When Disaster Strikes
On January 28, 1969, a well drilled by Union Oil Platform A, off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, blew out spilling more than three million gallons of oil and killing more than 10,000 seabirds, dolphins, seals, and sea lions.
As a reaction to this disaster, activists were mobilised to create environmental regulation, environmental education, and Earth Day – and on 22nd April 2024 will mark the 54th year anniversary of Earth Day.
Below are a few green living tips you can apply at home to help protect and preserve the Earth for future generations.
People are drawn to a green-living lifestyle for a variety of reasons, whether it is sound environmental practices, cost-savings initiatives, or the opportunity to instil positive values in the younger generation.
Fortunately, green living satisfies all these areas simultaneously, while offering other benefits at the same time.
Today, more than ever, with the recent COVID 19 pandemic, we are spending more time in our homes, which is why it’s essential for us to do our bit and practice a green-living lifestyle in order to make a serious impact.
The following tips can help you make your home an eco-friendlier environment and start living a greener way of life today.
Pursue energy star options
An easy cost-saving, green-living upgrade that doesn’t require any change in lifestyle is the replacement of outdated appliances or electronics with Energy Star models that provide.
The bigger the appliance, the larger the savings, but even replacing the home’s outdated incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star LED bulbs can save $30-80 over the lifetime of each light.
Create less waste
Have you ever thought about how much waste and rubbish you throw out each day?
From food containers, plastic wrappers, paper towels, polystyrene trays and much more! There are many green-living alternatives to our waste-creating habits.
For example, purchasing a durable water bottle eliminates the need for plastic bottled water, and using inexpensive tote bags for shopping errands eliminates the need for plastic bags that will later be thrown away or used as ‘garbage bags’.
Pay bills online and always opt for paperless communication to cut back on the amount of waste paper you create, as well.
Source your food locally
Don’t have a veggie patch in your yard? Why not source your food from local farmer markets!
The shorter the distance that food travels from the farm to your dinner table, the less greenhouse gas emissions are generated, and energy used. If you’re unable to access a farmer’s market, try looking at local sections in your supermarket to source locally produced meat, dairy, and produce.
If the food is organic and grown without releasing damaging chemicals into the environment, all the better.
Don’t let there be light
Turning off the lights in an empty room is an energy-saving tip that predates the green-living movement, but it remains a good habit to follow for those interested in an eco-friendly lifestyle.
In addition, those interested in conserving energy should reserve artificial light for tasks that require it. Opening the curtains to welcome sunlight during the day can often provide all the light that is necessary.
At night, try to go as long as possible before finally turning the lights on.
And, as long as it’s safe, try lighting a candle to create some romantic ‘mood lighting’ in your home or when you’re simply relaxing with a book.
Use green cleaning products
Have you ever stopped to really considered what it is you’re spraying onto your kitchen bench each day?
Some of the cleaning products purchased from the supermarket can have negative effects on the environment, not to mention your own health. You can concoct healthy, green cleaners using common household items like baking soda and vinegar that will get your home clean and shiny without the harmful side effects.
Embrace cooler water
Adjusting the home’s ‘hot’ water heater to between 48 and 54 degrees Celsius (120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit) reduces the energy and financial expense required to run the appliance.
As a side benefit, you reduce your risk of scalding by using the lower temperature. It is also more eco-friendly to opt for cold water rather than hot when washing clothing.
Cultivate a green yard
Don’t forget the area outside your house when enhancing your green lifestyle. Look for plants that don’t require much water, plant trees for shade and wind breaks, and avoid harsh herbicides and pesticides to help cultivate a yard that is more in tune with the surrounding nature.
Here’s a simply ‘homemade oil spray insecticide’ to get you started.
A homemade insecticide made from vegetable oil mixed with a mild soap (such as Dr. Bronner’s castile soap) can have a devastating effect on certain troublesome insects, such as aphids, mites, thrips, etc.
To make a basic oil spray insecticide, mix 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of soap (cover and shake thoroughly), and then when ready to apply, add 2 teaspoons of the oil spray mix with 1 quart of water, shake thoroughly, and spray directly on the surfaces of the plants which are being affected by the little pests.
The oil coats the bodies of the insects, effectively suffocating them, as it blocks the pores through which they breathe.
Eliminate useless energy waste
Even those most dedicated to green living at home waste energy via household items that are not in use. Tour the home and look for leaky faucets that need to be fixed, electronics and chargers that can be unplugged, and computers that need to be completely shut off, not just place in ‘sleep mode’.
All of these adjustments will improve your family’s green-living lifestyle.
Find alternatives to throwing away
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure..
Objects that appear to be past their point of usefulness may have life yet in the hands of someone else. Before throwing the object away, determine if it can be recycled, donated, or even sold to someone else.
Lastly, consider whether the item may be repurposed in some way – such as turning a jar into a flower pot or a tire into a swing.
Choose cloth over paper
Whether repurposing old t-shirts as cleaning rags or investing in towels, cloth presents an eco-friendlier alternative to paper.
A cloth rag can last for years, whereas used paper gets thrown out immediately.
Use cloth towels for cleaning projects, cloth napkins for meals, and where possible cloth diapers for children.
Look for sources of green energy
Electricity produced by wind and solar energy is dramatically more friendly to the environment than using fossil fuels, and renewable generating facilities are expanding rapidly all over the country.
That means more opportunities for you to use green energy in your home and know that you’re doing your part to reduce carbon emissions. Click here for more!
Enlist your friends and family
Every person you bring onboard to a green lifestyle multiplies the impact that you can make on your own.
Teach your kids about conservation around the house and encourage other friends and family members to think green, and you’ll by surrounded by an eco-friendly community in no time.
Share these tips and help others embrace green living at home.