As the date on the calendar shifts to 2016, many people are beginning to identify their New Year’s resolutions. They make a list of things they can do to improve their lives, whether it’s creating good habits, personal goals, career decisions, making healthier choices or exercising more often. Part of creating good habits are to be mindful and conscious of mother earth and it’s surroundings.
We’ve created a list below of 10 ways to be greener in 2016 and hope this helps to shed some light on additional green resolutions to consider going into the new year…
1. Paperless billing – there are many companies, such as utilities, credit cards, loans and many others that offer paperless billing. Opting to go paperless billing, reduces the amount of paper waste being used to mail out bills and statements. Reducing paper waste, reduces the amount of natural resources used to make the paper and ink to print out these statements.
2. Recycling – Recycling has been around for decades. The process of recycling is to convert waste into reusable material. Glass, certain plastics, and aluminum are very common materials that can be recycled. It wasn’t until the 20th & 21st century where curbside collection for recyclable materials has hit suburban neighborhoods and urban streets. When you recycle, you reduce energy usage, air and water pollution, the waste of raw materials and reduce green house emissions.
3. Repurposing – Very similar to recycling, repurposing is giving materials a second life, and using it to create furniture, clothing, and materials that can be used other than what it was intended.
4. Reusable bags – many cities in California have banned the use of plastic bags, and it has become the forefront in green sustainability. Many metropolitan cities have followed suit, and have encouraged consumers to bring reusable, cloth bags when shopping. Using reusable bags, reduce waste in landfills. Opting to use paper bags, is also an option because paper is compostable.
5. Halogen Bulbs & LED’s – Consider changing out those old incandescent light bulbs for new Halogen or LED bulbs. With a lifespan of approximately 25,000–35,000 hours, an LED bulb lasts 25 to 35 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb. While Halogen bulbs are the closest to incandescent bulbs, they use about 25 to 30 percent less energy.
6. Composting – Composting is a way to create rich and fertile soil from organic matter, which can be leftover scraps of food, fruits, vegetables and leaves. Compost is rich in nutrients to help fertilize gardens and landscapes. You can grow fruits and vegetables organically with out pesticides.
7. Growing your own garden – growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs are a great way to save money, but also a way to feed your family organic, fresh, and seasonal food. You can take pride knowing that the food you brought to the table, is food you’ve grown for yourself and your family. When you grow you own garden, you eliminate the amount of pesticides used to grow healthy vegetables, create compost for your garden, and learn to eat seasonally.
8. Use Energy Star appliances – Energy Star branded appliances are regulated by the government to show you that you’ll be saving energy by purchasing certain types of appliances, and electrical equipment. Signified by the large star label, you will have peace of mind knowing that you’ll be saving money and electricity in the long run.
9. Water Conservation – Water is a valuable natural resource, and we must do our best to conserve as much as we can, especially in the state of California.
Some things to do help conserve water are:
– Loading a full dishwasher before running a cycle
– Loading a full washing machine
– Washing with cold water
– Taking showers that last 3-5 minutes long
– NOT taking baths
– Turning off running water when it’s not necessary
– Put garden sparklers on a timer
– Collect rain water to water your garden
– Stop running toilets
– Landscape with plants that reduce watering times
10. Properly Insulating Walls/Window – For optimal energy efficiency, your home’s walls and windows should be properly insulated. Air that leaks through your home − the outer walls, windows, doors, and other openings − wastes a lot of energy and increases your utility costs. Properly insulted walls help conserve energy and keep your home naturally heated, and can make a real difference on your utility bills.
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