Going Green
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5 Easy Ways to Go Green

The “Go Green” movement, which encourages people to buy and use eco-friendly products and services, is sweeping the nation. Though many people support this movement, most choose not to actively partake in it. The reason for this? They either don’t know how to begin, think going “green” would be a hassle, or think it’s too expensive to switch to green products. Though it can take some effort, it’s easy to slowly start going green.

1. Eat organic foods

Now, you may be saying, “I would love to, but organic foods are so much more expensive than other foods.” While that may be true, switching to organics doesn’t have to leave a hole in your pocket. Completely switching to organic food can be expensive, but why not try simply switching to organic produce? Inorganic produce uses large amounts of fertilizer and herbicides, which can enter the water supply. Switching to organic produce can help reduce the impact of herbicides on the environment. Plus, organic foods are healthier for you! (I think they taste better, too!)

Many grocery stores nowadays carry organic produce. If you can’t find them at the store, try shopping at a local farmer’s market. Many cities host at least one farmer’s market a week where you can find produce as well as many other locally grown foods. Another benefit is often times the vendors are willing to haggle, so you may be able to get the food even cheaper. Score!

2. Switch your light bulbs

Incandescent light bulbs waste A BUNCH of energy in your home. Much of the energy used by the light bulbs actually goes to producing heat, not light. By switching your light bulbs to ENERGY STAR quality light bulbs you can cut down on your home’s energy use. ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last at least six times longer. Though they’re more expensive, they will save you around $6 per year in electricity costs and more than $40 over its lifetime. They basically pay for themselves!

3. Leave your grass clippings after you mow

Trust me; it’s actually beneficial for your lawn. Leaving your grass clippings on your lawn will help fertilize the underlying grass and it discourages weeds from germinating. Making this simple change can provide up to 30 percent of your lawns feeding needs for the year. Since grass is around 90 percent water, it decomposes extremely quickly and shouldn’t suffocate the underlying grass.

If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your grass clippings on your lawn, try using them elsewhere around your house. The grass can help to feed other plants around your house or in your garden. If you have a compost pile you can throw the grass in there as well.

4. Use natural bug repellants

Mosquitoes are one of the most annoying creatures on the planet. They can turn a great night outdoors into an insect fighting war zone. Using insect repellents with DEET, the most commonly used mosquito repellent, can be toxic. When used in large quantities, DEET can have many adverse side-effects on you and the environment. Wouldn’t it be easier to have a natural way to keep mosquitoes at bay? Lucky for us, there is.

Many plants exist that naturally repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes hate herbs like basil, lemongrass, and rosemary. Marigolds are another plant mosquitoes can’t stand, plus they look great around the house. Have cats? Planting catnip will drive your cats wild and naturally repel the little buggers. If you’re looking for a temporary solution, try eating a bunch of garlic. Just be sure not to kiss anyone!

5. Pay bills online

If you don’t already do this, do it! For one, it makes paying bills extremely easy. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home. However, another reason to pay your bills online  is because it saves paper. The United States uses 25 percent of the world’s paper products. All of this paper ends up accounting for 40 percent of the total waste thrown away in the U.S., which adds up to 71.6 million tons of paper waste. Switching to online bill paying will help to lower this number. Every little bit counts!

Sources:

http://www.id2.ca/downloads/eco-design-paper-facts.pdf

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/consultations/deet/health-effects.html

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-natural-mosquito-repellents.html

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