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Easy Green Habits January 28, 2010

Filed under: vegan lifestyle — sharonsweets @ 7:54 pm
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I’ve been aiming green since high school, many, many years ago. Now that it’s so popular, I feel so cool. Hey, green is even my favorite color. Here are some of the things we can all do to be “greener”:

-Buy things with less packaging or easily recyclable packaging.

-Recycle whatever we can. That is, cans, bottles, and more. I keep bins for mixed paper and bring them to the town recycling center. It’s amazing how quickly these fill up. My son started kindergarten and gets a stack of paper to bring home every day. Add that to piles of junk mail and that can really clog up a landfill if you don’t recycle it.

-Buy economy sizes and refill containers, like liquid soaps.

-Use cold water to wash clothes whenever possible. Always use cold water to rinse. Make sure your laundry loads are full. When you are ready for a new machine, buy an HE Energy Star washer that uses less water and energy. If you can use a laundry line outside instead of a dryer, that’s a huge plus. Use natural detergents that you can buy in Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. I was given these very cool laundry balls that you can use in place of detergent. It has greatly reduced the amount of detergent I use.

-Bring your canvas bags everywhere you shop. As extra incentive, you’ll get 5 cents back at most supermarkets and even Target for doing so.

-Get take out less often. Reuse the containers, plastic ware and bags from take out. Recycle the brown bags and reuse the plastic ones.

-Turn off lights and unplug appliances and other devices that are not in use. Even if something is powered off, it still uses electricity.

-Change your car’s air filter and keep it tuned up. This will help clean the air that is emitted from the car and maintain its fuel efficiency. Don’t keep a lot of unused junk in the car, as heavier weight causes fuel inefficiency.

-Change to fluorescent bulbs. It’s easy and cheap and you will get brighter lights out of it, plus you’ll lower your bills. There are some very cool looking bulbs now, much nicer and softer than the traditional squiggly ones.

-Shorten your showers and don’t leave water running. Hot water requires a lot of work from your hot water heater.

-Turn down the heat when you are not at home and at night. Use a space heater if you need to rather than heating your entire house.

-Opt for online or email billing.

-Don’t print things out. Read online. Magnify your view if needed.

-Donate clothes,  shoes and toys you are not using.

-Buy pre-owned stuff. It takes a lot of energy and materials to produce new things like toys, clothes, cars, etc.

-Eat less processed food. This uses less energy to produce and less packaging.

-Reuse plastic bags and use fewer plastic bags.

-Use reusable containers for food and drinks.

-Grow your own food. Or visit your local farmers.

-Eat leftovers. When you can’t, feed them to your pet. This is perfect in my house since I have dogs and a rabbit. Here’s an idea: you can adopt a rabbit from a shelter and he’ll eat all your vegetable scraps. Perfect! And you’ll have a great friend too.

-Buy natural food and cleaning supplies.

-Compost.

-Drive less. Combine errand-running trips. Don’t let your car idle.

-Eat vegan food. I’ll cover this one a lot in other posts! It’s the greenest thing you can do.

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