Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Exist Environmentally, Exist Greener

By Simon M Skinner

You hear a lot these days about how important it is to live a greener life? that you should lighten your carbon footprint on the earth. Sometimes it seems like we're getting lectured everywhere we turn.

But there are several ways you can live a greener life that are easy to implement. Most cities have garbage services that pick up recyclable materials in addition to your trash. It is simple to set up a separate container for cardboard, plastics and other recyclables. On trash day, your garbage service takes it away and does all the hard work of recycling all those materials.

Another easy way to live greener is to join your local Freecycle email list. Instead of throwing away items and buying new stuff all the time, use the Freecycle list. If you have an item you don't want anymore, simply list it. Chances are, someone in your community can use it and they'll come take it off your hands for free. Likewise, if you need something, post your needs and see if someone can help you score the items for free. This reduces trash in the landfills, and everyone gets what they want.

Composting is a wonderful way to save money, keep organic material out of the landfill, and provide rich soil for your own landscaping and gardening efforts. Add vegetable and fruit waste, coffee grounds, egg shells, grains, and yard waste to the pile. Take care with animal products, however - they can take a long time to compost and attract pests. Keep a compost pile moist so it stays active, and you'll soon have great soil and less trash.

There are a lot of things you can do to make your home a lot more comfortable and save energy. Larger, well insulated windows let in more natural light, allowing you to keep your lights off for longer periods during the day. Turn your air conditioner off when you're not at home and make use of energy efficient appliances to save money and resources.

Recycling cans, bottles and packaging will also help you reduce your trash bills and your carbon footprint. Consider using cloth bags instead of paper or plastic - you'll save resources and avoid that ever growing pile of bags in the kitchen. Some stores will give you a small discount for using your own bag. These things all reduce pollution, allowing us to live in a cleaner world.

Once you get started, you'll wonder how you ever lived another way. Living greener allows you to feel better, be healthier, and be happy knowing that you're living on a healthier planet. Try greening up your life a little and live a lot longer.

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