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Getting Clean by Going Green
Written by: Greg Wiszniewski
Ever since our civilization became industrialized, humans have heavily relied on nonrenewable resources. It is crucial to adopt more environmentally-friendly habits and turn to renewable sources for our energy needs. Read on for some useful tips on changing your lifestyle!
Green Cleaning Supplies
Most of the cleaning supplies sold in stores contain harsh chemicals. When these chemicals flow into the earth or the air, they can cause much harm to both the environment and living creatures alike. However, there are many eco-friendly alternatives for making DIY cleaning supplies. Simple ingredients like lemon, baking soda, and vinegar can be substituted instead.
Replacing ‘Old-Style’ Light Bulbs
The older style of incandescent light bulb uses high amounts of energy in their lifetime. Recently, a newer light bulb was been introduced. It is called a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), and is distinctive because of its spiral shape. CFLs use far less energy to produce a brighter light, and last much longer too!
- Find Out More About Different Types of Bulbs
- How to Recycle Bulbs
- Compare Various Types of Light bulbs
- Facts About CFLs
Unplugging Rarely-Used Appliances
Did you know that even when appliances are not actively being used, they still draw power? Besides burning more fossils fuels to provide that extra energy, the other disadvantage is that homeowners are billed for energy that they aren’t using. Unplugging appliances is the best way to overcome this issue. An even easier solution is to use power strips or timers for multiple appliances.
Updating Old Appliances
Old appliances were made with old technologies. Unlike today’s machines, these old appliances were not designed with efficient energy use in mind. Therefore two machines that deliver the same service might have completely different energy requirements. Updating appliances is a great way to help reduce energy costs in the long run.
- How Do Efficient Appliances Help?
- Look for the Energy Star Label While Shopping
- Which Appliances to Look For
Solar panels can be a little daunting to think about. Many of us tend to envision futuristic, pricey homes powered solely by the sun’s energy. In actual fact, solar panels are quite affordable. Even if they are not used for the home’s many energy requirements, they can be used for smaller tasks. For example, think about lighting the garden or driveway with solar lamps instead of leaving electric bulbs burning all night.
Doing Laundry: Cold Water vs. Hot Water
Our ancestors always washed with steaming hot water. However, it takes quite a bit of energy to heat up all that water. Newer washing machines have feat
- Tips for a Green Laundry Room
- Change Your Clothes Drying Habits
- Advantages of Washing with Cold Water
Green Lessons and Activities
- The Greenhouse Effect – In this activity, students create a model of the greenhouse effect.
- The Price of Recycling – Find out how much it costs to get rid of trash and why we should recycle instead.
- Recycling for Kids – Read the basics of recycling and reusing materials to reduce unnecessary waste.
- Activities with The Greens – The Greens are an eco-conscious bunch who teach kids about pollution, recycling, and other environmental issues.
- Test Your Eco IQ – How much do you know about our environment and waste issues?
- Green Activities – Check out some lesson plans, games, videos, and downloadables to learn more about reducing energy use.
- Air Awareness – Play Air Jeopardy, print a coloring book and try other activities focused on air pollution.
- Energy Kids – This special mini-site introduces kids to renewable and non-renewable forms of energy, and how we can decrease energy use.