I am really interested in protecting our environment. I really want to start reducing reusing and recycling---what things can I do in order to save our planet? what are some things that you all are doing--and cost efficent ways?
To 'reduce', the most important thing to look at is our use of fossil fuels. This means the fuel you use in the car - how many trips can you make without getting into the car? Once you're in the car, how many people can go with you (sharing a ride to school etc)? It also means the electricity/heating in your home - turn off lights and appliances when you don't need them, and use low-energy bulbs.
To 'reuse' - well, I like your description on your profile as a 'modern day hippie'. You are probably quite good at reusing if you're a hippie. Buy only things that are made to last, and pass them on to someone else when you don't need them any more. Accept things from other people the same way - clothes, CDs, furniture - there are some good websites where people can swap stuff they no longer need. Either reuse stuff in your own home or make sure someone else can use it.
To recycle - you need to find out what sort of recycling facilities are available to you locally. Aluminium cans are the best things of all to recycle! Plastic, glass and paper recycling is also often available, as are places which collect batteries (very poisonous things), printer cartridges and old mobile phones.
I really like the sound of Silverwing's Mother Earth News. I'm going to look that up!
Best of luck going green... Let us know how you're getting on.
Good advice, mjax1979. I had a tumbledryer when we lived in the north of England and our babies were wearing washable nappies. There was no way out, during the winter. But when they were out of nappies and the dryer broke, we experimented with not replacing it, to see if we could live without it, and save money and energy. We could! We even managed in North Yorkshire, and now we've moved to Sourthern France, we get to use the clothes line for about 8 months of the year. The rest of the year the house is warmed by a wood fire and the clothes dry pretty quickly on airers. So you can use the clothes line for at least part of the year, and save energy.
We do have a dishwasher (busy family of 4) but we always wait until it's full before we set it off, and use the short economy setting unless the dishes are very dirty. That way you use less water and energy and wash more dishes with each run.
And I really agree with the final advice above - just do a few small things and wait until they're easy before taking on a new goal - that's really important.
Actually you can reduce usage by buying things that are used. Clothes etc.. You can obvioulsy recycle, use less power, water, and gas. You can work on living simple. GREAT book -- Radical Simplicity by Jim Merkel. If you want to find out your footprint on the earth - he can direct you.
You can bring your own bags when grocery shopping, you can buy organic and if you really want to get serious you can become vegetarian or eat less meat - healthier for ya as well.
Stop junk mail Snip six-pack rings - They have become an ocean hazard. Use clean detergent Aerate Faucets Turn your water heater down use recharable batteries Read labels and stay away from things that include toxins use no to less chemicals in general Cut down use of water in toilet by adding something like a jar in the tank. one flush uses between 5-7 gallons of water, this will help reduce that. areate shower head use lightbulbs that conserve energy. Buy toilet paper/paper towels that comes from recyclede product. air dry clothes
Two of the appliances in your house that use a lot of energy are your washing machine and your dryer.
Start washing and drying dishes by hand. It's kind of a pain at first, but honestly it will save you on your energy bill and, therefore, reduce your ecological footprint.
I don't know where you live and if it's possible, but hanging your clothes outside on clotheslines to dry in good weather is another option. I see people here in Germany do this often, and it will definately save energy.
Just a couple ideas. Start small, incorporate a new trick into your life each day or week, don't get overwhelmed.
Have you heard of Mother Earth News? You can find it online, and can read their articles or order the magazine.. they have lots and lots of very easy and inexpensive ways in which to help, also, there is some company that is producing earth friendly houses, and using stuff that would normally be thrown away, the houses are very beautiful, and extremely efficient, can't think of the name of them right away, but, they will probably be advertising in Mother Earth. I really enjoy it, and am implementing lots of ideas from there...
You could carpool. Not take long showers. Use conservative lightbulbs. Don't throw trash on the ground. Don't use up much paper or paper towels. Wash as many clothes together as you can fit in the washer/dryer. Getting the idea?
I ain't doin nothin... if the world is going to die from Glabal Warming then at least I am dying in confort... but you could not leave your house for the rest of you life... become Amish and kill all cows on the face of the earth
recycle cans, conserve water, plant trees, and I even take seeds and nuts and help them grow and when they get big enough; I plant them.
plant a tree as much as you can! it makes our earth so green and also reduce CO2, CO, and other green house side affect,
save the butterflies.