10 simple ways to live greener anywhere (part I)

Today is the first part of a great two part series that was written by Paul from babysitting jobs. Paul and his wife Julie both spend quite a bit of time coming up with ideas, blogging, and researching all things related to childcare. They take care of all the necessary information related to babysitting jobs. He personally thinks his blog will help finding information on all things related to a babysitter. 

So we all can’t live in paradise. I am sad to admit it, but as for myself I live in a crowded, overpopulated city full of pollution and cement. However I do not let that slow me down. I figured that any little bit I could do to live greener would help, but I had no idea how to go about getting started. I thought going green required a lot of time or money or inconvenience, but it really does not. All you need to do is think about your life and what you can improve in it. You can also ask for advice from other people who are going green with their lives. For myself, I discovered quite a few easy changes I could make to make my home and family live a greener, more eco-friendly lifestyle. I will share some of these ideas with you:

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1. Avoid chemicals as much as you can – I know that my family is exposed to thousands of chemicals every day. From laundry soap to dish soap to pesticides and paints, there are tons of ways that you can cut out your chemical exposure. Some of the things I have started to do is mix up my own soap products. It is easy. Find a recipe online for non-toxic, natural, or otherwise acceptable soap and go for it. I make my own laundry soap, my own dish washing soap, and even my own version of air freshener. I also switched to low VOC paint to reduce that in my home and have started buying more organic foods to cut down on pesticide exposure. There are many ways to repel bugs naturally in your garden and flower beds too, so there is really little need for pesticides. However I do indulge in some bug spray during the summer months when the elephant sized mosquitoes come out to play, bringing diseases with them. 

2. Go old school – To really save the environment, and money on your utility bills, think back to the olden days. Hanging out your clothes instead of running the dryer, opening the doors instead of running the air conditioner, eating only one hot meal a day or cooking all your food at one time to avoid having the oven on too long, and sweeping the floors instead of running the vacuum cleaner. Anything you can do without using electricity do it. It will save you lots of money and help reduce emissions by consuming less.

3. Eat locally – Speaking of consuming less, eating locally grown food is a great way to reduce the number of trucks on the road and support the local economy. Just think about how far the food has to travel to get to the grocery store and how much gas that burns. No wonder everything costs so much. Instead of buying from the supermarket, visit your local farmer’s market. Many times you can find great deals on locally grown foods. These foods also tend to be better tasting and better for you because they were allowed to ripen naturally and do not have preservatives sprayed all over them. You can also find fun things like heirloom tomatoes and other veggies. They may look different, but the flavor is outstanding.

green_eco_nz4. Eat seasonally – Beyond just eating more local food you should also try to eat seasonally. If an orange has to be flown halfway across the world to get to you the chances are it will not taste very good. Here is a clue. If it is on sale and there is a lot of it, it is probably in season. By eating seasonally you not only decrease the amount of wasted fuel and transportation costs but you are also exposed to a wider variety of foods. Eating seasonally forces you to experiment with new recipes and think about what you are eating. It can be a fun, eye opening experience.

5. Drive less – I have a terrible commute. Worse than most. But I have tried to find the best route possible to get to and from work. I avoid the congested freeways and take the back roads, saving me time and sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. However for some people driving itself is optional. If you can, try to take your bike or walk to work. Or better yet, work from home. Many jobs nowadays can be done from just about anywhere. Cutting just one day’s worth of driving can save you hundreds of dollars in gas over the course of a year and also helps out the pollution. The more active you are the healthier you are too, so it is a win-win situation.

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