Going green is the currently the “in” thing to do, its cool, its fashionable. For me its nothing new, growing up I was the teen pushing everyone I knew to recycle. I was considered the tree hugging kid on the block, turns out I was just ahead of my time. Now I’m older and I have discovered more ways to help the environment. Of course being the practical sort I have found economic ways of being green as well.
One of the best ways starts with the food we eat, if you have access to a farmers market you can get some of the best quality food while supporting your community of local growers, many of whom are also organic which means no pesticides in the air or ground water. Better still, if you are patient you can start your own garden and have a wonderful payoff at the end of the growing season. There is a fantastic charitable organization called The Dinner Garden that supplies seeds, gardening supplies, and gardening advice free of charge to all people in the US, if you have too many seeds they would be more than willing to redistribute them to people in need, also consider sending them the seeds your garden produces at the end of the year. If you need seeds yourself just let them know and they will get them out to you, you can find them at: The Dinner Garden.
Change the light bulbs in your home, I know you probably have heard it before but ENERGY STAR® Qualified Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs and indoor or outdoor hardwired light fixtures can last up to 10 times as long as regular light bulbs , use up to 75% less energy and save you up to $65 in energy costs. That’s $65 to do something fun with! GE is currently offering a coupon for $1.00 off two CFLs and you can print up to 2 coupons. GE Coupon. Switching your appliances to energy star ratings saves a lot over the course of a year as well, check the yellow sticker when you purchasing an appliance and it will tell you how efficient it will be per year.
Beyond changing a light bulb or getting a new dish washer the government offers tax credits for consumers who purchase and install specific products, such as energy-efficient windows, insulation, doors, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment in existing homes; this credit is for 30% of the cost, up to $1,500, for improvements "placed in service" starting January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2010. See EnergyStar.gov for a complete summary of energy efficiency tax credits available to consumers. (per the Department of Energy’s web page)
Bring your own bags to the grocery store, there are a lot of them now that are offering discounts if you have your own bag. One thing to remember though is to make sure you have a bag designated JUST for meats and poultry. I usually use a plastic bag from the grocery store and re-use at home to empty the cats litter box, then I know its not going to get used again and cause a potential problem. If you don’t want to wash the bags after each trip to the grocery store then it’s a good idea to at least spray the inside of the bags between uses lightly with something like Lysol just to make sure there is no cross contamination with other raw foods you may be eating. Let the bags air out after you use them and don’t use them for anything other then grocerys. Here is a cool way to give an old T-shirt a second life by turning it into a shopping bag: T-shirt shopping-bag If you get enough of these you will never need to buy a store bag again!
Paying too much for your city water bill? Consider putting in a rain Barrel or two. What you pay for the barrels you will get back in what you pay the water company in the summer. In a year with average rain fall you should be able to water your garden as well as your lawn. Sam’s Club has a 200 gallon green collapsible rain barrel available for only $135.32 with free shipping at: Sam's club rain barrel.
Love reading a magazine every week or month? That subscription costs cash and even recycled its hard on the planet. Check out the free eZines available on line, one of the best that fits right in with the cause can be found at: Living Green Magizine It is full of helpful and sometimes surprising information as well as ideas of things you can do to help the environment.
Considering buying a green product but don’t know how well it performs or if you will get your money‘s worth? Try this site, its considered the consumers guide to the green revolution and should have useful information on almost anything your considering: The Daily Green.
Have a wonderful day!