August 2, 2012

Steps to Sustainability: It's the little things that count.

Although we hear about worldwide environmental crises, we may not always know how we can help. Through practicing some of these simple steps, you will easily help cut down on your carbon footprint! Why not be green if it's this easy?


1. Unplug When you leave electronics and appliances plugged in while they are not in use they still consume energy. Next time when you're done charging your phone, unplug the charger. Also don't forget about things like coffee makers, toasters, and any lights with cords. It may be easier to use a power strip and unplug the strip when not in use.

2. Keep Cool During the hot summer months, you may want to crank your AC all the way up. Keep inside cooler by using blinds and curtains to keep the sun and heat out. Also, keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature and keep the air conditioner vents clean so they run efficiently.

3. Switch the Lights Upgrade your incandescent light bulbs to the more energy efficient, compact fluorescent light bulb (the swirly looking kind). They save up to 3x more energy!

4. Maximize Natural Light When you're not insulating from heat, open the shades to light your home the with natural light.

5. Cold Wash When doing laundry, select the cold water wash instead of the warm. You'll save using energy from heating it.

Because you'll be saving energy you'll also decrease your energy bills! Cheers to saving!


1. Conserve It's common to hear we should take shorter showers, but it can be hard to cut our time. Take small steps. Try not to waste time standing under the water and not washing. Use your shower time to shower! Also, turning the water off while shaving and turning off the sink while brushing your teeth can help conserve gallons.

2. Drinking Water Invest in a reusable water bottle. If preferred, filtered. Sophia and I love ours! It's an easy way to cut down on waste and it helps you to stay hydrated.


1. The 3 R's
Try not to use as many plastic bags at the store, and opt out of them when you can. Also use a reusable water bottle to be healthy and green instead of purchasing bottled drinks.
When eating only make and take as much food as you know you will eat. Food production is another issue because of negative impacts on the environment.

Most plastic bags are saying it nowadays, but they do come in handy and it's better to reuse them then throw them away. You can also buy cloth bags for food shopping, but be careful when handling meats.

Reuse containers, paper, bags, and stay away from unnecessary packaging.

Recycle any aluminum, plastic, paper, cardboard, and glass. Most recycling today offers collection of all. Here's a list of what is recyclable. Also, try to repair electronics and if not repairable, discard properly.

Recycle clothes by not only thrifting but donating any of your old clothes back to the thrift stores. Consignment shops such as Buffalo Exchange are available to trade or sell your more stylish items.

1. "Meatless Mondays". Although meat production may not be a popular or favorite topic, it creates a large carbon foot print. You can help the environment and decrease your risk of heart disease by not eating meat everyday.

2. Coffee Drinker? Next time try to buy kinds labeled fair trade. This means that instead of there being no regulations over coffee, there are ones practiced that help disadvantaged farmers.

I hope my tips helped you out some. Help out in your little way and be more courteous to the environment. Stay sustainable!


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