Green living is subject of hot debate among many circles with conflicting reports about what measures have the most efficacy and which ones are actually the most “green”. With so many conflicts and people giving different reasons for different ways to live green, it can be pretty confusing. What are the best bets? What “green” ways to live have the biggest impact with the littlest effort? Big Impact?
Let’s start with small things that can make the biggest impact. “What can I do to reduce my carbon footprint?”
The first thing to do is to take a walk around where you live and make a checklist:
· Do you have a recycling bin?
· Do you use energy efficient light bulbs? You can buy these and other energy saving products in bulk.
· Do you have a compost bin?
· Do you turn the thermostat below 65 in the winter, and above 75 in the summer?
· Do you weatherproof your home for winter?
· Do you insulate your hot water heater?
· Do you insulate your attic (if you have one)?
· Do you have a clothesline for use at least in warm months?
· Do you have water reclamation containers, (also known as water barrels?
· Do you try to grow your own fruits or vegetables, if you have the yard space? If not, you could even consider indoor lighting, container gardening or windowsill gardening.
· Do you have a fuel efficient car or do you car pool?
· Do you walk or bike when possible?
You might be saying, hey wait, back up, at this point. Your checklist might only include a few of these items. Let’s talk about two or three that most people might think of as too time consuming.
Gardening and Composting
Gardening can be as simple as getting some containers, some organic potting soil, and planting some plants from a local nursery. Even an apartment patio can become a small organic garden for months’ worth of fresh fruits and vegetables. Composting might be slightly more difficult, or it can be as simple as gathering up leaves, grass, and organic waste from your kitchen.
Composting is often sponsored by municipalities, but then you won’t get the benefits from having your own organic compost. Organic compost is the best and greenest way to fertilize any lawn, plus its free if your make it yourself with your own yard and kitchen waste. Compost reduces waste thrown out in the trash, reduces the use of artificial fertilizers, and gives back to the earth what we take away from it. Rain Barrels Rain Barrels can be easy to assemble and last for years. Here is a quick how to guide to get started.
Insulating is not as time consuming as many people might think, and it can save hundreds in electric bills. Insulating an attic and a hot water heater take only a few hours of time and can last for years. Weather proofing windows and doors takes a few hours each winter, but will reap benefits from a cozier home.
Overall, green living does not have to be difficult, time consuming, or tedious. It can be easy, fun, and bring happiness knowing you are doing your part to make the world a better place.