Eco-Friendly Home Improvements We Can All Make

If you’ve watched Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and realized that we are heading for more hurricanes, flooding, and glacier-melting impending doom, then it is time to listen up. So, we all know that Mother Earth is in danger and that we are all to be blamed. However, we do need to save the planet and not just for ourselves, but for our children and those who will grace this earth after them. Since no one person can single-handily change the course of time or totally replenish the earth, here are some things that we can do by ourselves to make small contributions.

Grow your own vegetables

My co-worker and friend Lee, decided to start a vegetable garden on our second floor balcony at work. Needless to say, we have been reaping nice red and green peppers to spice up our salads while sitting outside to have lunch. It is a rewarding feeling to grow your own food and to share with your neighbors.

You do not need a big backyard to make this a reality, even if you live in an apartment, do patio gardening. Also if you are like me, and cannot deal with bugs and other creepy crawlers, then start a little herb garden on your kitchen window ledge. Not only will you reap many palatable benefits from your garden but your olfactory senses will be well stimulated by the aroma.

Change out your light bulbs!

Are you still using those standard 60 watt light bulbs that go out every 4 months or so? Then it is time to change your ways. For more green home improvement, buy some energy star compact fluorescent light bulbs and save on energy. They are a little more expensive but we just added one each time we needed a new light bulb and now we have changed out the entire house. They last longer, so if you add up how many light bulbs you would purchase in one year, it would probably cost the same.

Turn off those lights!

Do you remember your mother screaming at you to “please, turn off the lights when you leave the room”? Okay, we are back to those days, and even though we said we would not become our parents, oh well. It is important to turn off the lights because not only do they use energy but they make the place hotter and put more pressure on the air conditioning.

Also, remember to turn off your ceiling fans as they do burn a lot of energy.

Change your appliances

Next to buying a hybrid car, this may be one of the most expensive ways to go eco-friendly but the benefits are tremendous. Not only will energy efficient appliances help your ever-rising energy bills they will also let your home look quite chic. So, if you are in the market for a new washing machine, go for a front-loading design so you will use less water per load. While upgrading to your eco-home, you may want to spend some more money and purchase an induction range for your kitchen. Even though these types of stove tops can be very expensive, they work very efficiently to cook food faster and use less energy.

More tips for green living

Tip 1 – Whenever you are printing documents, decrease the margin size so you use less paper to print. Also, try to do more double-sided printing.

Tip 2 – Unplug your cell phone charger. So you have removed your cell phone from its charger but you left the charger plugged into the wall. Believe it or not, the charger is still drawing energy. This applies to other small appliances and chargers like your laptop charger and your toaster. Think green and start looking around you.

Tip 3 – Turn off your computer monitor if you are not using it. The monitor uses more power than the CPU so turn it off even if you leave the CPU on.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!

Do not trash what you can give to charity. It will help with your taxes and give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside but it will also keep our trash dumps from piling up. So, instead of throwing out those broken bikes or old utensils, give them away. Your garbage is someone else’s treasure.

Use your recycle bins and do not put plastic or newspaper in the dumpster!

Remember: Reduce, reuse, and recycle! We only have one earth!

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