We all hear the big plans politicians and environmentalists have to cut down greenhouse gas emissions, reduce carbon footprint, mitigate climate change and so on, but are we, as individuals, making that step towards saving our planet, or we are simply waiting for somebody else to do it for us?
We, at The Green Optimistic, always try to show you the latest and most effective ways to help you go “green” and contribute towards a better and cleaner world.
The first step is to start with your home. This article will show you what you can do in each one of the rooms in your house in order to reduce global warming and at the same time cut down on your electricity consumption.
1. Something you can do in all rooms
- Start by turning off all appliances when you don’t use them. It might sound obvious, but you will be surprised how many people go on a holiday and leave electronics on stand-by, or microwaves and toasters plugged in. And these do not even include the forgotten lights!
- Instead of turning up the heater, try to wear an extra layer of clothes. Of course, if this does not work, make sure all doors and windows towards unused areas in the house are closed. The same rule applies when using air-conditioning.
- When you need to replace a bulb, invest in a fluorescent or an LED one. They last a lot longer and are known to use a lot less electricity. And remember to turn them on only if opening the blinds does not make the room light enough.
- Switch to rechargeable batteries- you can use them a lot longer and you do not need to worry about disposing.
- Make sure you invest in your insulation. It will definitely pay off.
2. The study room
- Unplug all cords that connect printers, scanners, speakers, external hard-drives and all appliances that are not used continuously.
- There is always the chance that you cannot turn off your computer, but to save on energy, explore the stand-by options and switching to low-power usage.
- Always recycle and reuse toners and ink cartridges
- Find applications for old floppy discs- building a small bird feeder or a bag, could be a good start
- Buy recycled paper, or even better- make it yourself.
- Invest in an LCD monitor- it not only gives a better picture, but it also generates much less emissions.
3. The bathroom
- Collect the water that you usually let run while waiting for the shower to heat up, and use it to flush the toilet or water the house plants.
- Replace heat lamps by normal lights (preferably LED ones, as we suggested earlier)
- Dry your clothes on the washing line outside.
- Do not let the water run while you brush your teeth and use a towel to dry your hair.
- Invest in an AAA shower head to save on water, and make sure all leaky taps are fixed.
- Use economy dishwashers or washing machines.These are definitely investments worth making.
4. The kitchen
- A good start here is to collect all compost materials such as peelings and cores of fruits and vegetables. You can put them into a great use later on (and we will show you how in the next section)
- Try to buy food, which is not heavily packaged. Also a good tip is to buy bigger packages- instead of 24 cans, buy a few large bottles.
- When buying cooking oil sprays, make sure they have the sign ‘It is OK to Spray’. These do not damage the ozone layer.
5. The garden, the garage, the inside and outside of the car
- Collect rainwater. You can always use it to water the plants later.
- Offer your colleagues to share a car to work.
- The compost that you collected in the kitchen you can lay down onto some old newspapers in the corner of the garden, or collect it in a composting bin.
- Set your water heater on a “holiday mode” when you are away.
- Plant trees, bushes, flowers, herbs and why not start your little vegetable garden.
Special thanks to Instructables user Stranoster for the brilliant ideas and pictures.