While I would never describe myself as "granola" or even close for that matter, I have tried to be "greener" and more environmentally friendly over the last little while. Some of the things you can do are easy and hardly cost a thing or cost nothing. I thought I would put down a few green suggestions for people, just so they have it handy. This might also be a good reference table you could have at an HFPE night or do a short class on it.
Its easy being green! (just a twist on the old Kermit the frog Song)
- Grocery Bags--You see them at so many stores now, the little reusable sacks that you can buy and use instead of the plastic ones. I admit, I have what seems like thousands of those plastic grocery bags stuck here and there in my kitchen. I have started to purchase the green bags and found them handy to have around for many instances when you might need to carry something. I have lots of varieties and I will take them all with me now when I go to the grocery store. I also go to a weekly Farmer's Market and I take them with me to carry around my fruits and veggies. Even non-grocery type stores have them now. I have bags from Jo-Anne's Fabrics, Target, HEB Grocery, Toys R Us, and one from a conference I went to in Denver where they gave them out. They generally cost about $1 each and I have found that I use them for other things like carrying my workout clothes, taking my lunch to work, and other random things. Green bags are cool! Go get you some!
- Shop at local Farmer's Markets-this is a great way to get local produce and know where your food is coming from. My market is open on Saturday morning in the neighboring town and Wednesday afternoon in my town. There is also a local produce store that sets up a small Farmer's Market in the plaza of the university. Its fun to go to these because you meet the people who grew the food plus they also sell homemade preserves. breads, and herbs.
- Change your light bulbs to the squiggly looking bulb-Installing a compact florescent bulb saves energy and lasts longer than a traditional light bulb. We buy ours at Sam's in bulk so we always have some on hand. They are especially great for places that are hard to get to, like your front porch or a high ceiling because you won't have to change them as much.
- Recycling--Its always good to try to recycle what you can. Check you local community and see what kind of programs they offer.
- Buy locally when possible-It saves on fuel for shipping and helps your local economy.
- Fix a dripping faucet--You are waisting valuable water!
- Look for the energy star label--It will save you money on your electricity bills and be more efficient! When we built our current home, we made sure we built a home that had energy efficiencies...we even got a break on our taxes because of it, so ask your builder and your tax guy or gal what you need to get the tax break!
- Do full loads of dishes and laundry--I never really have a problem with this, I always have a full load of laundry and dishes, but it wastes water, electricity, and money if you only do small loads.
- Change your air conditioning filters when they get dirty, the a/c unit will not have to work as hard if the filter is clean.
- Monitor your temperature in your house--If you are gone for parts of the day, you can get one of those timers on your unit so that when you are usually gone, the a/c goes off or maintains a higher temperature. You can set it to restart 30 minutes before you get home so it is perfect by the time you arrive.
These are just a few suggestions, if you have other ways you have become "greener", I would love to hear 'em!
Have a great rest of your week and take care of the Earth! (Thank goodness it is almost Friday!)