Saturday, May 10, 2008

Five Ways to Keep Your Family Green

ARA- It seems everything is going “green” these days. The good news is that it’s also easier than ever before for your family to reduce its eco-footprint to help the environment both inside and outside of your home.

Let “earth friendly” be your family’s new mantra by adopting a few simple, yet effective tips from Hannah Keeley, founder of TotalMom.com.

Watch Your Waste
The supermarket checkout line is one place where the battle for the environment is often lost. Next time you’re at the grocery store, keep a close eye on the amount of wasteful packaging that’s going into your shopping cart and try to choose eco-friendlier options. For example, instead of individually-packaged single servings, look for larger quantities that can be divided into smaller, reusable containers once you get home. Make your own lunch instead of purchasing packaged meals. Bring a reusable bag to carry your purchases. A good rule of thumb: the less packaging, the better.

Save Your Energy
Conventional energy use goes hand-in-hand with carbon emissions, so do the earth and your wallet a favor by cutting the amount of energy consumed at your home. Simply turning the thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer can save energy. You can cut cooling costs up to six percent for every degree you raise your thermostat in the summer. Another option is installing a programmable thermostat like the American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning Comfort Control that will automatically adjust temperatures throughout the day, ensuring greater energy efficiency in your home, even when you’re not there.

Go Easy on the Gas
Consider setting up a carpool for school or work to save on gas. Consolidate your errands to one day during the week and map out a route that is as fuel efficient as possible. If you feel like you are constantly on the road, you may want to think about dropping a few activities and cultivating the fine art of hanging out at home. Be sure to check out public transportation -- a more fuel efficient and inexpensive ride may be right around the corner.

Clean Smart
Chemicals are used all over your home -- they make the sink shine, the air smell fresh and the floor practically glow. The majority of these chemicals are not only dangerous to your health but also harmful to the environment. Reduce the amount of chemicals entering in to the water supply by making your own cleaners: simple baking soda is a great scouring powder; vinegar works wonders on glass and mirrors; and plain old Castile soap cleans practically everything.

Don’t Overlook the Little Things
No matter how small you may think it is, any action to help the earth is a big step on the road to being greener. Replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent blubs. Cut your showers by a few minutes. Wash your clothes in cold water. Cut down on trash by composting your vegetable scraps.

Most importantly, make it a family affair. Teach your children how to care for the earth while they are still young. There are many simple things you can do to go green (not to mention save money), so make it a family adventure and start today.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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