There are many things we can all do at home to help out our environment, the following are some tips from HG-TV that we could all use:
- Use that BBQ! You knew grilling was a healthy way to cook, but did you know it was good for the air? Outdoor grills take less energy than electric kitchen stoves. They also keep heat out of the house, lowering air conditioning costs. Stick with grills that use propane or natural gas; they emit 5.6 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per hour while a charcoal grill belches 11 pounds of the air-polluting compound for the same.
- Upgrade your monitor! An LCD flat panel model uses as little as a third of the electricity of conventional tube-based models, saving you on your power bill the equivalent of leaving a 50-watt bulb on all year.
- Buy local organic foods. Organic food tastes better and it’s kinder to the earth. Thirty percent of the fossil fuel used on farms goes into the making of fertilizers. Get greener by buying items grown or produced within 100 miles and you’ll reduce the amount of diesel fuel needed to ship food. You can get fresher food and help small-scale agriculture by shopping at neighborhood farmers’ markets
- Buy eco friendly paint. If you feel a little woozy after painting the bedroom with latex-based enamel, choose a product low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) instead. New designer colors and improved quality make these safer paints equivalent to standard ones and they benefit your health as well as the planet’s.
- Upgrade your light bulbs. You’ve heard that replacing old light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones can trim 5 percent from your monthly electricity bill. But this doesn’t mean you have to live beneath the ugly glow of low-end fluorescent bulbs. Go for the premium fluorescents that cast a pure white or buttery golden light across your interior. The cost difference? Bargain basement fluorescent bulbs cost between $3 and $5; the higher grade ones cost $9 to $12.
- Talked to the garbage man lately? Chances are you’re doing a few things with your recyclables that drive him crazy. Local recycling practices vary, but there are some universal no-nos.
- Shopping bags never go in your bins, even if they do organize the empty wine bottles nicely. Look on the bottom of your plastic items for a number and only put the articles with a 1 or 2 in your bin; most areas don’t take the ones with higher numbers. Don’t put light bulbs, broken glass, or bits of food in your bin, either. They gum up the process and make your waste professionals feel a little, well, tossed aside.