I spent the weekend in Asheville, NC where living green seems to come naturally to just about everyone. The restaurants buy local, organic food and serve up a healthy but delicious variety from high-end to southern biscuits and grits. There are recycling containers all over the city along with signs offering helpful reminders on how residents and visitors can help keep the city green and clean. Even the staff at Marble Slab ask that you choose cones over cups and water from the water fountain instead of bottles.
All of this got me thinking about what we can do to take care of the environment. The easiest place to start is at home. Below is a list of 5 easy ideas to green your home and help the environment and your family at the same time. Be sure to read through to the end and watch Tennessee Mornings tomorrow at 7:50 a.m. for a chance to win our green giveaway.
- Replace bottled water with a Brita pitcher or faucet filter to reduce waste and invest in a BPA free water bottle for each member of the family. Carry it with you. Fill it from your Brita pitcher before leaving the house and use water fountains to refill it when you’re out.
- Recycle – if your neighborhood/city doesn’t offer a recycling service you can collect your own recycling and drop it off at a local recycling center. Find a list of Middle Tennessee drop-off recycling centers here. D & M Recycling and EarthSavers are two local companies offering curbside pick-up recycling for much of Middle Tennessee for a small monthly fee.
- Start a compost bin. This is actually much easier than it sounds and it’s a great way to reduce kitchen and yard waste while making free mulch/fertilizer. Check out my composting tips here. Nashville’s Metro Beautification department offers compost bins, kitchen scrap bins, tip sheets and even classes on composting to help get you started.
- Low energy light bulbs are an easy way to save money and energy. Replacing just one incandescent bulb with a low energy bulb can save approximately $50 in energy expenses and $20 on the cost of new light bulbs over its lifetime. Although they costs a little more up front low energy and energy efficient bulbs are readily available at Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s and other home improvement stores.
- Cancel unwanted catalogs. It’s especially effective to do this now before the onslaught of holiday catalogs. More than 17 billion catalogs are sent out in the U.S. alone using more than 3.6 million tons of paper. Recycling these catalogs is a great start, but if you receive a slew of unwanted catalogs like I did canceling them is the most effective option. Catalog Choice is a free service that will save you the time and energy of having to call each company individually. (This also saves me the temptation of buying things I don’t need!)
This is just a short list of easy changes to get you started. What tips or ideas do you have to green your home and the environment? Leave a comment for a chance to win a Brita water pitcher and one month free with a local recycling service. Like us onFacebook and follow us on Twitter for additional entries. One winner will be randomly selected and announced on Thursday, July 8 at 7:50 a.m.