Benjamin Navarro is a California based Sustainability Expert, or Eco-Advisor, with over a decade of industry experience. With a wealth of knowledge of all things green, he works closely with clients in both the residential and commercial arenas. He particularly works in green restaurants to identify risks and inefficiencies. Benjamin Navarro, then, researches and implements cost-saving strategies to reduce an individual’s or company’s environmental impact. He evaluates the core impacts of his client’s environmental footprint and partners with them to create and implement strategies to help them “go green” and become socially and environmentally responsible.
Benjamin Navarro Offers Tips for Going Green
Here are some practical and easy to implement basic steps for beginners. These tips are perfect for those looking to move toward an eco-friendly home atmosphere. For those who are looking to take their carbon footprint reduction program to the next level, Benjamin Navarro touches on a few more in-depth environmentally conscious practices.
Water – There are many ways you can reduce the use of this major daily life staple. A good start is to lower the temperature on the hot water heater and check the water heater and other water outlets (sinks, showers, hoses) for potential leaks. Small leaks add up and a worn faucet can waste 20 or more gallons in a week; larger leaks can waste hundreds. While checking leaks, take stock and make changes to the showerheads and faucets in your home. Installing water saving showerheads and low flow faucet aerators is fairly inexpensive and is an easy do-it-yourself project.
Kitchens and Baths - Benjamin Navarro suggests starting with turning off the water: after wetting toothbrushes, limiting time spent in the shower, using a sink full of water to wash vegetables or hand wash dishes rather than a running faucet and only running the dishwasher and clothing washer when they are fully loaded. You can also save water by not pre-rinsing dishes, as recommended by most makers of dishwashing soap. With clothing washers, avoid the permanent press cycle, which uses an added 5 gallons of water for the extra rinse. For partial loads, adjust water levels to match the size of the load. If you're in the market for a new clothes washer, consider buying a water-saving front load washer. Energy Star rated washers use 35 - 50% less water and 50% less energy per load.
Lighting - Simple steps for reducing energy spent on lighting the home include switching light bulbs. Huge advances have been made in energy-efficient alternative lighting. Switching to compact fluorescent bulbs and light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) reduce energy spend dramatically. The best eco-friendly bulbs can be pricey, but Navarro warns spending an extra $10 or even $70 on a light bulb that renders colors pleasantly and reduces the electricity bill is a worthwhile investment—especially since these bulbs last such a long time.
Reusable Household Items - A great way to implement green initiatives is to purchase inexpensive reusable items in favor of disposable. Reusable beverage containers for use in the gym or on the go should replace disposable plastic bottles and cans. Switching from paper products to cloth in the kitchen when possible is also a huge cost and waste savings. Cloth dinner napkins and dishtowels should replace paper towels and napkins and it is inexpensive to make this change.
Homemade Compost Bin – For those looking to step up their existing green initiatives, take stock of existing supplies and recycle as much as possible to create a homemade compost bin to hold scrap food waste. You can use old pieces of wood or an old pallet from a large grocer can generally be taken off their hands at no cost. The screws and other minimal necessities are probably already in your garage or tool shed now.
Staying Green - Make sure you stay on the right track by getting the whole family involved. Put up small reminders in the laundry room and bathrooms, highlighting water conservation activities. Show the family the electricity bills, water/sewage bills, recycling/waste pick up bills. Discus the details . This allows them to see what their contributions look like month to month. Benjamin Navarro also suggests creating an award program for younger children with goals to reach as a team.
There are a number of important reasons to go green for 2014. One of the most important is a better future for coming generations. Going green is a process and as with any other focused effort, there should be easily attainable steps. Start by implementing two or three small changes or projects. Focus on implementing them as a family. The fastest way to get started is to begin with easy changes: turning lights off when leaving a room, turning water faucets off when not directly in use and recycling. Benjamin Navarro encourages using this new year as a clean slate and an opportunity to “Make it green in 2014.”