if you are a little more aware of your routine and the materials used in your house hold. Here is some going green ideas for you to be more effective in your ‘how to go green‘ pursuit.
1. Use CFLs instead of incandescent bulbs
Installing a CFL instead of a traditional light bulb is a good beginning of going green. CFL are using most of the electrical energy into light with less heat and so with less power it can give more light. They work for 10,000 hours instead of the 1500 hours of an incandescent bulb. A 25-watt CFL can give more light then a 75 watt incandescent bulb.
2. Unplug glowing gadgets
Gadgets with LEDs like TV, cell phone charger, printer etc., even after you turn off them will use energy. So be careful to unplug them after use.
3. Recycling of electronics
Instead of tossing out the old or damaged electronics, find some recycling places near your area or use sites like greenphone.com to find them. You may get money for the goods you are recycling and also save the earth from the unnecessary lead accumulation and other harmful materials.
4. Shut down your computers at night
Instead of leaving your computer in the sleep mode, turn it off during night. With that you can save about 40 watt-hours of power in a day.
5. Skip rinsing
By skipping the dishes before loading in the dishwasher alone you can save up to 20 gallons of water per each load along with your time and the energy to heat the extra water.
6. Avoid Pre-heating of the oven
If you are not in the process of making bread or pastries, it is not needed to pre-heat the oven. You can just turn it on and put the dish inside. Make sure that you are using the oven window for checking on the food instead of opening the door.
7. Recycle glasses
By recycling glass air pollution can be reduced by 20 percent and 50 percent of water pollution. The non-recycled glass will take more than a million years to decompose.
8. Choose diapers carefully
A child need more than 5000 diapers before he/she is toilet trained. This alone can add 3.5 million tons of waste in the landfills of US in a year. If you can use cloth or more environment friendly diapers, it can create a greater impact in protecting our planet.
9. Prefer natural way of cloth drying
If you dry your clothes in a clothesline or rack by air, besides saving energy, you will extend the life of your clothes and keep its freshness.
10. Go vegetarian once a week
Once a week vegetarian food is good for your diet and for the earth. For making each hamburger from the meat of an animal raised in the rain forest land, around 55 square feet of land may destroyed.
11. Wash in cold or warm water
If the households in the United States change their style of hot-hot cycle of washing to warm-cold, it could save 100,000 barrels of oil per day.
12. Reduce the use of paper napkins
In a year the average use of paper napkins by an American is 2,200. If one could use one less napkin per day, even that will make a tremendous difference.
13. Do duplex printing
Million tons paper are discarded every year by American businesses, 175 pounds each by office workers. If we use both sides of the paper for printing, and ensure that the used papers are recycled, we are one step ahead to save the trees and in turn the planet.
14. Recycle the newspapers
Every day 63 million newspapers are printed in the US and from them about 69% will be thrown away. By recycling the Sunday papers alone would save about half a million trees per week.
15. Use creative wrappers
Instead of using new gift bags, event paper and bows, try to re-use it. It will also be good if you can find some alternative wrappers from old maps, cloth or newspapers. Turn a paper grocery bag inside out and give your child to decorate it with markers or cuttings. It is an environment friendly wrapper and the receiver of the gift will surely appreciate the gesture.
16. Reduce the use of bottled water
Instead of using bottled water always and throw the bottles away, buy a re-usable container for water and fill it with tap water. It will be a great measure to save your money, our earth and also your health.
17. Take less baths
Instead of taking baths, take showers. Baths require double water than a shower.
18. Close the tap while brushing
If you take care to brush without running the water, five gallons of water could be saved per day.
19. Share a shower
If you can sneak a shower with your partner, it will not only save water, but also have some added…um…benefits too.
20. Take a shorter shower
If you could reduce two minutes of your shower time, it will conserve plenty of water. If everyone around the country can do it, over the course of the year it could preserve an amount of water equivalent to the double measure of water withdrawn from the great lakes each day.
21. Plant a tree
Planting a tree is good for the land, can keep your house and surroundings cool and is better for improving the property value of your land. If you choose to plant a tree every year for each member of the family, there is nothing better than that to preserve a memory.
22. Make use of the cruise control of your car
For adding the extra buttons for cruise control in your car you might have paid some extra money. So instead of simply wasting it, use them effectively. By that you may get at least 15% of improved mileage. Bearing in mind today’s fuel prices, this is helpful for your pocket and for the environment.
23. Buy items from second-hand store
Once in a while buy some items like bicycles, toys, roller blades etc. from second hand stores. Most of the time they sell these things in good condition as they are often used for a short period of time and will generally buy them back when you need them no more.
24. Buy food from local farmers
Try to buy your food from the local farmers’ markets as much as possible. You can support local economy by it and can avoid the pollution caused by greenhouse gases created from the running of vehicles.
25. Adjust the thermostat
If you can adjust your thermostat in a way that one degree higher in summer and one degree cooler in winter. Each degree Celsius will save 10% of the energy each time. If you have a programmable thermostat, it will be much better since it can regulate the temperature based on the times you are at home or away from home.
26. Organise your shopping
Instead of spending the whole week to run the various errands, prepare a list and try to do all the things you need to do in a single trip to save your precious time, money and fuel.
27. Turn off lights
Don’t forget to turn off the lights when you leave a room, especially incandescent bulbs. If you are using CFLs switch them off if you going out for more than fifteen minutes.
28. Do watering in the morning
It is better to water the plants in the morning where the evaporation rate is low.
29. Recycle old cell phones
The average cell phone life is 18 months. So about 130 million phones will be discarded in a year. Instead of tossing them out, recycle them and prevent the toxic substances in them to reach the earth.
30. Keep your vehicle in good condition
By maintaining the vehicle, you can extend its life, reduce pollution and save gas and increase its performance also.
31. Recycle aluminium cans
Manufacturing of a brand new aluminium can will consume the energy equivalent for the recycling of twenty cans.
32. Do work from home
If you are able to do some of your works from home during some days in a week in agreement with your boss, it will save fuel and commuting costs.
33. Close your fireplace damper
Keep your fireplace damper closed when you are not using it so that you can save much energy and money.
34. Cut down junk mails
Choose services that can help to reduce the junk mail and thus save the trees and keep your mailbox and table less cluttered.
35. Use matches instead of lighters
Matches are eco-friendly than lighters since lighters are made up plastic and using butane fuel, both are from petroleum. Card matches are better than wooden ones as they are from recycled paper.
36. Choose online telephone directory
Save our planet by choosing the online directory and recycle your old paper volumes.
37. Donate things
Instead of throwing away things which are usable, donate to some charitable organizations so that someone can use it.
38. Go to a car wash
Professional car washers uses less water for the wash. So go to a car wash place whenever possible.
39. Avoid plastic bags
Always be careful to avoid non-biodegradable plastic bags, a major polluting agent and go for stronger reusable bags.
40. Download software
Usually softwares comes in compact disks which will be discarded after installing the software. So download the required softwares from the sources directly to your computer and avoid compact disks.
41. Switch off the answering machine
Answering machines use energy all hour of the day and they are another waste when they get damaged. Instead of that use voice mail services and save energy.
42. Skip the coffee stirrer
If you put the sugar and cream in the cup and then pour the coffee so that it should be mixed well. In that way you can skip the use of stirrers. If you need them even then, uses a piece of pasta from your kitchen and you can nibble it after the stirring. Totally healthy and eco-friendly.
43. Find a better ice breaker
Rock salt and other salt based products are good but may cause contamination. Instead use pet safe deicer for ice breaking in place of the usual ice melter, which are hazardous for pets.
44. Use cotton swabs with paperboard swindle
Instead of using the cotton swabs with plastic swindle, choose the type with paperboard swindle.
45. Online bill payment
Pay your bills via online and get the invoice in digital form to reduce paper use. You can also save fuel needed for the travel.
46. Use rechargeable batteries
Billions of alkaline batteries are manufactured and discarded after the use every year in US alone. So buy a charger and rechargeable batteries.
47. Let your grass grow
Instead of spending too much time in tending your lawn, let the grass grow some more. It is greener and earth friendly.
48. Appliances with energy star label
Choose appliances with energy star label to ensure energy efficiency.
49. Do full loads
To save energy and water, do your washing when you have a full load.
50. Keep your own backyard ecosystem
Keep your backyard is filled with trees and plants and let them grow as naturally as possible. It will be filled with birds, insects and other small animals and maintain its own ecosystem and remain green and cool.
51. Share your knowledge
It is always good to share your knowledge to keep the planet green so that others also can practice it.
Hope this list of common and innovative ideas would inspire you to stake some measures around going green. Your inspiration would be infectious and would inspire people around you. One person can indeed be the change. Do not underestimate how you can contribute to Mother Earth.