Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Saving the environment from the comfort of your home

With changes in the global climate and the impact of modern living on the environment, green living is as important as ever. These five ways to help the environment involve little additional cost or effort. Just a few simple lifestyle changes can help save the world and possibly put some money back into your pocket as well.

Reduce Vampire Energy Waste

With today's technology driven lifestyle, the average home has more electronics than ever. Even when placed in standby mode, these devices are slowly increasing your energy usage. Some of the biggest offenders are televisions, cable set-top boxes, computers and home theater systems. While you are sleeping, these devices are potentially consuming hundreds of dollars of electricity a year.

To help combat these so-called power vampires, companies are producing a variety of power strips and surge protectors designed to detect when a device is not in use. Once the device has entered standby, the power strip then cuts power to the specified outlet. When you enter the room, the power strip applies power to the outlet and you are back to enjoying your favorite movie or checking your email with no delay.

Insulate Your Garage Doors

Every year, people spend money to insulate attics, replace windows or seal doors. Many of them miss one of the easiest ways to increase their heating or cooling efficiency. By insulating your garage doors, you can help to regulate temperatures in one of the largest areas in most homes.

Garage door insulation kits are simple to install. By reducing the costs of heating and cooling in your home, they often pay for themselves in just a few months. This also means you are contributing less to green house emissions and reducing your carbon footprint.

Buy Second Hand When Possible

When you buy an item that is used, you are extending the life of the item. This also means you are keeping functional items out of landfills. Online or local classifieds are a great place to find high-quality second hand items of all shapes and sizes. With a little research and luck, you can often find a perfectly functional device for substantially less than the retail price. From electronics and appliances to clothing and toys, buying used items is a great way to save a little money while helping to save the environment at the same time.

Eliminate Disposable Items

While paper plates, plastic cups or disposable containers are convenient, they are expensive and a leading contributor to waste and landfills. If a family of four serves one meal a day on paper plates, they are contributing over 1000 plates a year to local landfills or dumps. What seems like a simple convenience adds up quickly. When replacing disposable items, consider finding durable replacements made from natural materials. If you cannot replace an item, consider buying in bulk to reduce packaging waste. Every little piece adds up.

Start Composting

One of the best sources of lawn fertilizer and planting material available is right in your own home. Instead of throwing away food waste and other organic matter, consider composting. Everything from paper towels and coffee grounds to lawn clippings and spoiled vegetables make ideal compost starter. Once the compost has matured, it can then be reused throughout the yard as affordable, efficient fertilizer. You can take it one step further by starting your own garden. Each item you grow yourself reduces your carbon footprint substantially.

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