Every room in the house presents opportunities for greener living. Regardless of your budget, there are things you can do to start saving energy, money and the earth.
- Use energy-saving appliances. Look for the Energy Star certified appliances can save energy, water, and other natural resources.
- Use skylights / solar tubes, compact fluorescent or LED lighting. These energy-saving lighting options will make a difference in your home. (See my previous article about replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFL’s.)
- Compost. Throwing out table scraps is wasteful. Not only can you reduce your landfill contribution, you can also enrich your own soil. This is a great part of organic gardening.
- Use green cleaners. Replace harmful household chemicals with safer, greener alternatives. Consider using brands like Simple Green or Green Works Cleaners.
- Recycle and reuse. Use grocery bags as trash bags. Rinse and reuse Ziploc baggies. Sign up for recycling service with your trash service. (See my previous article about recycling in the Kansas City area and the Recycling Resources links at the side of this page.)
- Fill your dishwasher as fully as possible. Dishwashers run more efficiently than hand-washing. Running fewer, large loads will save energy and water.
- Get an aerating faucet attachment. A screw-on faucet aerator will increase your water pressure so that you get the same power with less water.
- Use green materials in your remodel. If you are planning a big kitchen project, consider using new or gently used building materials from Kansas City’s ReStore. (See my previous article about shopping at ReStore to benefit Habitat for Humanity.) Many flooring and cabinet options are made from recyled or renewable resources.
Take a moment to look around the kitchen. What green things are you doing now? Could you do more? Parents should be green role models for their children, and leave a healthy earth behind for them.