We all want to do our part to conserve Earth’s natural resources and cut back on waste, but what does that entail? Just going out and purchasing solar panels may be too expensive as a first step, and choosing to live off the grid may be a little too unrealistic. However, there are plenty of small, affordable steps that you can take, specifically in the San Pedro area, to start making your home more eco-friendly and play your part in helping the environment.
Evaluate your routine
Start reviewing your daily routine from showers, driving to work, washing dishes, running your air conditioning, etc. and identifying the areas that you recognize as needing the most improvement. Research those specific areas and educate yourself on the best actions to take.
From the setting on your A/C or heat to the use of floor rugs, there are so many opportunities to improve the “green” level of your home. For many California residents, 80% of your energy bill is being wasted on heating the water to wash your clothes, when washing in cold water does just as good a job. Additionally, program your thermostat based on your daily schedule to prevent heat or cooling running while no one is home.
Do you drive to work every day? Consider walking, biking, or taking public transportation. If those options are not feasible for you, consider how environmentally friendly your vehicle is. Are you interested in the costs and effectiveness of an electric car? Weigh the costs and benefits through Insurance Center Associates.
Water conservation is especially important in California, and there are many ways to start contributing. For example, always turn off the water while brushing, immediately repair leaks in faucets or on toilets, avoid taking baths as showers use less water, and install low-flow toilets and showerheads.
Your fridge and freezer use a ton of energy, and here are ways to achieve a greener kitchen:
Make sure your fridge isn’t in direct sunlight, which causes it to work harder
Decide what you want out of the fridge BEFORE you open the door
Keep the fridge at 37? and the freezer at -3?
Always ensure a full load of dishes before you run the dishwasher
Unplug kitchen appliances immediately after using them
Residents in a naturally warm area like San Pedro can take advantage of the sunshine all year long. Open up the curtains--this helps you avoid wasting energy on indoor lighting and it is an environmentally friendly way to heat your house. Replacing all of your incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs, though initially a pricy investment, can save close to 66% more energy.
Plants naturally absorb pollutants and filter your breathing air. Try a few plants such as bamboo, ferns, or a palm tree. You can even try garden, which will reduce your spending at the local market.
Products such as tea tree oil, baking soda, and vinegar (though don’t use them together) are eco-friendly cleaners that can replace your chemical-laden scourers, polishers, dusters, and disinfectants.
Everyone loves a beautiful green lawn, but make sure to only be watering early morning or in the evenings when the weather is cooler so water won’t evaporate as quickly. Use homemade pesticides, start a compost pile, plant native, and after trimming that lawn, leave the clippings on the lawn for natural fertilizer.
You don’t have to do everything all at once! Start small and work your way up to an everyday, eco-friendly lifestyle, and you’ll be living green in no time!