Going Green One Day At A Time

I am writing this because I am interested in doing my part to live a more green life.  I want to be very clear that I have no intentions of becoming totally green and I am betting most who read this won't go entirely green either.  My goal is so simple that people of all ages can follow it and if people utilize the ideas they can make a difference in the world we live in.  

The following are 10 basic ideas that will help you live a more green life.  

Be sure to keep your automotive tires fully inflated to the recommended level.  Under inflated tires require more energy to turn and by utilizing more energy you are burning unnecessary fuel wasting money.  This idea costs nothing and it is one of the simplest methods available to conserve energy.  

When it comes time to change your automotive air filter replace your disposable filter with a reusable air filter.  A very popular reusable air filter brand is K&N which is made of cotton and has a lifetime warranty.  There filters can be quickly and easily cleaned and will outlast your vehicle.  K&N filters also enhance engine air flow and this is like gaining free performance and increased fuel efficiency.

Never drink your morning cup of coffee from a paper, plastic or styrofoam cup again.  Instead consider using a washable and reusable coffee mug or thermos.  Consider the millions of disposable cups that would be saved each day if we all utilized this method.

Eliminate paper and plastic grocery bags entirely.  Utilize reusable tote bags for your grocery shopping and transportation.  These reusable bags come in many different sizes, they are super lightweight and these bags have more uses than just carting groceries.  Storing your lunch, carrying snacks for kids sporting events and the potential uses are pretty much endless.

Eliminate using paper towels and napkins as much as possible.  The best alternative is using wash clothes, cotton napkins and towels.

If you are using a disposable furnace filter consider using an air compressor to blow the dust and dirt out out of it so that you do not have to replace the filter as often.  If you plan to live in your home for many years to come you may want to consider investing in an electronic air filter system.  

Powering down much of your computer gear and technology each day can save a tremendous amount of energy each year and can help you reduce your energy bills.  Computer monitors, laser printers and electrical power strips tend to burn energy even when placed in standby mode.  Many of the commercially available power strips burn power even when the they are not in use by simply being plugged in.  Some experts believe that turning the switch to the off mode will assist while others recommend unplugging the power strip entirely which is the more logical choice.

Adjust your hot water tank to the lowest setting you can that will provide adequate hot water for you and your family.  Hot water tanks have different temperature settings and you may need to play with the settings for a day or two but the end result will worth it.

Make your daily to do lists and shopping lists on the back of a piece of scrap paper instead of using a new piece of paper.  I am continually using the backs of used mailing envelopes for my to do lists around the house and this is paper that otherwise would be considered scrap.  Either way, when you are done with the paper remember to recycle.

There are many times when sending an e-mail is far better than sending a letter.  Not only do you save paper, the envelope, ink or toner and postage but the speed of delivery is pretty much instant. Another benefit is that you are eliminating the delivery method which reduces fuel.  This is an area where I personally need to make some improvements.  One of the ways I stay in touch with my clients is through printed mail and through the use of postcards.  We are striving to get more clients to allow us to communicate by e-mail and each year more and more people allow us to make the switch.  

Next week I will cover 10 additional ideas that will help you live a greener life.

Sam Miller