With all of this talk now about being green, going green, working green, green is somehow becoming over kill. We just need to keep it simple. And we need to do what we can afford. Not everyone can afford to drive a Hybrid car and put solar panels on the roof.
So what can we do to get a start? The best and easiest place to start is with your light bulbs. If you can change out all of the 'old' bulbs with the new efficient ones you can get the easiest start. Don't just run out and buy the bulbs anywhere. You may pay way too much. Look for sales, call around. I found a great deal of four in a box for under $8 and bought enough to do my whole house last year. I think a better buy may exist this year. Look around. These bulbs last 5 times longer and use way less electric to get the lights on.
What is one of the biggest draws on untilities? Heating your water is one. And PLEASE all of you out there who say a hot water heater please stop. It is a water heater. If the water was already hot we would not have to heat it, ok? Wrap your water heater and save big, especially if it is sitting in the cold in your basement or unheated utility room. Along with that wrap the pipes with pipe insulation. It is so easy and cheap concidering the big return you get. With winter just around the corner you need to get on this.
And while you are at it, windows can be a huge loss of heat in the winter or cooling in the summer. Make sure your windows are closing properly and the any cracks are sealed. To better tighten up the window there are all sorts of products to choose from. Spend some time at the hardware store and see what is there. You will be amazed if you have not done this before. And anyone can do this! It's easy-1-2-3...
When you are ready to get new appliances, and certainly not before, do the research an get the most energy efficient models possible. A little research can go a long way. For example look at front load washers. They use less water and spin better to remove water, reducing drying time. Of course reducing dryer use is a huge one. What happened to the solar dryer, that good old clothes line? And don't tell me that the HOA will not allow it.
Then there is recycling. If you live in town it is free, the best kind of thing. But do we all participate to the fullest? Do we participate at all? Sure it is time consuming to seperate out all that stuff. But in the long run it isn't all that complicated and not that big of a hassle. Figure out an easy way that will encourage you to do it and go for it.
Buy Local. This is huge. Support the local farmers and buy from all of those great roadside stands. It tastes better and you get to know the guy who puts the food on your table. Buy from locally owned stores especially if they produce the products they sell locally. It saves the gas to get it here and supports the local economy because those business people spend the money they make here. Where do you think the money goes when you shop at Wal-Mart? Springdale Arkansas is where the home office is for them. How does this help the local economy? If we just think about where we spend our dollars it can help our own home town more than we know.
My Mantra-Reduce and Reuse, and shop local whenever possible.
These are just a few of the things I am training myself to do and live by. What are you doing?
Jerri McCombs, Advanced Virtual Assistant
828/553-5190 or info@JerriMcCombs.com