Tag Archive 'Green Living'

Jan 04 2013

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

New Year’s Resolution: 15 Ways to Live Green in 2013 – The House Plan Shop

Recycling CenterSometimes we make New Year’s resolutions that are hard to keep, but making a commitment to live a greener lifestyle is easy because there are so many ways to start living a little more eco-friendly. Below is a list of ideas for living green in 2013. Even if you just get into the habit of doing of few of the things suggested below, you’ll be making a positive impact for future generations while protecting our environment.

  1. Switch to using natural cleaners at home like baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice instead of harsh chemicals. They are better for the environment and your health.
  2. Turn the thermostat down 5-8 degrees when you are not home and while you’re sleeping during the winter months to save energy and money on your heating bill. In the summertime, do the opposite. Set the thermostat a few degrees higher when you are not home so the air conditioner doesn’t run so much. Also, open the windows when the outdoor temperature is comfortable instead of using the air conditioner.
  3. Make the most of natural lighting by arranging furniture such as a desk or reading chair near a window and do homework or read by natural light instead of turning on the lamp whenever possible. Open up the blinds during the daylight hours instead of switching on the lights.
  4. Turn the water off. Whether you are washing your hair or brushing your teeth, turning the shower or faucet off while your scrub and brush will save a precious natural resource – water.
  5. When doing laundry, only wash a full load of clothes.
  6. Clean the lint out of the dryer after every load. This makes the dryer more efficient and eliminates a fire hazard.
  7. Use reusable shopping bags for every shopping trip whether you are headed to the grocery store, shoe store or the mall. This eliminates waste.
  8. Don’t waste unwanted holiday gifts. Re-gift them or donate to charity.
  9. Grow your own vegetable garden. You’ll save on your grocery bill, reduce trips to the grocery store and be eating something healthy that you know wasn’t sprayed with harmful pesticides.
  10. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Set up a recycling station in your home or garage and teach the kids what things can be recycled from aluminum cans and newspapers to glass jars and plastic packaging. Additionally have a yard sale to get rid of any items in your home that you don’t need but are still usable, or donate them to charity.
  11. Walk or bike to work and other activities whenever possible. Or car pool with friends. This saves you money, while reducing wear and tear on your car and reducing emissions.
  12. Shop online to reduce fuel emissions.
  13. Purchase appliances with Energy STAR ratings ensuring the energy efficiency in the kitchen and laundry room.
  14. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use.
  15. Connect your kids with nature – appreciation now leads to preservation for future generations. Plan a monthly outing such as a hike at a state park or an afternoon of fishing at a nearby lake.

These are not the only things you can do to live greener in 2013. Maybe our ideas will inspire some of your own.

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Aug 04 2010

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Time for Back to School: Healthy Lunch for a Healthy Planet

Reusable Lunch Box/BagTechnically, it may still be summer, but soon our thoughts will turn away from swimming pools and vacations and focus on back to school preparations. When you do your back to school shopping this year, consider what your children are going to eat and how to make those choices good for the planet.

 

Believe it or not, part of living green is packing a healthy lunch. A waste-free lunch can be healthy and nutritious for your child and healthy for the environment. Get in the habit of packing a healthy “green” lunch. It will have a positive impact on your child, the environment and your wallet.

 

Most kids don’t have a lot of time to eat lunch so keep it simple, healthy and tasty. Pack things your kids will eat and remember to use portion control.

 

When you pack the lunch, think “waste-free”. Skip single use containers and bags and start using reusable food containers like the following:

 

·         Reusable canvas bags, nylon sacks or lunch boxes.

·         Reusable and washable plastic or metal food containers for food and drinks.

·         Reusable and washable cloth napkins.

 

Here are a few things to avoid when packing a “healthy child and healthy planet” lunch:

 

·         Individual serving-size packages

·         Single-serving lunches or snacks

·         Items with Styrofoam and Polystyrene packaging

·         Plastic bags

·         Disposable single-use items

 

Remember packing waste-free lunches isn’t just for school kids. Adults can enjoy the benefits of healthy meals, portion controlled lunches and the accompanying savings!

 

So, pack a healthy lunch for your child or yourself, save money and reduce waste! It is the green way to eat lunch!

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Dec 15 2009

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Live Green: 8 Earth-Friendly Ways to Celebrate the Season

Natural Christmas Decoration‘Tis the season to be jolly….and wasteful. A recent report stated Americans will create an extra 25 million tons of waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Think about it. Wrapping paper filling trash cans. Light displays spiking electric bills. Trees jamming up landfills. And the list goes on. But THIS holiday season can be different. The following suggestions will help you change your habits and start a new tradition, celebrating the holidays in amazing earth-friendly fashion.

 

Turn Down the Amps – Leaving your holiday lights on 24 hours a day can significantly raise your energy bill. Use a timer for your light displays ensuring they are not left on all night. Also, when strands of lights wear out, replace them with LED lights which use about 90% less energy than standard mini-lights.

 

Candle Glow – The holidays are the perfect time to light up your home with candles. A decorative arrangement of tall and short candles in a room is usually enough to eliminate some, if not all, overhead lighting. Not only will you save electricity, but the candles will be part of your décor. Furthermore, with the heat from the candles and your own body heat, most rooms will warm up nicely over the course of an evening allowing you to lower the thermostat. The result – you’ll save on your energy bill. Remember to use caution around burning candles.

 

Use Natural Décor – Use locally grown items to decorate your home. Fill a basket with pinecones you collected at the park, and use it as a centerpiece on the dining room table. Snip a few branches from an evergreen bush or tree and create your own wreath for the door. Add pinecones and a bow or tuck citrus fruits into it for a pop of color. Make your own garland for the tree with popcorn, berries and nuts, for example.

 

Cut your Card List – Over 2.6 billing holiday cards are sold each year and most end up in the trash. Trim you card list by just a few recipients and send them an e-card instead. You’ll save on postage and reduce waste. When sending traditional cards, choose cards made of recycled paper. As for the cards you receive, cut them up, they will make great gift tags for next year.

 

Trim Creatively – There is no need to buy all new tree trimmings every year so you can have a new holiday look. Instead, create homemade ornaments. Make popcorn and cranberry garland or pinecone ornaments. Better yet, swap decorations with a friend each year. You’ll always have a fresh look.

 

Consider Alternative Gift Wrap – With so much wrapping paper ending up in the trash each year, use your imagination. Wrap gifts with other items like a colorful blanket, a furry scarf, a T-shirt. Anything that covers your package can work as gift wrap. Or, have your kids decorate used brown paper grocery bags. Put gifts inside the bags and staple them shut. As for the gifts you receive. Open them carefully saving the paper for next year’s wrapping.

 

Reuse Trimmings – Place a container in the middle of the room. Ask everyone to put bows, boxes, gift bags, and ribbons in the box for use next year.

 

Recycle – Face it. Gifts come with lots of wrapping and packaging. As you open gifts, recycle what you can, plastic, paper, cardboard, etc. Don’t stop there. Recycle your tree as well. Check with your local government or municipality. Some places recycle trees into mulch, others use them for animal habitats in parks and lakes. However you choose to recycle your tree, do it responsibly. Make sure all ornaments, hooks, tinsel and light strands are removed. Artificial trees can be recycled too. If you’re tired of your artificial tree, donate it to a church, community center, shelter or another place that decorates for the holidays.

 

The holidays are exciting, fun, and they are major waste makers. Now is the time to do your part and start changing the holidays for the better. These environmentally-friendly holiday tips will get you started.

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