Not everyone can invest thousands of dollars into solar technology as a means to upgrade their home. Plenty of families would love a hybrid car, but a new car is out of the question for most.
Making the switch to a greener lifestyle doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. There are many everyday tasks that can contribute to a greener community. Just to make it easy, here is a list:
1. Unplug: A recent EU study suggests that 22% of power used in a home is due to "vampire electricity" or electricity being used by appliances that are plugged in but unused. Next time you leave your home, make sure the TV, DVD player, phone charger, etc are unplugged.2. Cut the Car: Bike, walk, or use public transportation to get to your destination. If you ride the bus to work, use places along the route to handle shopping and other tasks. When your car is an absolute must make sure to plan your trip so you will only need to make one trip to accomplish your goals.
2. Lose the paper: Virgin paper towels (paper towels made from non-recycled material) and napkins create a massive amount of waste. According to Care2.com switching to recycled paper towels would save 1.4 million trees per year. To take it a step farther, paper towel production uses double the energy when compared to cloth alternatives. So why stop at paper towels and napkins. Look to all the varieties of cloth items including cleaning rags, diapers, and kitchen towels.
3. Heating and Cooling: Using your blinds and shades properly will give your HVAC system a break. Close your blinds at night to keep heat in and open them up during the day and let the sun do the rest.
4. Waste vs Recycle: Have you ever seen how much garbage we produce every day? According to the EPA, Americans produce over 4 pounds of waste per day, 1600 pounds per year! Try using Tupperware instead of a carry out box or cutting out bottled water. The best way we learned to recycle more was to place two large garbage bins in our kitchen and we compare how much trash goes in the garbage bin vs. how much recycling goes in our recycle bin. And it is amazing now, how fast we fill up the recycling bin!
Like we said it's the little things that make a difference. Do you have any other tips? Let us know!