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This series of posts is my Top Ten List of Things To Do to be green even if you don’t have solar. Read the previous post. Here are 4, 3, and 2.
There are different types of light bulbs. Some are energy gobblers while others are still shining but using less energy. The bad guys are the incandescent lights. The good guys are the CFLs, also known as the compact fluorescent lights. The CFLs use less energy and take a longer time to burn out: average CFL lifespan is 6,000 to 15,000 hours vs. average incandescent lifespan is a measly 750 to 1,000 hours. So, when your incandescent lights burn out, replace them with CFLs, a more cost- and energy-efficient alternative. One note: while it is always a good idea to turn lights out if you don't need them, the lifespan of a CFL can be reduced if turned on and off too frequently. If you will be away only 15 minutes, then don't turn it off.
Even better are LED lights, which last longer and use less energy than even CFLs, but are harder to find and are more expensive.
Chemicals are bad for the environment! Especially the ones used for cleaning. Buy cleaning supplies free of harmful chemicals or create your own to use with your handy rags from number seven or recycled paper towels from number five. Use vinegar to make windows glimmer, shimmer, and sparkle. Use some baking soda and a damp sponge to scrub counter tops or tough stains on floors. It is much better because harmful chemicals aren't just harmful to the environment, they are harmful to you, too.
What vegetables do you like? Herbs? If you like them so much, why not grow your own? You can have your very own home garden. You don't need much space: enough room for some pots is ample room. If you do have enough space you can create a four foot square garden and divide it into a grid. My family has a four foot square garden in our back yard! We have had radishes, carrots, mustard greens, cilantro, and tomatoes. In a couple of pots we have a radish we let keep growing and an onion plant (which has a very pretty white flower) growing from an onion that started growing roots before we could use it in a meal. Here are some pictures on my dad's personal facebook page (get parents' permission!) of the place that we have nicknamed Marshy Acres after my dog, Marshmallow (My dad, however, calls it Marshie Acres). It tastes better than stuff in stores and, if you put the money into getting the materials, makes a great alternative to the herbs and veggies in stores.
Number one is next!
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