September 18th, 2013

What are some of the smaller things you're doing to 'go green'?

We collect rain water in two very large buckets. We use the water for washing off things (lawn chairs, the drive-way, etc) and for watering our plants.

I don't know if this does much to help, but I try not to use the lights unless I need them. So if i'm showering in the morning I know I don't need the light, and I don't use the light for just using the bathroom either.

Instead of using the dryer we hang our clothes on the line.

And of course, we recycle everything we can.

I'm asking because maybe there are some things I can learn that would help more.
A few other things we've been doing.

Mom walks to work instead of driving.

We use our own bags when going to stores.

we re-use our ziplocs sometimes (just wash them out and hang them on the line to dry)

and of course i go with that 'rule' for the toilet of flushing. xD

When warming up my shower in the morning, i only turn it on to full hot water, not half hot/half cold. Then, when it warms up, only then do i switch on the cold water. No sense wasting the cold water while you're simply waiting for the hot water to warm up.

Toilets....this sign should be above all toilets: "If it's yellow, let it mellow... if it's brown, flush it down." We do that and it saves hundreds of flushes.

Never flush the toilet of course, after you have simply thrown a tissue in there.

Don't put your used tooth floss into the toilet, throw it in the garbage (it gums up the city's systems when you do that.)

Everyone out there with short hair... give up your blow dryer... you'll see that it really doesn't take long at all to dry it with a towel and a few extra minutes.

Public bathroom... "Why use two, when one will do??" Don't grab 2-3 paper towels, either use the hand blow dryer or just grab one paper towel. Yes, you will notice that one paper towel doesn't quite dry your hands 100%, but by the time you make it back to your desk, voila, your hands are dry.

Driving... I now always look way up the road to see the colour of the lights ahead and immediately let go of the gas pedal and coast when a light ahead has turned yellow. I'm amazed that about 20% of my driving is now coasting, not using the gas or the brakes. Take off slowly from a standstill. Let go of the gas pedal well before you need to make a turn, and normally you will not need to use your brakes going around the corner. Gravity will slow you down. All of these techniques will save lots of gas and save you money in replacing your disk brakes. I now have determined that I can get from point A to point B, rarely ever having to use my brakes.... ever time you touch your brakes, you are leaving a carbon footprint...think about it that way.

Floss.... when you pull out about 10 inches of floss to floss your teeth, after flossing, don't cut off all 10 inches and throw it away. Just cut off about 4 inches and therefore next time you floss you will still get a fresh piece of floss to use.

Ice in drinks... Only put as much ice in your drink as will melt during the time that you're drinking your drink. If you have to throw out ice at the end of your drink, you used to much ice. It takes lots of energy to create ice.

Refrigerator. Fill any type of container (pans/juice containers, etc. etc.) and put them in your garage to freeze. Then when they're frozen, put them in your refrigerator. As they melt, they cool down your refrigerator, actually requiring the refrigerator to need to get turned on much less frequently. Then, when they have melted, put them back in the garage and repeat the process.

Dryer... yes, much better to air dry your stuff, but if you want to use your dryer, empty out the lint tray before you start your dryer load, and then empty out the lint tray again when the cycle is half complete. A full lint tray adds a lot to your energy bill and can also be a fire hazard. (While you're add it, clean out the lint catcher which is where your dryer vent goes through your exterior brick wall...this is also a fire hazard.)

Glasses... never use any type of tissue to clean your glasses... keep a cloth around to do that (or use the corner of a t-shirt in the laundry basket).

Stop using paper napkins whenever you're eating, at home or out. A. make a point of not being so messy, and B. you're probably going to wash your hands after the meal anyways.

Washer... wash all loads in cold water... the cold water detergents now work just as good as the hot water detergents...

Food... Have you noticed that most people tend to throw out the last 3-6% of the food on their plate? That's a huge energy waster. Make a point of using smaller plates, putting less food on your plate, only get seconds if you know you can finish it, and always always finish 100% of the food on your plate. Same goes for leftovers in the fridge. Always finish those before making fresh stuff...you'll be less likely to end up throwing it out a few days later.

...hope that helps... :)

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