Whether we like it or not, winter is upon us, especially in the Midwest. Along with the winter breezes and snow, higher electricity bills will inflate conjointly with hazardous Co2. Before autumn ends and winter begins, it is time to turn “Green” and turn your house into an eco-friendly environment.
1. Purchase draft protectors for doors and windows. There are many different types of winter protection such as long cotton looking snakes that are filled with snakes or beans. You place these cotton snakes in front of your door or window to prevent the winter chill from coming into your house. Some eco-friendly people also like to place blankets over windows that are not in use to save heat from going out.
2. Purchase a water heater blanket. These are insulated heater blankets that now come in eco-friendly materials that are placed over your water heater to keep it from getting too cold. The blanket will keep the water heater from having to turn on frequently to reheat the water inside.
3. Place a blanket or winter protector plastic sheet over all animal flaps to the yard. These flaps are usually on your back door to allow your animal to access the backyard when you are at work or at play.
4. Cold proof your mailbox flap if it goes into your house. We have a 70 year old house with a mailbox drop box that drops mail from the outside wall to indoors. Air comes in though so it is wise if you place a thick piece of 100% cotton over the flap to assure no cold air goes out.
5. Stuff your freezers – the more the food in the freezer the longer it stays cold. If you purchase things in bulk, you are doing two good duties at once.
6. Change your current light bulbs to energy saving light bulbs. These can be purchased almost anywhere today and are usually cheaper than the traditional light bulbs.
7. Take showers instead of baths. Baths take up too much hot water and electricity.
8. Try to stay away from that car. If you have to drive to work, try to carpool. Or resort to public transportation if it is available in your area.
9. Purchase cold washing detergent for your washing machine. It is just as effective and reduces the hot water energy that is wasted. I like to use Ecover laundry detergent that works great with no hot water!
10. Purchase from local stores instead of ordering all your food online. Ordering food items or gifts online however the items must go through a ton of transportation methods just to get to your house.
11. Fly less this winter. Airplanes emit a lot of CO2 just with one flight, even more in the winter months when people have heavier bags.
12. Remember to turn off your lights during the daytime or when you leave the room.
13. Remember to unplug electronics that are not in use. For example, try unplugging your battery charger for your cell phone or ipod after each usage. It does not need to be eating electricity when you are not using it. In addition, watch your cell phone so when it is finished charging, unplug it and then unplug the charger.
14. Turn down your heating a few degrees during the cold months to save money. In addition turn down the heat while you are not home during the daytime. This is also a great way to get comfy on the couch with your loved one.
15. Turn off electronic items such as your computer – do not allow it to go in Standby mode. This also goes for items such as your coffee maker, razor, toaster oven, video games and so on. If it is plugged in, it is using electricity.
16. If you must drive, remember to always pump up your tires to the accurate level to assure you are getting the best mileage as possible. This will also help out on high gasoline prices in America.
17. Try not to speed and drive sensibly. Reckless driving can use up more gasoline and CO2 will increase with abrupt stops and slamming on the gasoline to get going.
18. Do not take large loads while driving, especially during the holiday season. The more weight that is in the car, the more gasoline being used and CO2 is poisoning the air.
19. Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. This will also help you warm up on those cold days.
20. Try to use only recyclable or reusable drinking cups instead of plastic cups. This especially goes for hot chocolate, coffee and tea that are purchased in coffee houses. Most coffee houses have reusable containers for a minimal amount and can be used numerous times. This allows you to still get warm drinks on cold days but saves how much trash is going into the landfills.
21. Urge your office manager to turn off the lights when leaving the building and turning down the heat. Many stores and office buildings waste tons of electricity each day when no one is even in the building.
22. If possible, try to find an energy source that uses solar panels or wind energy. Solar panels can also be used on your house roof in sunny locations.
23. Purchase 100% cotton winter hats, scarves and gloves instead of synthetic ones.
24. Try to purchase outdoor lights that are solar instead of electrical this winter. It may be dark but the solar, eco-friendly lights are just as efficient.
25. Close your shades or other window treatments to keep warm air in during those cold days and nights.
Making a little change in your daily life this winter will keep your bills down and will also help out with lowering CO2 levels in the atmosphere. If everyone just does a few things off this list, the earth will be in a better place for us and for our children’s future.