To live green means to help our environment from the dangers that are destroying it. Green living starts with each of us. Here are just few easy tips to help you get started.
1. Switch to fluorescent bulbs in areas where extended lighting is required. Though the initial price is higher than for incandescent bulbs, fluorescent lights produce four times as much light per watt, last up to ten times as long and therefore cost one-third as much to operate.
2. Consider getting a laptop. Laptops use 50 percent of the energy used by a typical desktop PC when plugged in and just 1 percent of the energy when running on batteries.
3. Shut down and unplug idle electronics. Your computer might be asleep, but if there's a light on, it's still using energy. Turn off and unplug your computer, printer, television, radio - any electronic device that you're not using.
4. Keep your car in great condition. Of course, it's best to walk, bicycle, carpool or use mass transit for your daily commuting, but for those who must use their own vehicles, improving even the most inefficient of cars' fuel mileage is as easy as keeping your tires properly inflated and changing your oil and air filters regularly. And follow those traffic laws - your car burns less fuel when you drive slowly and obey the speed limit on highways.
5. An idling vehicle burns more fuel than a simple restart. If it's clear that a train or other barrier will block your vehicle for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine. An idling vehicle burns more fuel than a simple restart. And you won't be polluting when the engine is off.
6. Laundry activities are the second-biggest water user in a home. New water- and energy-efficient machines can save big on utility bills, and the technologies employed in those machines also can be gentler to your clothes, help you use less detergent and reduce drying time.
7. Turn your thermostat down - Turning your thermostat down by just one degree can result in savings of up to 10% on your fuel usage.
8. Wrapping a water heater with insulation can keep as many as 1,000 pounds of global-warming CO2 a year out of the upper atmosphere.
9. Pipe insulation tubes will help prevent frozen pipes in winter. And properly installed, they will hold a hot-water pipe's heat for up to an hour after the tap was last used, thus stretching your energy dollar and saving water.
10. Older showerheads can use three gallons per minute or more. New, efficient models can use two GPM or less. Also look for showerheads that deliver water in multiple small streams, rather than a fine mist; they keep water warmer and make rinsing easier. Avoid designs with multiple heads that compound water waste.
11. Reduce, Re-use, Recycle! - Its doesn't take a whole lot of effort to reduce the amount of waste we produce or to recycle the waste we do produce. Paper products, plastics and metals are all easily disposed of by taking them to the local recycling centre. You can recycle old batteries to use again in the home and most of the food waste from the kitchen can be used to make your own compost, especially useful if your already growing your own vegetables.
12. Food grown or produced halfway around the world didn't just appear in the supermarket - it was shipped by plane, boat, truck or rail, and no matter which method of transportation it took, greenhouse gases were emitted along the way. Pick the apple grown in your state instead of the banana grown in another country.
13. Plant a tree. It seems simple, but just one tree can offset tons of carbon over its lifetime. If planted appropriately, it also will provide shade on a sunny day, perhaps reducing the use of energy for air-conditioning in buildings and homes.