8 Easy Steps to Save Money, Help the Environment and Our Community
Being green is a big buzzword these days. Everyone has heard of being eco-friendly and helping to reduce the environmental footprint, but many don’t know what they can do, or think their one contribution won’t make much of a dent.
At home, you can help protect the environment in so many ways. Every small step helps our community to become cleaner and helps make an impact on the environment.
Everyone can do their part by practicing the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
We can all make some changes in our home that are easy and save us money! Here are some tips that are easy to do:
- · Reuse and recycle what you already have! You can save tons of money on storage containers by reusing glass and plastic food containers when they are empty.
- · Participate in recycling programs, such as recycling cans, plastic, glass and paper products.
- · Use bio-degradable trash bags that are made of corn and dissolve over time, adding less plastic to our landfills.
- · Save water and energy by avoiding using permanent press cycle when doing laundry, which uses an added 5 gallons for the extra rinse. Wash laundry in cold water, since 80-90% of the machines energy is used to heat the water. I promise your clothes will be clean!
- · Avoid washing your car in your driveway. Who has the time anyhow! Few people realize that washing our cars in our driveways is one of the most environmentally unfriendly things we can do. The average home driveway car wash uses 140 gallons of water, whereas an environmentally friendly car wash uses just 30 gallons and recycles water in a controlled water management system. And the soap chemicals run off your car and go straight into our storm drains which eventually get into our river, streams, creeks and bays where it poisons aquatic life and wreaks other ecosystem havoc.
- · Use non-toxic cleaners in your home. There are many natural cleaners on the market these days that you can buy.
- · You can also make great environmentally safe cleaners out of regular household items. The acid in white vinegar makes it naturally capable of killing mold and bacteria, and you can use it to clean mirrors and windows. Baking soda is great for deodorizing, especially with all that sports equipment from your kids. Lemon juice is another bacteria killer and is a multi-purpose cleaner that’s useful for scrubbing walls and floors.
- · Turn off Lights: I know this sounds incredibly easy and almost silly, but turning off the lights when you are not using them, as well as putting your computers, TV’s, etc on a power strip and turning them off nightly, saves tons of money and energy. Electronics use a huge amount of energy, so turning them off helps reduce our energy consumption.
Not only will this help reduce the environmental footprint, but can also rid your home of the toxins that can cause major health problems from continuous exposure or even small amounts of exposure over time.
You can also help teach your children about being good to our earth by making small changes in your home which are easy, more economical, and SMART!
This post is brought to you by Suzanne Behrens, owner of The Smart Car Wash in Woodbridge. Suzanne is a mother of 3, local business owner, and someone who cares about keeping our community clean. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org .