If you're serious about going green, here are some easy steps you can take to make it happen. Yes, installing Fluorescent bulbs throughout the home and driving a hybrid can do a lot, but some of these you may not have thought of.

  1. Hitting the right water temperature: Things like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, washing dishes, and so forth require a lot of water. Of course, we all love the soothing hot water as we bathe, but a nice warm temperature does just fine. Avoiding hot temperatures takes it easy on the boiler, which results in a smaller oil bill. This may not be the case for apartment dwellers, but taking it easy on the building's boiler can help on overall energy consumption (tell the neighbors!).
    Sub-Tip: You jump in the shower and turn the hot and cold water knobs to steady flow. The temperature is too cold, so what do you do? Instead of ADDING more hot water, try lessening the amount of cool water flow. This will save water, and the amount of heat generated by the boiler.
  2. Shut off and unplug: Done charging something? Unplug it. Not using computer speakers? Shut them off. Putting the computer to sleep? Shut it down. Don't charge something unless it needs charging. On top of that, keep chargers unplugged since they use up energy even though nothing is charging. Easy solution to most problems: A power strip/surge protect, something you should already have. Sleep/Stand-by mode still wastes energy, don't do it!
  3. Saving those plastic bags! Whenever you get plastic bags, save them! You never know what you can use them for. Yes, they make great garbage bags but they're terrible for the environment. Instead, try BioBags! For things like groceries and general carry-around stuff, cloth bags work best. They can be found everywhere for cheap prices so don't go saying they're too much or they're hard to find.
  4. Appliance Etiquette: Avoid paper towels for drying/cleaning things - Instead, use a cloth towel. Make sure you're using Energy Star compliant appliances; dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator, air conditioner, etc. If not, ensure future purchases to be efficient as possible. Saving the planet AND your energy bill is a great feeling! Specifics: 1) Shut off A/C when no one is home. 2) Lower fridge cooling levels by a notch or two when possible. 3) Replace all filters as directed by the manufacturer - dirty filters decrease efficiency and increase energy consumption.
  5. Great Resources: Visit these websites for all the information about being green and environmentally friendly: Some of these are great blogs, organizations, retailers, and people who want to make a difference. Join in and have a blast!

I hope you enjoy these websites as much as I do. Learning about all the different things that are being done is great! Dare I say it? Yes. Help fight the destruction of our planet!