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Go Green in the New Year: 29 Eco-Friendly Tips & Tricks

go green eco friendly tipsby Jennifer Fontaine – You want to go green, we all do, but you do you ever feel weighed down by your environmental footprint? Do you get overwhelmed with taking that all-important first step to a greener, more sustainable life, not just for your health, but for the environment?

Research already tells us that green dwellings, particularly those that make use of efficient and natural light, have a positive impact on the mental health of the people that live and work there. Of course, mental health can be a tough thing to scientifically measure, but studies have consistently shown us that green home dwellers experience a special kind of happiness that comes with knowing their home has less impact on the environment.

Eco-Guilt /?eko gilt/
1. That tiny voice in your head that relentlessly reminds you your eco-friendly efforts fall short and no matter how hard you try, it’s never enough.

In 2018, we’re going to help you set realistic sustainability goals, guide you to take eco friendly action within your own home, encourage your tribe to join in, and most importantly how to tell that little voice inside your head to go take a hike. So, don’t stress yourself out over the eco-guilt just take the big leap. This article will show you to start slow and if you feel like making an even bigger impact, sign up below for our 14-Day Going Green Challenge now!

Sign up for our 14-Day Going Green Challenge!

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The best thing you can do is to make as many eco friendly changes as you can without infringing on your daily life. It is more important to make fewer resolutions to go green and stick to them than to have a list that you never complete. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do or change to go green in your life. You can save the planet, save some money, and go green this year.

29 Eco Friendly Tips to Go Green This Year

go green eco friendly tips

Go Green Around The House

1. Installing a programmable thermostat is a great way to go green and save money each year. These eco friendly systems are able to cycle off when you are out and maintain the desired temperature when you’re home. They learn your habits and keep you comfortable while saving you money at the same time.

2. Ceiling fans use 10% of the energy that air conditioning units do and can keep a room cool. In the winter, you can use reverse-direction settings to bring warm air down from the ceiling. By cutting down on AC/heat usage you save money and energy.

3. Place eco friendly power strips around your home to cut off power when you do not need it. Even when you take the device off the charger, it continues to pull energy from outlets, so power strips help ensure you only use what you need.

4. Go Green by using a vacuum that has a HEPA filter because they capture particles more efficiently and remove more allergens and contaminants from the air, keeping you healthier.

go green eco friendly tips

Go Green In the Kitchen

5. Make the most of your freezer space. Not only is a packed freezer good for saving time, money, and stress when getting meals ready, it’s also a great way to go green and save energy. Most people do not realize it takes more energy to cool an empty space, so keep that freezer packed full.

6. When it comes to washing dishes, skip the sink. Dishwashers use half the energy, one-sixth of the water, and less soap than washing by hand.

7. Give your fridge a little more room because when it is backed up tight against a wall, circulation is limited which makes the unit work harder. By keeping it a few inches from the wall, you save energy and money.

Go Green In the Bathroom

8. Get rid of the vinyl shower curtains and use eco friendly cloth, bamboo or PVC-free plastic. Vinyl emits many harmful chemicals into the air as well as an unpleasant odor.

9. Check your soap ingredients because anti-microbial soaps with triclosan and triclocarban are actually more harmful than good. These soaps are no better at washing away germs and can contribute to allergies, hormone disruption, and weakened muscles.

10. Go green by taking shorter showers. You not only save money but you prevent your skin from getting too dried out.

11. Fix your leaky toilet because these leaks waste up to 200 gallons of water a day. A handy way to test for a leak is to drop a little food coloring in the tank and if it shows up in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak.

go green eco friendly tips

Go Green In the Garden

12. Don’t be overly obsessive about the lawn. Go green by letting it grow 2 or 3 inches instead of constantly trimming it. Higher grass blades keep weeds at bay and allow rots to grow deeper making your lawn better able to withstand droughts. You can conserve water and you don’t have to worry about spending money on weed treatments.

| Relate: Gardening with Kids 101 |

13. Water your plants in the morning or evening when it is cooler. Heat will evaporate the water quicker and you end up using more than necessary.

14. Add eco friendly mulch to the base of all plants and trees because it slows the rate at which water evaporates, keeps weeds away, and adds nutrients to the soil.

Green Up Your Electronics

15. Buy a normal TV. Most televisions have screen settings in the shop to make them stand out, but this is way brighter than you need. Go green by setting to a ‘normal’ or standard setting to save energy.

16. Let your video games sleep. These electronics consume large amounts of energy even when turned off so look for the ‘sleep’ mode that allows it to power down after a certain amount of inactivity.

Green Up Your Pets

17. Choose eco friendly spot-on flea medications instead of collars for your pets because they contain harmful pesticides which are carcinogenic to humans.

go green eco friendly tips

Green Up Your Car

18. Use the car wash instead of washing your car at home because it uses much less water. If you must wash your car at home, go green by doing so on the grass or gravel to prevent too much runoff as this may potentially end up back in the drinking water.

19. Switch things up by walking or biking to work or consider carpooling. This is a great way to go green and saves on gas as well as air pollution.

| Related : Kid’s Bike Buying Guide |

20. Follow the rules and obey the speed limit. Not only because you want to avoid a ticket, but because aggressive driving considerably lowers your gas mileage.

Green Cleaning

21. Make your own eco friendly cleaning products for the house with a simple water and vinegar solution. This way you can go green by avoiding the potentially harmful chemicals present in store bought cleaning products.

22. Create a safer eco friendly bug spray. In the event you get any pesky visitors, use a mixture of water and soap to kill them and remove their chemical trails. Bug sprays from the store contain organophosphates which are known to cause acute poisoning.

go green eco friendly tips

Eco-Friendly Packaging

23. Eco friendly reusable bags are the way to go green and most stores have them now. Keep some stashed at home and in the car so you always have them with you.

24. Go green by saying no to straws because they are not necessary and end up creating more waste.

| Related: Portable Water Bottle Buying Guide |

25. Choose an eco friendly aluminum or stainless steel sports bottle over plastic. The rule of thumb is that if you can squeeze it, it is likely made of BPA-containing polycarbonate, which leaks chemicals known to damage your endocrine system.

Green Up Your Diet

26. Go local, whether it is for shopping or eating out. Local places have fresher foods which offers you more nutritious meals and you reduce pollution and energy that is needed for transportation.

27. Buy fresh food rather than frozen dinners. Microwave dinners and other processed foods not only give you unwanted calories but the packaging ends up being wasteful.

28. Eat grass-fed beef which is higher in omega-3 fatty acids and are less likely to carry food borne pathogens like E.coli.

29. Buy eco friendly, shade grown coffee. These beans don’t require the cutting down of rainforests nor do they use pesticides and chemicals. Most stores and coffee shops will have at least one of these types on offer, so go green, protect your health and the environment with shade-grown coffee.

Your going green journey doesn’t have to end here. Sign up for our 14-Day Going Green Challenge and super charge your eco friendly efforts today!

Sign up for our 14-Day Going Green Challenge!

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jennifer fontaine about ofoJennifer Fontaine is the founder of Outdoor Families Magazine, publisher of MommyHiker.com, a blog to encourage outdoor activities with children, and an activist filmmaker inspiring dynamic change in the world. She lives in Southern California with her family.

The post Go Green in the New Year: 29 Eco-Friendly Tips & Tricks appeared first on Outdoor Families Magazine.

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