Ten Steps Toward a Greener New Year

Ten Steps Toward a Greener New Year

1.  Slay Vampires
“Vampire energy loss” from appliances in passive mode (the clock on your microwave) or standby mode (your DVR scheduled to record something) account for 5-8 percent of your home’s total electricity usage per year.  Slay energy loss by unplugging unused appliances.  Or get a Smart Strip surge protector, which shuts off electricity to dormant appliances.

2.  Detox Your Home
If you’re still not using green cleaning products, what are you waiting for?  If you want to avoid asthma and allergy attacks, carcinogens and toxic chemicals, it’s time to green your cleaners.  Still worried about high prices or the effectiveness of cleaners?  Then you need to stop into GHE, where you’ll get what you need–the right price and a clean home.

3.  Read the Labels
What does green mean?  Are you being “greenwashed” by big box advertisers?  Be sure to read the labels on your food, personal care items, and everything else.  Don’t be fooled by their trickery.  And if you have a question about something, call us!  We’re always happy to help.

4.  Remember Fido…
…and the cat, iguana, etc.  Pet food is often filled with ingredients that animals’ stomachs can’t digest properly.  Skin, behavior and other health problems are often caused by poor diet.  For cat and dog food, we highly recommend our friends at Sirius Cooks in Oak Park.  And we’re happy to provide organic dog shampoo!

5.  Use Pedal Power
We love twofers, and here’s another one: reduce your oil consumption and get fit by opting to use your feet instead of your car.  Map out days that you can walk or bike instead of drive.  Also, you can make life easier for pedestrians with some of our pet-safe ice melt.

6.  Let’s Take This Outside
A green home includes the outdoors too.  Are your fertilizers and herbicides toxic?  Are you composting?  Growing your own food?  Do you leave your sprinkler on and forget to turn it off?  Start planning a greener garden now: non-toxic soil enhancements, composters and rain barrels are all part of a non-toxic home!

7.  Trash the Trash
Can you go a year without garbage?  These folks did!  Composting, growing your own food, and conscientious consumption are a few tactics to help you trash the trash.  Oh, and are you planning on doing any remodeling?  You have lots of options here.  Before you rent a dumpster, check out The ReBuilding Exchange, Murco Recycling, RSI, Habitat ReStore and ReUse People.

8.  Share the Love
So, you’re a green guru by now.  Ready to do more?  Start a green team at work.  Join the green committee at your child’s school.  Help your neighbors detox their homes by being their green guru.  Remember the words of Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spiderman): “With great power comes great responsibility.”

9.  Give Green
This is the perfect time of year to think about your gift giving.  Does your co-worker really need another pair of fuzzy socks for Christmas?  Does your kid’s teacher want another porcelain apple?  Most of us really don’t need any more stuff.  Consider donating to a charity in someone’s name.   Support a local organization they support.  Or, The Humane Society, Heifer International and Habitat for Humanity make gift-giving with a cause very easy to do.

10.  Do Lunch
This one accomplishes a few goals.  Eat better, save money and reduce what you throw away by bringing your lunch to work and packing your kids’ lunches.  Guess who has lots of waste-free lunch supplies?  That’s right, we’ve got Snack Taxis, Wrap-N-Mats, Klean Kanteens, and much more!

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