Happy New Year! Start out the New Year right! Dedicate this year to living in a more eco-friendly manner! Many people think that being green is hard to do, time consuming, or expensive but it doesn’t have to be. There are many small, daily changes you can make in your life that can have a huge positive effect on the environment. Here are a few quick eco-friendly tips that are inexpensive, simple to do, and don’t take a lot of time.
Reduce vampire energy!
Many appliances consume A LOT of energy when they aren’t being used and are left plugged in, even when they are turned off. Unplug appliances when they aren’t being used: this will save a lot of energy and will reduce your energy usage. In addition, don’t leave appliances like computers and cell phones plugged in all day or all night; unplug them when they are finished charging. If some appliances need to be plugged in all the time (like lights etc) try plugging them into a power strip (power strips only draw energy when they are turned on). Unplugging appliances or using power strips is not only eco-friendly and green, but will also reduce your energy bill in the long run.
Reduce waste, and green your cleaning routine with cloth towels!
Save trees, money, and reduce waste by using cloth towels for cleaning and drying items, instead of using paper towels. Kitchen towels can be cleaned in the wash with your other laundry. I use a lot of towels (I am always washing my hands and cleaning) and many years ago I began to pay attention to how many paper towels I actually used in a day. I was amazed at how many I used and threw way, so I switched to using cloth towels. I still use the occasional paper towel but for most cleaning and drying jobs I use cloth towels now. Kitchen hand towels and dish towels are usually inexpensive (many stores sell them in a value pack, or buy them when they are on sale), and they will save you money in the long run (since you don’t have to buy a roll of paper towels anymore or as often).
Green your laundry routine!
I’ve previously written about using only cold water to wash clothes (most of the energy used when using a washing machine is to heat the water), using eco-friendly cleansers (like soap nuts or greener detergents), and using natural stain and odor removers, but another quick and simple laundry tip is to always do a full load of laundry (don’t do a partial or ‘small’ load of laundry). Doing a full load of laundry can save energy: doing one full load of laundry uses less energy than doing a couple smaller loads. If you only have a couple items that you need to wash, try waiting until you have more clothes to wash, or hand wash (and air dry) them.
Links to previous Eco Living articles on laundry cleaning:
Natural stain and odor removal:
Soap nuts for laundry, house cleaning, and skin care:
Using cold water to wash your laundry:
More green house cleansers (green house cleaning on a budget):
For more eco-friendly tips read my previous Eco Living articles, or my Eco blog: Solarkat’s Eco Blog.
Here are some online eco articles that I found:
An excellent article on vampire energy appliances:
A good overview on how to save energy when doing laundry:
Article on energy efficient washing machines (includes some statistics and also info on different types of machines) by the California Energy Commission: http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/home/appliances/washers.html
Very good overview on energy efficiency tips (not only for laundry machines but for refrigerators, cooking, dishwashers, etc).
Please visit Earth Alkemie: my all natural, eco-friendly, vegetarian skin care and mineral makeup line.
About The Author:
Li Wong has a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Biology) and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy. She has been crafting natural cosmetics and studying aromatherapy and herbalism since 2001, and is currently a student of Jeanne Rose’s Aromatherapy Studies Course. Environmental interests include conservation, botany, ethnobotany (uses of plants by indigenous peoples), mammals, organic standards in cosmetics, urban wildlife issues, environmental education and awareness, and public perception. She is the owner of Earth Alkemie, an all natural, vegetarian skin care and mineral makeup company.