Many families make weight loss or financial New Year’s resolution goals at the start of the year. Why not break the fad and make green living resolutions this year instead? Below are some family eco-friendly tips to start reducing waste, saving water, cutting energy consumption and save natural resources. Pick one or two ideas here and get going!
>Zero Cost Resolutions<
Fill Your Freezer – It takes more energy to cool air than ice. Have the kids fill up empty milk jugs or two liter bottles with water and stick them in the empty spaces in your freezer.
Hypermiling – By using optimal driving habits, you can actually exceed manufacturers’ expected gas mileage of a vehicle through hypermiling. Check out EcoTrekker’s page with tons of tips. Avoiding idling, park facing out and coasting instead of breaking are just the start of obtaining the best mileage possible to cut gas usage.
>Minimal Cost Resolutions<
Commit to Cloth – Use up all your paper towels and paper napkins and never buy another pack. Rags are better at cleaning up dinnertime spills while cloth napkins feel so much fancier and can be a buck apiece. Using durable cloth products saves trees, packaging and transport costs. Just wash napkins with your towels and rags with your rugs. No extra laundry, I promise!
Rechargeable Batteries – Kids toys and games really hog a lot of batteries! Start buying rechargeables to reduce waste, save money down the road and natural resources.
Always Use Silverware – Now use up or donate all your plastic, “disposable” cutlery and get a hold of some inexpensive silverware for your gatherings. Most of my “partyware” was given to me by a friend who replaced her silverware for a newer model. I also thrifted some silver and can easily serve 30+ people without landfilling a single piece of tableware. Just make sure your kid doesn’t invite the entire class plus their families for your next birthday party!
Join a CSA – A community supported agriculture program will connect your family with a farm to buy locally grown food. The kids will understand that food doesn’t only come from a store and your carbon footprint will be greatly reduced by means of transportation costs. Fresh food also lasts longer, has more nutrients and tastes better!
CLFs or LED bulbs – First, use natural daylight when you can. Do you really need to further illuminate your kitchen while the sun is shining? When it is time to turn on the lights, invest in compact fluorescent bulbs (CLF) which use about a fourth of the energy of a traditional bulb. LED (light emitting diode) bulbs are newer on the market and still more expensive but save even more energy and last much longer. Learn a ton more at Energy.gov.
Visit my contributor’s page for ideas on composting, cloth diapers, eco-friendly laundry, recycling, natural nail polish and more. This is obviously the very tip of the green living ideas iceberg! What else does your family do to keep it green?