With a growing number of people increasing their awareness regarding the health of their environment and asking questions about how each of us can make changes to contribute, here are a few things you can start with to make your transition to a more eco-friendly lifestyle (if you haven’t already):
Switch to Off
It is pretty mind-blowing how many people walk out of their homes and leave lights on all day long, even when no one is home. That is a good way to start reducing your footprint – make sure all switches are turned to off when they are not directly in use. Another less known way to save electricity involves paying a little closer attention to things that are turned off, but are still plugged in and drawing what is referred to as “phantom energy.” Items such as computers, phone chargers, and TVs can still draw energy when they are turned off. A good tip is to plug them all into a power strip and when not in use, just switch the power strip to off to stop the flow of energy to those items.
Bringing Your Own Bags for Groceries
Many stores are getting in on the discontinued use of plastic bags and other stores are charging a fee for paper bags, for example, but how about bringing your own reusable bag to the store when you go shopping, so that you don’t have to use their disposable bags at all?!
The website 50waystohelp.com advises to turn the oven on when you put the dish into the over, rather than pre-heating prior to putting the dish in the oven, unless you are making bread or other items that benefit from a pre-heated oven. Some energy-saving experts also suggest switching the oven to off about 15 minutes prior to the end of cooking time, to save energy.
Do Not Pre-rinse
Reports indicate that an estimated 20 gallons of water per load can be saved if you stop pre-rinsing items prior to putting them in the dishwasher. Reports also indicate that most dishwashers on the market today are strong enough to get any dried food items off of your dishes, so it is essentially unnecessary to pre-rinse. Other ways to save with regard to using a dishwasher is to make sure you always wait to run the dishwasher for a full load of dishes and turn the heat down to air-dry your clean dishes.
Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies and Solutions
The use of eco-friendly cleaning supplies and solutions not only removes the use of harmful chemicals from your home and protects you, your family and loved ones, but also eliminates the disposal of those chemicals through your drains and garbage that eventually may end up in a landfill.