Observing some details of common ways to reduce your carbon footprint will yield better results for greener living. Here are a few tips you might not have thought of.
1) Recycling: We all know about separating our paper, metal and plastics; but effective recycling also means looking for products that are made of recycled materials when you buy. Additionally, you can repurpose items at home such as using a paper bag as a book cover or painting a can or bottle to make a new vase.
2) Use Lights Correctly: Everyone knows to shut the lights off when you leave a room, but sometimes the right answer is to leave it on. Turning on the light switch uses as much power in that one instant as leaving the light on for 15 minutes. If you will be returning to the room in less than a quarter hour, leave that light on.
3) Compact Fluorescent Bulbs: Compact flourecent bulbs are now available that fit in almost any lamp or light fixture. They not only lower your electric bill, but they last twice as long as incandescent bulbs and use half the electricity.
4) Take Electronics Off Standby: Remote controlled electronics such as your TV, DVD player, video games or stereo are actually still on when you turn them off. Electronics enter standby mode so that they can be awakened by a signal from the remote. Turn off your entertainment center when not using it by shutting off the breaker switch on the surge strip.
5) Solar Power: You don’t have to go to the extreme of overhauling your whole house electrical system to save with solar power. Solar powered garden lights, flashlights, battery chargers and portable electronics are easy ways to save energy and lower your power bill.
6) Rain Barrels for Gardening: Your local county agricultural authority sells rain barrels with built in faucets for saving water in your garden. They are inexpensive and installing makes a great family project.
7) Investigate Green Power: Most people are unaware that solar, wind, water and pedal powered generators are becoming less expensive and easier for the average consumer to use for home energy. Look at green energy systems that are available on the internet and spread the word.
8) Maintain Your Car Properly: Keeping your tires properly inflated, changing oil on schedule, maintaining filters, warming the engine before driving and accelerating smoothly all improve fuel economy. Save money on gas while you reduce fossil fuel consumption.
9) Hang Clothes to Dry: Save natural gas or electricity by hanging clothes to dry. Hung indoors, your house will smell like clean laundry; hung outdoors your clothes will smell sunny and fresh.
10) Use Your Local Library: Ebook readers are great, but the books from your local library don’t use electricity. Borrowing from the library rather than buying books saves trees and natural resources. Ride your bike or walk to the library and you’re really living green.