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If you want to do something good for the environment, you and your family can start living a greener lifestyle this year. Going green can help protect the planet against many environmental hazards and may even help you save money on utility costs and other household expenses. Here are five easy ways to go green this year with your family.
Recycle More Household Waste
You likely already know the importance of recycling plastic bottles, aluminum cans and waste paper, but there are other items that you still might be discarded in the trash instead of recycling. Paper and plastic grocery bags, which are often tossed in the trash, should be recycled. According to Reader’s Digest, some hardware and office supply stores accept old batteries for recycling. It’s even possible to recycle coloring crayons by either donating them to children who are in need or using the materials to create new crayons or other objects. Some places also accept old toothbrushes that can be recycled into different products.
Conserve More Water
Water is a precious resource that can sometimes be in short supply when major droughts occur, and there are many ways for your family to conserve more water to benefit the environment. Installing water-efficient faucets, toilets and showerheads that still provide enough water to bathe, clean and cook sufficiently can reduce much of your family’s water usage. Water-efficient clothes washers and dishwashers are available as well. Most modern dishwashers do an excellent job of cleaning dishes thoroughly, so you don’t need to waste water by rinsing dirty dishes in the sink first. Another idea is to place containers in your yard to catch rainwater as it falls from the sky and use it for watering your garden, washing your car and performing other tasks.
Build a Greenhouse
If you have enough space on your property and the financial means, you can have your own greenhouse constructed to grow many of your plants and flowers in an environmentally friendly way. There are kits that come with all the needed supplies to build hoop houses that can make the perfect greenhouses. Using steel braces and end walls along with galvanized hardware in the construction of the unit can make your greenhouse more durable. Spring wire that’s coated with PVC can also be good for a greenhouse. With your own greenhouse, you’ll be able to extend the growing seasons for many of your plants and flowers and protect all your vegetation from the harsh environmental elements.
Try Using Alternative Power Sources
Electricity, gas and other traditional power sources are known to put greater strain on the environment and the planet’s natural resources. By using certain forms of alternative power that are derived from reusable energy sources, you’ll be able to supply your home with the power that’s still needed to live comfortably. Solar energy is one of the most popular forms of alternative power, and you can harvest this energy directly from the sun by having solar panels installed on your property. Wind power is another alternative power source that you may consider. Even hydropower, which comes from water, can be an excellent form of energy that’s better for the environment.
Be Mindful When Driving
You and any other members of your family who drive can help the planet by adopting better driving habits. Driving consistently at the speed limit can help conserve gas and keep everyone in your family safe. You might also consider getting a hybrid vehicle that uses less gas and more alternative fuel sources to power the vehicle and reduce air pollution. There are even electric cars on the market that don’t run on gasoline at all and can instead be plugged in and charged at charging stations. You can also do better for the planet by taking the bus or using another form of public transportation more often instead of driving your own vehicle all the time.
You and your family can help the environment in more ways than you’ve likely imagined by incorporating these green practices into your lives. Making the right changes can be effective in reducing your family’s carbon footprint and other amounts of waste that are expended so that the planet can become cleaner and healthier for everyone.
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