Green Living

BJ and I try to do our part to try to make our slice of the world a little greener. A few months ago, I put together a list of how BJ and I “Go Green” for an initiative at work.

Here is our list of what we do to save energy, reuse items and recycle:

  •  Recycle glass and aluminum cans
  • Use coupons on my cell phone to avoid printing them.
  • Use fluorescent and led light bulbs in our house.
  • Use led tealights and instead of burning tealight candles and throwing away the metal container.
  • Keep our thermostat higher in the summer (76) and cooler in the winter (68).
  • Open our windows in the fall and spring and use the house fan instead of running air conditioning or heat.
  • Use reusable cloth bags at the grocery store (FIY: Target gives you 5 cents for every reusable bag you use).
  • Keep our fish tank lights on a timer so they are off during the day until we get home.
  • Buy milk in glass bottles and return the bottles to the store.
  • Cook with an induction cooktop which is more efficient than gas or electric.
  • Switched many of our bills to paperless statements.
  • Recycle motor oil from oil changes on our cars.
  • Our cat has an automatic water fountain that continuously runs cool water for her. It uses electricity to run, but we do not have to dump out her water as often and she always has fresh filtered cold water.
  • When we forget our reusable bags, I reuse the plastic bags from the grocery store for cleaning our cat’s litter box.
  • Our kitchen appliances are Energy Star appliances.
  • When we were planning our wedding, I picked centerpieces that I could keep so that we could reuse them after our wedding. I chose lanterns from Ikea and vases with a few fresh flowers (unfortunately, I couldn’t keep the flowers) for the tables. Each table either had a lantern or vase. After our wedding, I incorporated all the vases and lanterns into our home decor. We also chose wine bottle stoppers as our favors for the adults so guests could take something home with them that they can reuse over and over! I also kept some of the other decorations we used for the escort card table so that we had minimal to throw away.

And a few months later, we are still practicing what we preach and then some.

Since we moved into our house, we’ve been switching out the incandescent lights bulbs installed by the builder to fluorescent and led bulbs.

In our master bathroom, we often leave the light on at night so that Zoey see to eat her food and use her litter box. To keep the cost of running the light down by drawing less power, we switched the incandescent to an led bulb. The up front cost is more than a traditional light bulb, but the savings over time will add up and make it worth the price (about $30)

The led bulbs in the bathroom use about 13 watts versus the former incandescent bulbs which drew 60-70 watts.

We also installed led lights in the table lamps by our bed.

And we have led rope lighting installed above our kitchen cabinets.

Another way we go green and try to save a few pennies is by using reusable grocery bags. We do a great deal of our grocery shopping at Super Target and as I mentioned above, they give  $0.05 back for every bag used.

Occasionally, we will leave our reusable bags at home so we can save the plastic bags to clean Zoey’s litter. We keep all of our plastic bags in our handy-dandy Simple Human bag organizer.

In our kitchen closet we keep bins to recycle glass and plastic. Once the bins are full, we take them to a recycling drop off center at our local park. Looks like it’s time for a visit to the park!

So those are just a few of the ways we go green. How do you  go green?

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