Despite his protestations to the contrary, Kermit the Frog was wrong. It IS easy “being green” but it takes some attention, some planning and, most importantly, some follow through. Here are seven strategies that can significantly help you to “green your home,”
Do not think that these simple tactics are insignificant because they are limited in scope. While using them on a personal scale will help save money for the individual, the real benefit comes when a community embraces the idea. Start small but keep on pushing. You can really make a difference and kelp conserve the dwindling resources of everyone’s home, the planet Earth.
Reduce Your Energy Use
No one needs to waste energy in a profligate manner. You and your family can be extremely comfortable and energy efficient by utilizing three simple and affordable pieces of technology.
- Purchase Energy Star™ Rated Appliances
These appliances have been specifically designed to get the maximum amount of utility out of a given amount of energy. In other words, you get all the environmental benefits and still do not have to do the work.
- Switch to High-Efficiency Fluorescent Lights
The newest bulbs are not without their problems but they are indisputably superior to their predecessors, the incandescent light bulb. In a nutshell, less energy is required to produce the same amount of light. Case closed.
- Timers and Thermostats are Indispensible
People are people, especially when they are kids. Expecting a child, or even a businessman in a rush, to remember to turn down a thermostat us simply wishful thinking, Thermostats and timers are worth their weight in gold for the savings that they will deliver.
Always Conserve Resources
In the land of plenty here in the West, it is easy to forget how valuable the most basic necessities are. Consider how easy it would be to conserve the following natural resources.
- Conserve Fresh Water
Low flow toilets and showers are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to conserving fresh water. Using filter technology instead of buying bottled water and only flushing the toilet every other time are legitimate ways to conserve. Noted personalities such as Jennifer Aniston even brush their teeth in the shower to save a few deciliters so that their manicured lawns will not go without.
- Fix Leaks ASAP
On a more practical note, the average person can pay attention to leaky faucets and toilets that seem to run continually. A few minor fixes will help the planet in general, reduce the homeowners utility bills and ensure that Ms, Aniston will only see green when she looks out the window. Saints were created for less.
- Repurpose or Reuse Materials
It’s easy to throw glass, cans and newspapers into a container that says/ “Recycle.” While this is an activity that should be encouraged, a true believer can do much more. Brick, stone, glass, tile and metal can be used in new and interesting ways. Do not forsake these materials, oh my darling, for the Earth will surely run out of resources in the next four billion years.
Environmentalism is a two sided coin. Not only should you conserve energy but you should also not waste it on unproductive activities. It is much better to sit idly by and let circumstance define your life. To this end, you should:
- Recycle Paper, Plastics and Metals
Providing dedicated storage containers for all recyclable items is just the first step. It is important that everyone in the family understand the need for and contribute to their efforts the process of recycling.
- Use In-Line Water Filters
No one likes to say it but bottled water is one of the most wasteful products on the planet. While fresh water is indispensible to life on this planet, the for-profit companies of the Western, industrialized nations trivialize the concept by denigrating their own sources of fresh abundant, municipally provided water. Bottled water is a Western extravagance that no one should abide.
- Opt for a Smaller Living Space
The great American dream always envisions more as better. A bigger house, a bigger car and a bigger family are the things that all people should strive for. Unfortunately, the new reality means that this dream is beyond the reach of most. Instead, prudent consumers will opt for a reasonably sized house, an affordable, fuel-efficient car and a family of 1.3 kids. Get in line, the future is here.
Reduce Your Dependence on Toxic Substances
Everything from car batteries through paints to high electronics contain trace amounts of highly toxic materials. It is incumbent upon the responsible individuals to limit their use of these materials and instead focus on more naturally produced products.
- Opt for Products Made with Natural Materials
When appropriate, choose straw or grass carpeting and wool rugs over the nylon varieties, bamboo slat blinds over resource-intense aluminum ones and natural fibers for your clothing. In every case, you will be making a small contribution to the sustainability of the planet.
- Avoid Organic Solvents
If possible, avoid paints with volatile organic components (VOCs). These solvents quickly evaporate into the atmosphere and cause all kinds of harms to the ozone layer, the water table and to people in general. If you gave the time and the inclination, there are a number of milk-based paints that are just as durable, easy to apply and affordable as traditional paints and do no damage to the environment.
- Use Traditional Products
Consider using solid wood products wherever possible. Pressed-wood products like OSB and plywood use inordinate amounts of chemicals to make the product affordable and usable. While it is almost impossible to build a home without these products, a consumer can still opt for traditionally made furniture and cabinetry.
The Bottom Line
Until people realize that there is no free ride, they will continue to consume resources at an unsustainable rate. What a crock. Kudos to you for reading this far. My real point is buried in this long paragraph that most people will skip entirely. In reality, it is unfortunate that the environmental naysayers do not realize that humans are an incredibly resourceful species. If one resource runs out, we will develop another. Nuclear power is just one such option that promises unlimited prosperity in the future. Take the above advice in stride and don’t worry too much for the future because smarter people than you are in charge. After all, if you believe half of the stuff in this article, then you really don’t have much of a clue.