- Make the trips to recycle the "hard" things, like batteries and electronics, that are not offered through curbside pick-up.
- Use natural lighting. I LOVE a bright room. And that often means that I have lights on even in the daytime. (Drives Derek crazy!) I'm going to be better about opening the blinds to let in natural light whenever possible. And, of course, turning off lights when I leave a room. Do the cats really need a nightlight while I'm gone?
- Drive less. I have no qualms about hopping in the car to run an errand. Maybe even making several little trips in a day when I realize I've forgotten something on an earlier run. I need to be better about saving up those little trips and making a day of it. Sure, it's not convenient and makes for a long day, but it saves gas.
- Clean out the closets. And reduce, reuse, recycle. I'm a packrat in every sense of the word. Paper, clothes, shoes. Some of this stuff I haven't looked at or worn in who knows how long. There's no reason it can't go to someone else who needs it/wants it/will use it! (I already know where my craft room goodies will be going! Hi, Sasha & fam!) So not only do I help someone else, I have more room in my closets.
- Use less water. While we haven't started watering the lawn yet, we still waste a lot of water in our day-to-day activities. Part of it is the way our house is laid out (takes a while to get hot water in the master bathroom) and some of it is just laziness (leaving the water running in the kitchen sink longer than it needs to). When we do begin watering the lawn, we're going to adopt the deep-watering schedule so we'll only be watering once a week and hopefully losing less water to run-off and getting healthier turf in the process. Aside from water waste, there's another reason to reassess our usage - water rates are outrageous in our city!
- Close the fridge & freezer doors! How often do you open the fridge or freezer without knowing what you're looking for? You're just browsing. Know what you're looking for before you open the door.
- And another thing in the realm of fridges & freezers, how long has it been since you cleaned the coils? Did you know dirty coils can more than double your unit's energy usage? Clean those coils at least twice a year. More often if you have pets. Needless to say, a good cleaning is LONG overdue at our house!
- Consider new appliances. Our washer and dryer are almost nine years old. They work alright, but I wonder how much energy I'm wasting when I use them. I know my washer wastes a lot of water and electricity b/c it's a top-loader. Side-loading models use 30% less water and electricity and get clothes cleaner. (Or so the manufacturers and home improvement stores say anyway.) We've talked about getting Energy Star models recently, and I do think this is something we'll do this year. I might actually do laundry more often! *wink*
Those are just a few things we hope to do greener this year!