Thursday, April 25, 2013

Free and Easy ways to Go Green {Daily Diaries}

In honor of Earth Day earlier this week I decided to do a post about going green. Being eco friendly is something that's pretty important to me. Now that I've said that, I should also reveal that I'm a big fat hypocrite. I am definitely not as "green" as I'd like to be. Being entirely eco friendly can be hard! It means changing all of your ways, and that's no easy task! Especially when the society you live in is mainly structured in the non-eco friendly way. Sometimes it seems like being green is just inconvenient, expensive and downright overwhelming. But don't fret friends, going green doesn't have to be that way! I would love to have solar panels on my house, drive a car with zero emissions (or walk more than I drive), live entirely off of food grown in my own yard, send nothing to the landfill, and just be an all around eco-diva, but I haven't reached that level yet. I'm Undone and still working my way up, which is fine, because everyone has to start somewhere, right? And that somewhere is usually the cheap/free and easy stuff - which I'm ready to share with all of you other Undone greenies who find yourself overwhelmed with the whole idea.

So get ready to go green for FREE with these easy methods
{The UNDONE blog} free and easy ways to go green

- Wash clothes in cold water - Up to 80% of the energy used by your washing machine is from heating. Wowza! I buy Tide Cold Water HE detergent, which cost the same as the regular Tide HE detergent, and works exactly the same too. I have seen NO difference in clenliness since I started using cold water, so don't be afraid! I still use hot when I need to sanitize things or there is a particularly bad stain, but as for regular loads, it's cold all the way.

- Unplug electric devices when they're not in use - Some things like TV's, computers, and stereos can be annoying to unplug, but the "status lights" on these devices are drawing power even when they're off, so try putting them on a power stip with a switch to make unplugging easier. And don't forget all of those small appliances, like curling irons, coffee makers, phone chargers, and toasters. I don't know how many times my husband's tried to make toast in a the unplugged toaster...

- Wear your clothes more than once before washing - What!? Gross right!? No, not really, this doesn't mean wear dirty clothes, it just means don't wash them if they aren't dirty. Now you can admit it, you guys were doing this already without even knowing it's green, I'm a mom, I know what's up. The only items that I wash after single uses are things that come in direct contact with skin, so undies, undershirts, socks, and those kinds of things, and also stuff that just doesn't look nice on a second wear, - usually tight fitting or thin T-shirts. Of course if a piece of clothing actually gets dirty (which happens a lot when you're a mommy, it's true) then I wash it before wearing it again, otherwise, jeans, sweaters, jackets and such usually get 2 or 3 wears (at least) before washing. You might all think differently about my hygene now, but whatevs, I know I'm not wearing "dirty" clothes. I will say pretty much ALL of my kids clothes get washed after each wear though, they're just too messy to make it through a day without getting dirty.

- Shorten your shower time - I'll admit, I have a hard time doing this, showers are my favorite! But less time in the shower means less water down the drain and less work from your hot water heater.

- Opt for paperless bill pay - many places offer online bill payment, which is not only super convenient  but eco friendly as well! I love that I have less papers cluttering up our house!

- Turn down the heat - Keeping your thermostat just a couple of degrees lower in the winter and higher in the summer requires less energy from your furnace and air conditioning, and it also saves you dough on your monthly bills! Plus, having it a little cooler in the house makes me feel less guilty about living in a hoodie...

- Turn down the temp on your water heater - Setting your water heater at 120 degrees instead of the standard 140 will reduce the amount of energy used as well as prolong the life of the appliance and pipes. Oh, and this one will save you cash too, we like that right?

- Buy local - It won't be long before local farmers markets are up and running, and shopping here doesn't just support your local economy, it lowers your carbon foot print! The further items have to travel to reach you, the more gas and energy they use. Then there's also the benefit that buying fresh food from the farmers market is pretty much a lot healthier.

Isn't it great when green tips can pull double duty? You're not just helping the planet, but you're helping your wallet and your health too! Bonus! I hoped this little list makes going green a little bit less overwhelming for you. And for all of you ladies craving more, I've got a whole line up of other ways to go green.

Happy Earth Day everyone!

Oh and feel free to share any of your own great tips for going green, I'd love to hear what all of the other eco-conscious mommies are up to!

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