Love your mother
In honor of Earth Day, I have decided to keep the momentum going by spreading the word about Green living. I am ashamed to say this, but I have never really been much of an Environmentalist. True, my grandmother enforced the idea of saving, refusing, and reducing waste; but aside from me being afraid of her, I did not have much of a motive to live a Green life.
Now that I'm older, and actually pay attention to the world and its surroundings, I have started to change the way I treat my mother Earth. Though I still have a ways to go, I have adopted a few Green practices around my home.
1-Laundry-I make it a point to ONLY do laundry when I have a full load. When I do wash a load, I am sure to put the cycle on Cold. This saves energy, and helps reduce your hot water bill.
2-Green Cleaning Products-I took a note from the women of the old school. Years ago, they didn't have all these fancy cleaning products, so they made due with what they had. I was amazed at how useful vinegar and baking soda could be in cleaning my home. I was also amazed at how a little 'elbow grease' made a HUGE difference. I use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning windows, showers, coffee pots, room freshening, etc. I also incorporated my recycled newspapers when cleaning instead of using paper towels.
3-Groceries-The hardest thing for me to do was get rid of my trusty Wal-Mart plastic bags. I had to fight myself to be disciplined enough to sacrifice my convenience for the love of the Earth. For only 50 cents, I purchased 5 reuseable bags to carry my groceries. I am slowly getting rid of all of the plastic shopping bags by reusing them around the house and office.
4-Vehicle Maintenance-Small tasks such as checking the pressure in your tires could save you money on gas and wheel alignments, and also put some bucks back in your pocket. As I grow older, I have taken a greater responsibility for maintaining my vehicle. Check your oil and fluid levels regularly; it will help fight against pollutants in the air, and also save you money in the long run.
5-Home building-If you are in the market for a new home, look for builders who use local, Green materials, and appliances that are energy efficient. When performing a home inspection, make sure that your Inspector checks for the proper R-value of the insulation, proper installation of pipes and gutters, and proper weather stripping on windows and doors. If possible, negotiate with your builder about using Green materials on roofs, windows, and doors; and look for a builder that is LEED certified. A LEED certified builder will be certified to build according to environmental standards, and incorporate techniques that use very little energy.
My recent volunteer project on Extreme Makeover Home Edition incorporated Green building supplies and techniques in building the home. Check out the link for Edenton Builders for details on how they incorporated Green Building techniques on their latest project http://www.extremeebheroes.com/
For more information on how you can live a Greener life go to http://www.thegreenguide.com/