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Five simple tips for more sustainable living

What is Sustainable Living?  Wipikedia defines it as ". . . a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resource and his/her own resources."  And continues,  individuals attempting to live sustainably "attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption and diet."

It isn't a new concept, but some communities are more conscious of their carbon footprint than others.  Many larger cities have iniatives to help people "green" their lives and to live more sustainably.  But what about those places that don't have initiatives in place?  It is up to the individual to learn about the things they can do to "go green".

"Going green" sounds overwhelming because its such a large, loosely-used term.  If you live in a rural community, it may not be the "in" thing to talk about.  Here are 5 simple tips to help you "green" your lifestyle, and none of them call for radical changes. 

  1. Buy and replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).  According to the Energy Star website, CFLs will save over $30 in its lifetime and pay for itself within 6 months.  They use 75% less energy and last about 10x longer than an incandescent bulb.
  2. Recycle!  Start small by simply recycling containers that food, toiletries and household products come in.  Simply wash out the plastic, glass or aluminum, place them in separate containers and recycle them.  If your neighborhood is lucky enough to have curbside recycling you've got it made.  If not, go to Earth911 to learn about recycling drop-off locations in your community.  Teaching kids to recycle teaches them to respect and honor the Earth. 
  3. Plant a garden and eat from it, or shop at farmers markets.  The food quality is better and less resources are used to get the food there than to larger grocery store chains.  Less fuel emissions are used and you are supporting local economy.
  4. Place a rain barrel outside to catch water and use it to water the garden, lawn, house plants and the car instead of tap water.
  5. Wash clothes with cold water instead of hot.  According to the Alliance to Save Energy, switching from hot to cold water will save 50% of energy per load.  Instead of using the dryer, line dry clothes.  According to Project Laundry List, clothes dryers are the 3rd largest energy draw in the home.  You can save up to $10 per month just by using a laundry line.

Implement these five steps into your life and expand from there.  The Earth and future generations will thank you for it.

Want more tips?  Visit these websites.

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