Ways to Help the Environment
From cutting down on energy use in your home to using green cleaning products, there are many ways to help the environment. In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we’ve assembled a list of a few, easy ways you can go green at home:
- Wait to wash clothes until you have a full load, and wash them in cold water whenever possible.
- Hang wet laundry on hangers or a clothes line as well as laid flat on towels. If you use the dryer, clean the lint filter after each use to save energy.
- Unplug appliances that you seldom use.
- Turn off the water while you wash dishes, brush your teeth or shave.
- Reduce your use of paper napkins, plates and utensils. Store food in reusable containers instead of using aluminum foil or cling wrap.
- Save a tree! Stop receiving credit card offers by visiting optoutprescreen.com and the number of catalogs you receive by signing up on catalogchoice.org.
- Recycle to reuse and renew. Visit earth911.org to search for the recycling location nearest you.
- Leave grass clippings on your yard after mowing. Decomposed clippings act as a built-in fertilizer.
- Plant trees for natural shade and less air conditioning use.
- Shop using canvas bags rather than paper or plastic.
Green cleaning tips
Many people are finding that homemade cleaning products are just as effective and can save money.
Vinegar and water: Mix together equal parts of white vinegar and water to disinfect and deodorize areas all over your home. It’s great in bathrooms and kitchens. It also acts as a natural fabric softener when you add one-half cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of a large laundry load. One caution—vinegar should not be used on marble, and you may want to test a small area of other surfaces before cleaning.
Lemon juice: Lemon juice dissolves hard water deposits and soap scum. Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle it with baking soda to clean dishes and surface stains (like vinegar, test a small area first, as lemon can act as a bleach). Mix one-half part lemon juice to one part olive oil for a natural furniture polish.
Baking soda: Baking soda can replace commercial cleansers, and it’s a great deodorizer. Place an open box in the refrigerator, freezer or laundry room, or sprinkle it in trash cans and smelly shoes!
Do you have other easy “green” ideas? Share them with us in the comments!