Going green doesn’t have to be a life-changing decision. You don’t have to rearrange your daily routine and you don’t have to sacrifice your comfort or quality of life to be a little friendlier to the environment.
There are tons of things you can do to reduce your environmental impact, but the following are three very simple things you can do that for whatever reason some people still resist.
1. Recycle! Instead of throwing that aluminum can or plastic bottle in the trashcan, throw it in a recycling bin. It’s what, two feet from the trashcan or a quick step into the garage? Many communities offer curbside recycling programs that make recycling even easier. When you take your trashcans to the curb, take the recycling bins as well. You’ll spend about 30 extra seconds doing so.
If you live in an apartment or condominium, ask your building’s administrative staff if there are recycling bins on the premises. Chances are they’re next to the dumpster or a quick walk from the elevator on the bottom floor. If your community does not have a curbside recycling program or if your building or apartment complex does not offer recycling, look up a local recycling center. There’s a good chance that it’s conveniently located on your way to the market or on your way to school or work.
Plenty of household items can be recycled including plastics, aluminum cans, glass bottles, newspaper and other paper products, cardboard, etc. Check with your community for a complete list of recyclable materials.
2. Turn up your air conditioner. This is easier than recycling. Go to your thermostat and make sure it’s set to 78 degrees. FPL recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees while you’re home and at 82 when you’re not home. You can use a ceiling fan to cool down even more, but make sure that you turn it off when you leave the room, as a ceiling fan does not reduce temperature, but makes us feel cooler.
If you already keep your thermostat set to this level, you’re not only conserving energy, you’re likely saving a good bit of money on your energy bills. If you normally keep your air conditioner set to 76 degrees, 74 degrees, 70 degrees, etc., give 78 degrees a try. Many individuals do not even notice the difference and may even find 78 degrees more comfortable. The higher setting will reduce the amount of energy that your air conditioner uses and thus the amount of money you spend each month on energy. Remember, air conditioning is often one of the biggest energy consumers in your home.
3. Opt instead for green cleaning products. There are plenty of green cleaning products available with multiple brands offering green solutions. Green cleaning products include all-purpose cleaners, surface cleaners, bathroom cleaners, glass cleaners, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, dish soap, etc.
Green cleaners may be a tad more expensive than conventional cleaners and may require a bit more work to reach the same results, but they are just as effective in cleaning the house. In fact, using conventional cleaners may not make your house cleaner; it may just make it a little easier to clean. Don’t get the wrong idea, though, you don’t need to be Lou Ferrigno to get the house clean with green cleaners.