10 Simple Ways To Get Green — Starting At Home

Here are some simple ideas for going green in Salt Lake. The contents of this list may not be new, but the most important things bear repeating. Simple things can make a difference, both for the environment and your wallet.

  1. Change a light. If just one regular light bulb in every home in the United States was replaced with a compact fluorescent bulb, the pollution reduction would be equal to removing one million cars from the road. Don’t like the color of light a fluorescent bulb gives off? Just replace the bulbs in your non-living areas like your garage, closets, and laundry room.
  2. Don’t rinse your dishes. If you skip rinsing off your dishes before you load them into your dishwasher, you’ll save up to 20 gallons of water on every load. Plus, you’ll save time and the energy used to heat the additional water.
  3. Recycle. Recycle everything you can. Salt Lake City contracts with Allied Waste to collect recyclables from about 6,800 residences per day. For $3.75 per month added to your public utilities bill, you’ll receive a 90-gallon container that will be collected once a week on the same day as your regular garbage collection. Call 801-535-6999 to order a recycling container and to find out your collection day. May municipalities around Salt Lake, and Salt Lake County, have similar arrangements. Check your city web site or the blue government pages of your phone book.
  4. Shower together. That’s right. Sneak in a shower with the person you love — you’ll be making a wise choice for the environment, and you may notice some other added benefits. Also, replacing your shower head with a low-flow head can reduce your water usage by 20%.
  5. Program your thermostat. Your home doesn’t need to stay the same temperature when you’re at work during the day as it does when you’re home. Replacing your thermostat with one that’s programmable can save you up to $100 a year in energy costs. The Rocky Mountain Institute says that for every 1? you lower your thermostat, you save 2% on your energy bill.
  6. Buy local. Locally owned businesses give our neighborhoods character, keep dollars in our local economy, and make an efficient use of public services. Buying local is also healthier. No need for added preservatives in foods, and less pollution from reduced transportation. The Downtown Alliance Farmers Market at Pioneer Park is a great way to buy local. Held every Saturday from June through mid-October, 8:00 am– 1:00 pm, on the corner of 300 West and 300 South. For more information about buying local visit www.localfirst.org.
  7. Give your dryer a rest. Start drying your clothes by air on a clothesline or rack. Your clothes will maintain their color and fit, and will last longer too. Plus, you’ll save on energy costs.
  8. Don’t just turn it off, unplug it. Many of our household electronics use power whether they’re turned on or not. Phantom electricity accounts for 5 billion kWh per year in the United States. Laptop computers, cell phones chargers, appliances with a digital clock or stand-by light — these all use phantom electricity, and the only way to stop the usage is to unplug them. One easy way to do this is to use a power strip. Once you shut off the strip, all of the appliances will also be completely shut off.
  9. Water your lawn in the morning. If you must water your lawn, be sure to do it in the morning. It’s cooler, so the moisture won’t be lost to evaporation.
  10. Cut down on junk mail. The average adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail per year. You can have your name added to the do-no-mail list by going to the Direct Marketing Association’s website at www.dmachoice.org. Avoid getting on more mailing lists by writing “Please do not rent, sell, or trade my name or address” on anything you send (warranty, subscription, raffle, customer info card, etc.). You can also go to www.41pounds.org, a not-for-profit organization that stops 80-95% of unwanted mail for the sake of environmental protection.

Comments are closed.