Green Living: Ideas for Recycling and Reducing our Carbon Footprint

Green Living is all about recycling and harnessing natural, sustainable resources, living a simple life and reducing the ecological footprints that are affecting our planet. And while we are talking about carbon footprints, use ourcarbon footprint calculator to see how big your footprint really is.

Recyling = This is the keyword to creating environment that is eco-friendly and for going green.

Whether you are a flat-dweller, a home owner or homesteading, we can all do our bit to help prevent more damage to our already ailing world. Why wait – go green today! In the  section on Ways to go Green. We should be aiming at simple living, being self sufficient,  ways to recycle, amd ways to go green in your home and in your garden.

Ways to Go Green in your Home – Recycle

Anything can be used in your home to go green, you just need a little imagination with what you can use to recycle into another use, other than what it was originally made to do.

* Use an old toothbrush for scrubbing dirt in those hard to get to places, particularly round taps in the bathroom. You can also put some toothpaste on your old toothbrush and clean the diamonds on your rings.

* When you go shopping try and use reusable bags instead of the plastic bags provided. Or, shop where they offer biodegradable plastic bags. If you bring home the plastic bags store them for further use, rather than throwing them all away.

* Recycle bottles, papers and plastics where possible. Where you can’t, try and find an organization who will come and collect each of these items in bulk from time to time, or canvass your local municipalities to start a recycling rubbish collection system. For every 907 kilograms of paper recycled, 17 trees are saved from being cut down.

* You could also start another collection for aluminum tins. Recycling one aluminum tin can save enough electricity to light a bulb for 3 hours.

Other Ways to Go Green in your Home

* Anything that contains a filter such as air conditioners, dishwashers and washing machines should be cleaned out regularly. This is to reduce the energy it is using to power these machines.

* Look for green appliances when you go shopping. Computers and kitchen appliances that are green will reduce the energy used. A good way of telling whether they are energy efficient is to check the labelling on the product.

* Using hot water to wash your clothes costs around seven times more than a cold wash.

* Avoid using ventilation fans in the kitchen and bathroom, as it sends out too much cooled air from houses that are using air conditioners to keep cool.

* Try not to use your air conditioners unnecessarily. Switch them off in rooms that you won’t be using, especially areas like the living room of a night time.

* Cover cracks around doors and windows in areas that are being cooled by air conditioners. This will prevent the loss of cooled air, and keep the room cooler for longer.

* Change your light bulbs to more energy efficient fluorescent ones. These save 45 kilograms of carbon per light bulb and reduces your energy use by 50-70 percent.

* Don’t forget to turn off your electronic devices such as computer monitors, printers and wall plugs. The waste adds up! Battery charges left plugged in waste up to 20 times more energy than they actually use to charge.

* Why don’t you think about solar power and living living off-grid?

Ways to Go Green in your Garden

* For the garden it is best to use native plants as these conserve water.

* Use gray water from your washing machine where possible to water your plants.

* Water your pot plants with unfinished glasses and bottles of water.

* Buy a rain barrel and save the water that runs off your roof. You can use this water to water your garden.

Ways to Go Green – Forget the Gym!

* When you join a gym it can be quite expensive. Not only that but it costs a lot energy to run those machines. Instead, use your homes and go green:

* Use objects around the house for weights. Sand-filled bottles can be used as dumbbells.

* Use an old-fashioned skipping rope and skip on the spot.

* Run around the block every morning or evening. Or, if you want to meet new people find a local running track.

* Jogging for 1 hour will save 1,500 watts from using the treadmill. This is enough energy to light up a room for 15 hours!

I remember as a teenager in the 70’s how distressed and disturbed I was when we studied pollution around the world. But what has happened between what we knew then, and what we know now? The difference is that we knew it was there, but we did nothing about it. Now, we acknowledge that the damage has been done, but we if we all work together, and look at how we contribute to minimizing even more damage, we can make a difference.

We hope that you will find this growing resource an inspiration for green living and living a more simple life. We will be giving you information on how to conserve water, both in your house, and in the garden. How to build a composting toilet of your own. We will discuss rain barrels, solar power, wind turbines and green architecture.

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