Green Consumerism: Eight Easy Steps to Sustainable Living

March 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Green Family & Home

You might not be in the position to invest in a huge solar panel system or convert your property into a garden commune to grow all your own food, but there are smaller less costly and time consuming things that anyone can do to live a green lifestyle. If everyone did just one or two of the following suggestions, it would make an enormous impact for a cleaner environment. Every small gesture adds up to make a difference.

1. Get Audited

Your utility company might be one of the many around the country that offers free audits to evaluate your home energy usage. A professional will go through every room to determine where you’re losing the most energy, and even offer suggestions on how to save more. It could be very enlightening, and at no cost you have nothing to lose.

2. Get Unplugged

When electronics are turned off or on standby but still plugged in, they are still consuming electricity. Avoid power wastage by unplugging electronic device chargers when you’re finished with them. Also, invest in a power strip to connect appliances and chargers to. Then you only have to turn off the strip to conserve power with multiple items.

3. Recycle Gadgets

Never throw away an old gadget. Get online and look for websites that offer cash to recycle old cameras, cell phones, or iPods. Some will send a quote upon request, and if you accept, shipping is paid for. Even if your gadget isn’t worth anything, you can still recycle it with free shipping. Or consider finding a charity that takes donations of used electronic gadgets.

4. Air Dry

One of the biggest energy hogs in your home is the clothes dryer. If at all possible, line dry your washed clothes. If you can’t dry them outside, consider purchasing a drying rack for indoor use.

5. Keep a Lid on the Gas Tank

After you finish gassing up at the filling station, be sure to put the cap back on tightly, and turn it until it clicks several times. Gas can quickly evaporate due to loose, missing, or damaged gas caps. This is a preventable loss of valuable fuel, and is harmful to the environment.

6. Ditch Bottled Water

Bottled water is a waste of energy and adds to tons of non-biodegradable waste in our country’s landfills. Invest in a water filter for your tap and a reusable bottle, preferably made from stainless steel or aluminium, that you can refill and take with you.

7. Banish Junkmail

The unsolicited mail you received every day adds up to tons of waste every year. Get yourself off of every mailing list that you can. Also, when possible, request paperless bills from utilities, insurance companies, and other vendors. You can pay most bills online, and save postage as well as paper waste.

8. Eat Local

Patronize local farm markets and buy locally grown produce. Not only are they fresher, but they have a minimal carbon footprint due to the fact that they haven’t been transported far, conserving energy. Search the internet to find restaurants or markets that buy from local suppliers.

Any of these are easy ways to live green and save green. You can’t afford not to try them.