Here is what I have done to become more eco-friendly and my advice to you...
This year was the first time I have ever made a New Year's resolution. Some years I didn't have anything I thought was substantial enough to make a resolution about, but most times I would think of resolutions mid-year and didn't want to wait until Dec. 31 to make a formal promise about my behavior. This year though, I had great timing and just before New Year's Eve, I decided that I had mastered being vegan and was ready to challenge myself and my ethics in a new way. My resolution was to be more eco-friendly, or as popular culture has dubbed it, "green." However, instead of buying LED light bulbs or taking showers less often, I developed a set of my own rules to play by. Below are five of the most useful tricks to (slowly but surely) become eco-friendly that you might not instantly think of:
Don't use wall chargers.
Rather than charging your phone at home or at work, plug it into a car charger while you are driving. For people like me who have a 2-3 hour commute everyday, there's plenty of time to use the power from your car to keep your phone running. Also, if you have an iPhone, the battery charges faster if you turn the phone off, which limits the amount of energy you are using and stops yourself from texting and driving. Double win!
Eat mostly raw.
I know this sounds crazy to a lot of people, but eating raw is a wonderful way to save electricity and gas. While there's a debate between whether using electric or gas-powered utilities is more eco-friendly, if you don't cook your food all together then you avoid wasting both. Also, raw fruits and veggies are said to be the healthiest foods in our diet, so you'll be making a wise eating choice at the same time.
Turn the shower off when you're lathering up.
There's no need to have the water running at full speed when you're shampooing your hair, scrubbing your body or shaving. Turn the faucet off during these times as well as while brushing your teeth and then turn it back on to rinse off. There's something about doing this that makes you feel cleaner, I promise, and you'll be surprised how much money and water you'll be saving.
Invest in a bike.
And don't be lazy. I don't drive my car anywhere around my neighborhood or on the weekends. I ride my bike and I walk. I understand that not everyone lives three blocks from the grocery store and across the street from a coffee shop, but there are weekends that I have gone to several different locations around my neighborhood (the liquor store, to lunch, to get groceries, to exercise, etc.) that weren't just a short stroll away. This is great for cutting back on gas emissions, such as when you are sitting in your car at a red light andlimiting the pollution in our air.
Light candles instead of lamps.
When I get home in the evening I try my best not to turn on lamps. Instead I use candles to see what I'm cooking and reading, and to just lounge about. When it gets really dark and the candlelight is no longer sufficient, I go to bed. This cuts back on electricity use and I'm obviously a well-rested individual. Of course, you should make sure that your candles are made out of soy wax rather than paraffin wax, as the latter is actually more detrimental to the environment than light bulbs.
I'd love to see some content around how to host sustainable events. I'm a part-time volunteer for the City of Hoboken, and chair the event committee. I've been looking for articles on this, but can't seem to find as much information as I'd like.
Hoping you can fill in the gaps!
Here is my idea to make the world a greener place:
It’s easy even for the most environmentally conscious among us to forget ourselves a little bit when we’re relaxing under a steady stream of hot, soothing water. But water tends to come gushing out of showerheads so fast, it’s easy to lose track of just how much we’ve used. If you had a Waterpebble, however, it would be as simple as looking down at the ground. This weird little gadget monitors the amount of water that reaches the drain as you’re showering and displays either a green, yellow or red light. But that’s not all it does – it’s a shower miser, automatically reducing your shower time every day.
It’s a portable energy generator. It’s an incentive to get together and exercise. It’s a soccer ball. What can’t it do? The Soccket is probably one of the most creative oddball green energy generators yet, but what makes it stand out is the fact that it’s so practical. The ball, which captures the energy created when it’s kicked, dribbled or thrown, is designed for use in resource-poor areas where connection to the grid is difficult or impossible.
What do you think??
Can you put together an article for best practices for wiring up a smart home?
Working with an old school architech for our new home, and he's not to keen on new technology.
We need to direct him to some good info to avoid this!!
I love these products and I want to see them sold by all the great online retailers!
No animal testing
Low detergent soaps
Safe for babies, pets and the environment!
Anybody with me?
I would like to see a smartphone app that turns energy saving into a competition among my friends and neighbors.
We could share and compare consumption statistics and get push notifications informing everyone how well they are doing compared with their friends in a weekly energy efficiency contest. Vote for it!