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Energy Saving Tips: Green Living Within Your Means

Jun 18, 2008
With high gas prices and global warming on many people's minds, consumers are looking for ways they can participate in energy conservation and reduce their carbon footprint. And while you may not be ready to buy a Toyota Prius or install solar panels in your home, there a number of everyday things you can do to adopt a green living lifestyle and contribute to energy conservation.

Learn how to be eco friendly and protect the environment without breaking the bank with these 10 Energy Saving Tips..

* Think green and plant trees [link to: NW Am. Forests page]. If you're wondering how to be eco-friendly, one of the best - and greenest - ways is to plant trees around your yard or office. Trees are inexpensive, require little maintenance and act as filters by constantly removing air pollution from the atmosphere.

* Recycle. Recycling is still one of the most effective ways to reduce waste and lessen demand for the use of new natural resources. A growing number of communities now offer the service for free or little charge and have recycling drop-off centers that are easy to access.

* Compost your fruit/vegetable scraps. Scraps like melon rinds, banana peels, carrot scrapings, apple cores and tea bags are wonderful for composting. The average kitchen produces over 200 pounds of waste annually, and by composting, you'll reduce waste and create wonderfully nitrogen-rich soil for your garden

* Shop at a farmers market instead of a chain grocery store. Buying locally helps energy conservation because it uses less fuel to get food to market. Added green living benefits include fewer pesticides used due to shorter time from farm to table, all while supporting the local economy.

* Fly less. Airline flights account for an estimated 10 percent of all greenhouse gases. Encourage energy saving methods at your work by taking advantage of videoconferencing or telecommuting if the business situation permits.

* Take advantage of public transportation or carpooling. The fuel you'll conserve will add less CO2 to the environment and keep more dollars in your wallet.

* Become an energy efficient home. Install energy saving light bulbs and low flow shower heads in your home. You'll save energy and your energy conservation efforts will results will be reflected in your bill.

* Learn how to be eco-friendly in your home. Use eco-friendly cleaning products around the house and yard. The price difference is minimal and many of the eco-friendly products have been shown to clean just as well as their less-green counterparts. Instead of cleaning with paper towels, get into the routine of using old towels, t-shirts or rags to save on additional waste.

* Buy reusable shopping bags. Considering your energy saving efforts, you should no longer ask yourself the question of "paper or plastic." Canvas totes are now widely available at most grocery stores and are cheap, sturdy alternatives to traditional shopping bags.

* Green living and green entertaining. When the next opportunity to entertain presents itself, whether it be a family function, backyard BBQ or dinner party, use real plates, cups and silverware. You'll reduce waste and create a more hospitable environment for your guests.

Regardless of your current green living status, these helpful tips on how to be eco friendly can help protect the environment without breaking the bank and can be easily applied to your daily routine. Start slow and try adopting a new energy saving method each month and the results will be gratifying.
About the Author
Learn more about homeowners insurance, energy saving tips and creating an energy efficient home at the property resource center at Nationwide Insurance.
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