Better Choices For Greener Living

What is Green Living?


We hear a lot about green living on an almost daily basis, yet many people aren't aware of what those very important words are really all about. Green living, or living green as men refer to it as, is living your life in an environmentally responsible and eco-friendly way in an attempt to decrease the ecological impact you'll make.


There are wide varieties of practices we can all take to conserve our resources and help keep our planet healthy. Some of the most common include sustainability, recycling, alternative energy sources, green construction, organic food choices and several other environmental topics.


Becoming educated on green living and its impact on the environment is the first step towards each of us doing our part because it has to be a group effort. If we all want our children and grandchildren to live healthier lives, it needs to start now with us and needs to continue. Your local library, government agencies and the Internet are great sources of knowledge and information about green living and the part it plays in decreasing global warming and preserving the planet.


Simple things can make a huge difference such as using organic flowers and plants for decorations as opposed to artificial flowers you buy in the supermarket. Instead of using batteries that need to be tossed in the garbage after a few weeks, consider rechargeable green batteries. The next time you consider buying a new item of clothing, consider recycling something you already own. Are you having invitations made up for your next big party? If so, consider making your invites on the computer and emailing them or using recycled paper. These ideas may not seem like much, but they'll make a huge contribution to living green.


We can't be expected to change our lifestyles overnight and no one expects us to do so. However, by making just a few changes in our daily lives, and encouraging our children to do the same, we'll be making a huge impact on the problem of global warming. Rather than making huge changes in your lives, try adopting new methods of doing the same things. For instance, next time you go shopping for a snack, look for items that use recyclable packaging. We all like drinking water.


Rather than buying bottled water day after day, consider refilling the bottle a few times before tossing it. An even better idea is investing in a eco-friendly stainless steel water bottle. You're still going to be drinking the water you love so much, but you'll be doing it in a green or eco-friendly manner. These simple steps are what it's going to take to provide generations to come with a healthier environment.


Benefits of Buying Green Energy


We're constantly hearing or reading about the benefits of living greener lifestyles as an attempt to help save the planet. There are many ways we, as individuals, can do our part to save energy and help the environment from simply using recyclables to building solar powered homes. While many people think of powering their homes with green energy as a major step, it's actually one of the easiest ways to have a huge impact on global warming and the environment.


Green power is generated from nature in the form or renewable energy sources like the sun, wind, hydro and geothermal. Why should we continue to pay thousands of dollars each year in energy costs between heating, electricity, hot water, etc. when green energy is out there waiting? The benefits of switching to green energy are phenomenal.


Using green energy lessens, if not eliminates, CO2 byproducts, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants that result from the fossil fuels used to create energy. This is a huge benefit to the environment.


Because our natural resources are depleting faster than they can be replenished, we've had to purchase fossil fuels from other countries, accounting for billions of dollars spent each year. In


1997 alone, $65 billion dollars went to other countries to have fossil fuels imported here. By using more renewable energy resources right here in our country, we're keeping the money here to help economy and create more jobs.


The major difference between fossil fuels and the sun is that while the sun will last forever, oil will not; therefore, the future of our children relies on us using more renewable energy sources. Our country's dependency on foreign oil has put our freedom on shaky ground. Switching to renewable sources of energy will decrease that dependency.


Production of wind generated electricity has increased 31 percent last year as electricity supplies and utility companies are supplying the customer's demand for cleaner energy. Consider plugging into this rapidly growing division of the power energy. You'll not only enjoy cleaner air but will save thousands of dollars each year.


Buying clean energy really will make a financial difference in your wallet. Purchasing just one 100kWh block of renewable energy is as beneficial as not driving a car for 2400 miles. Power providers in some states such as Colorado are now offering their customers blocks of renewable energy. They can buy enough to cover their monthly bill or choose to buy just one or two blocks. Learning more about renewable energy for our homes is the first step towards a greener environment for everyone.



Green Appliances Really Can Make a Difference


Although appliances and electronic gadgets in our home seem to be something we cannot get along without, we seldom consider how much they’re costing us in energy and money. Unfortunately, so many consumers look for the least expensive appliance when it comes time to purchase one. With the emphasis on conserving energy and saving the planet, shoppers now have the choice of purchasing "green" or energy efficient appliances.


Consumers are now becoming more aware of the importance of having green appliances in their home and the differences they can make. By purchasing eco friendly appliances and utilizing them in an energy efficient manner, we can save money and our planet at the same time. It really does not get much better than that!


Whether you're building, renovating or just in need of new appliances, the time is perfect to create your green home with green appliances. You, as the owner of the appliances, are not the only one benefitting from purchasing green appliances and becoming environmentally conscious.


There are many types of green appliances now on the market today. Look for the Energy Star label and you know you're looking at energy efficient appliances. The average home in America spends from $1,300 to $1,900 annually in energy costs. However, they can save an average of 30 percent on their cost just by switching to Energy Star rated appliances. This can add up to many dollars in savings. Appliances that qualify for the Energy Star rating include refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, window air conditioners, washing machines, dryers and dehumidifiers.


Energy Star appliances may seem more expensive at the time of purchase, but the savings consumers experience in water, sewer and utility bills more than makes it worth the cost.


Energy Star appliances use up to 50% less water and energy than conventional appliances. Appliances need to meet certain requirements to earn the Energy Star label. For instance, refrigerators must provide a savings of 20 percent while dishwashers should save approximately 41 percent.


The Energy Star program is designed to help homeowners and consumers save money on energy. Homeowners get a savings of $60 for every Federal dollar spent on this fabulous program. Purchasing Energy Star appliances does more than save you money on your energy costs. Many tax credits and rebates are offered to consumers making energy efficient improvements such as green appliances in their home.


The savings from everyone switching to green appliances would be phenomenal. In fact, if just one in every ten homes switches to Energy Star appliances, greenhouse gases would be affected almost as though they planted over 1.7 million acres of trees. By purchasing green appliances, you're not only saving your money but the environment as well.