You always hear it nowadays…GO GREEN! But what does it really mean?
Going “Green” means reducing your carbon footprint by practicing an environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible lifestyle as well as making decisions to help protect the environment and sustain natural resources. In addition to protecting the environment, most green measures also help you save money! We’ve put together a list of our favorite, simple ways to help you “Go Green” today!
1. Change Your Lightbulbs
An easy fix you can make today is to switch your home’s lightbulbs from conventional incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. One bulb can reduce up to 1,300 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution during its lifetime! Need more motivation to get up on that ladder? Every bulb you switch will also save you money- about $40 over the life of the bulb!
2. Make Greener Product Choices
There are a number of eco-labeling partnership programs verified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help you identify greener, safer, and more efficient products. The standards behind these labels are based on scientific expertise and use the best available data. Look for these EPA program labels when buying:
- EnergyStar– for energy efficient electronics and appliances
- WaterSense– water efficient products
- Design for the Environment (DfE) – safer household cleaners and other products. DfE allows products that have been determined to be safer for human health and the environment and effective to carry the DfE label
- SmartWay Certified Vehicle– cleaner, more fuel efficient cars and trucks
3. Unplug Your Gadgets
Not only is powering off your gadgets good for the devices, it’s good for the environment. Take it a step further and remember to unplug your chargers when they’re not in use. Unplugging that dangling charger from the wall, powering off your cable box and setting your computer to sleep mode are all carbon footprint-reducing behaviors. And according to the U.S. Department of Energy, they’re money savers too! Practicing these habits can help save you $100 per year on energy costs!
Don’t trash those items made of glass, metal, plastic or paper…Recycle them!
Many utility companies offer curbside recycling programs that provide households with a responsible and convenient way to recycle materials. To locate information on recycling services and efforts in your area, call the “Earth 911” toll free hotline, 1-800-CLEANUP (253-2687).
5. Adjust Your Thermostat and Curtains
Turning your thermostat up just two degrees when you leave the house can make a huge impact on the environment and your wallet! The U.S. Department of Energy reports a 15% reduction of electric bills for households that shut of their thermostat entirely when they leave the house.
You can also adjust your curtains to keep your home at a cozy temperature. During sunny Florida days, close the curtains to keep out extra sunlight and open them at night to moderate the temperature, or even open windows to let in a cool breeze. There are several energy-efficient curtains on the market that use insulation to further monitor your home’s temperature.
What are your favorite GREEN techniques? Let us know in the comments!