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Living greener doesn’t mean that you need to go out and buy a hybrid vehicle, energy-efficient appliances, and start composting right this minute. There are some very simple, inexpensive changes that every family can do to lessen their environmental impact as well as save their family some money in the process. I have included some of the simple things that my family does to be more green.
Use recycled batteries.
This is a new product that I am very excited about because batteries are necessary for so many things, but they create a large amount of waste. Now Energizer, the longest lasting alkaline ever, has just come out with the first battery made with recycled batteries and materials. This is a game changer.
The batteries in one of our remote controls died and I was all out of AA batteries so I went to my local Walmart for some new ones. I found the brand new Energizer EcoAdvanced batteries at the front of the store in the battery kiosk. I was happy to see that they are available in the two most popular sizes, AA and AAA. Perfect for my remote control needs.
Stop paper mail.
If you’re still getting paper bills in the mail then you can go to the company’s website and choose the electronic billing option. Most businesses have this option now.
Make your own laundry detergent.
Commercial laundry detergents often have ingredients in them that are potentially harmful to the environment and may have some questionable health effects. There are many green laundry detergents that work well on the market or you could make your own.
Install a programmable thermostat.
We have seen a big difference in our energy consumption and utility bills since installing our programmable thermostat. They are available at many price points from the simple to the high-tech WiFi models that allow you to program the unit while you’re away from home.
Use UNpaper towels.
I admit it, I am a paper towel addict. I use them for everything which is so wasteful. I recently decided that I was going to start using UNpaper towels and I love them. My dear friend made these or me with snaps so I can roll them on an old paper towel tube by snapping them together as I roll them around the tube. They fit perfectly on my paper towel holder so they are out in the open and available whenever someone needs to use one.
Repurpose plastic shopping bags.
When you get home from the grocery store with your big pile of plastic bags, what do you do with them? Do you throw them away or do you repurpose them? Try using them as small garbage bags, to clean up litter boxes and pet waste, put them on your wiper blades and side mirrors in wintry weather, use them as packing material, or leave one in your diaper bag for wet clothes or dirty diapers. The possibilities are endless.
Switch to reusable grocery bags.
Even better, switch to reusable bags. Not only are reusable bags prettier and more environmentally friendly, they’re stronger than plastic bags. What’s worse than having a bag break while you’re bringing it into the house? Especially if it has eggs or jars in it.
Use fewer chemicals.
Household cleaning products are filled with nasty ingredients. You could buy a non-toxic cleaner or use plain white vinegar for many clean-up jobs. If you don’t want your house to smell like a salad, infuse the vinegar with some orange or lemon peels for a few days.
Recycle your K-Cups.
Think about how many cups of coffee just one person drinks in a month and multiply that by a lot! That’s millions of little plastic cups sitting in landfills all over the world. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Recycling your K-Cups is quite easy:
- Get a cutting board, paper towel, or plate because you may make a mess at first.
- For the sake of safety, hold your K-Cup with a pair of tongs.
- Cut under the lip of the cup with a pairing knife while turning the cup.
- Pull off the foil lid and attached filter.
- Throw the filter away and recycle the foil top and plastic cup.
- Tip: you could save the coffee grounds for plant fertilizer and use the plastic cups to start seeds for your flowers or garden vegetables.