Sunday, August 10, 2008

Go Green

While I know that some of the following suggestions would be impossible in Kuwait, most of them are more than doable. The following article can be found here, for all-inclusive, intact links.

Keep reading for 10 simple things you can do today to help reduce your environmental impact, save money, and live a happier, healthier life.

  1. Save energy to save money.

    Compact Fluorescent Bulb
    Armistead Booker/flickr
    • Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer to save on heating and cooling costs.
    • Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when your older incandescent bulbs burn out.
    • Unplug appliances when you're not using them. Or, use a "smart" power strip that senses when appliances are off and cuts "phantom" or "vampire" energy use.
    • Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. As much as 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water.
    • Use a drying rack or clothesline to save the energy otherwise used during machine drying. If you must use a dryer, consider adding dryer balls to cut drying time.
  2. Save water to save money.

    • Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too.
    • Install a low-flow showerhead. They don't cost much, and the water and energy savings can quickly pay back your investment.
    • Make sure you have a faucet aerator on each faucet. These inexpensive appliances conserve heat and water, while keeping water pressure high.
    • Plant drought-tolerant native plants in your garden. Many plants need minimal watering. Find out which occur naturally in your area.

  3. Less gas = more money (and better health!).

    Bicycle Commuters
    • Walk or bike to work. This saves on gas and parking costs while improving your cardiovascular health and reducing your risk of obesity.
    • Consider telecommuting if you live far from your work. Or move closer. Even if this means paying more rent, it could save you money in the long term.
    • Lobby your local government to increase spending on sidewalks and bike lanes. With little cost, these improvements can pay huge dividends in bettering your health and reducing traffic.

  4. Eat smart.

  5. Skip the bottled water.

  6. Think before you buy.

    Garage Sale
    Michael Reinhart/flickr
    • Go online to find new or gently used secondhand products. Whether you've just moved or are looking to redecorate, consider a service like craigslist or FreeSharing to track down furniture, appliances, and other items cheaply or for free.
    • Check out garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops for clothing and other everyday items.
    • When making purchases, make sure you know what's "Good Stuff" and what isn't.
    • Watch a video about what happens when you buy things. Your purchases have a real impact, for better or worse.

  7. Borrow instead of buying.

    • Borrow from libraries instead of buying personal books and movies. This saves money, not to mention the ink and paper that goes into printing new books.
    • Share power tools and other appliances. Get to know your neighbors while cutting down on the number of things cluttering your closet or garage.

  8. Buy smart.

    • Buy in bulk. Purchasing food from bulk bins can save money and packaging.
    • Wear clothes that don't need to be dry-cleaned. This saves money and cuts down on toxic chemical use.
    • Invest in high-quality, long-lasting products. You might pay more now, but you'll be happy when you don't have to replace items as frequently (and this means less waste!).

  9. Keep electronics out of the trash.

    1000 Cell Phones
    Gaetan Lee/flickr

  10. Make your own cleaning supplies.

    • The big secret: you can make very effective, non-toxic cleaning products whenever you need them. All you need are a few simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and soap.
    • Making your own cleaning products saves money, time, and packaging-not to mention your indoor air quality.

  11. Bonus Item!


intlxpatr said...

I wish I could even just remember my recyclable bag every time I go into a store. If I could just get into that one habit, I would be happy for right now. It helps to have friends that share that value.

Great article, Carly

Carly said...

Hey Intlxpatr,
Yeah, I do the same thing. Every time I get half way to Sultan C., I remember that I left my green bags! Ah, well, I guess eventually it will become second nature.
Thanks and best wishes for your summer! :)

teach said...

Sounds like you are working for Al Tarsheed lol. But some good ideas. Check apart from being weird, it has some green ideas (23) too.

NoNoWa said...

I just saw a pic of a garage sale sign and i had to tell u that- OMG!! I miss garage sales!!!!!!!

great post by the way :)

Carly said...

lol @ nonowa! Yeah, I don't think many Kuwaitis would care for garage sales, do you think? :) They can be fun though, unless of course they are yours, then they can be a pain!

Carly said...

Ooops, sorry, teach, thanks for commenting. I took a look at that site...interesting. :)

NoNoWa said...

Nah!1 I dont think Kuwaitis wud know what to do at a gargae sale!! LOOL

I remember they were pretty fun for me! Cz I was a kid and didnt have to worry abt anything except selling some fresh squeezed lemonade, and some cookies. Of course I consumed most of that, but hey it was a blast!!

I guess it was just the simplicity of it all......

Carly said...

You're right, Nonowa, the simple things of childhood seem to inhabit our memories most. As a mother, I have to remind myself of that frequently. All of the other stuff just isn't as important. :)