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How Does a Family or Household Go Green?
Choosing to live a greener, eco-friendly lifestyle can be a big step for some households. Often one member is more enthusiastic and takes the lead. Whether the impulse comes from a roommate, partner, parent, or a child participating in a school project, change can be challenging.
Here are some ideas that can help you make the transition to a greener future:
If you live in Marin County, most towns and municipalities make it easy to recycle through curb pickup. Marin Sanitary Recycling Center is available for household hazardous waste drop off for things like old batteries, light bulbs, electronics, paint and household/garden chemicals, in addition to recyclable items. They take everything from glass, aluminum, plastics, paper and compostable food and yard waste. Marin County is pushing Zero Waste, with info for residents interested in reducing their environmental footprint.
- Use canvas rather than plastic or paper bags
A county-wide ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags went into effect in Marin in 2012. Other municipalities soon followed, so if you shop in Marin, you are encouraged to utilize canvas or multiple-use plastic bags. Grabbing them from the back seat of your car might not come naturally at first. Encouraging someone to remind you, like one of the kids, might be a fun exercise that includes other family members in the process.
- Change a lightbulb
Beginning in 2018, incandescent bulbs began being phased out of stores in California. You’ll still find them on the shelves, just as you’ll see more efficient bulbs using less than 72 watts, including halogen, compact fluorescent and light-emitting diode, or LED. In recent years, LED technology has improved significantly. The Center for Energy Efficiency Standards provides a guide for understanding the new regulations. No one is suggesting that you remove all your incandescent bulbs all at once. Going green one bulb at a time will still have an impact. In a Mercury News article, they noted that, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, a 15w LED light uses 75 to 80% less energy than the similarly bright 60w incandescent. The agency predicts that by 2027, the widespread use of LED will generate annual savings of $30 billion, based on current electricity prices.
- Choose cloth over paper
It is a safe bet that most family closets and dressers contain more than one old t-shirt just begging to be cut up and used for dusting and cleaning. The next time you want to tackle a cleaning job, rather than running out and purchasing rolls and rolls of paper towels, look for some t-shirts. You’ll be saving the planet and money at the same time. The cloth rags can be washed, used, washed and re-used.
- Use green cleaning products
Many families are surprised by the number of hazardous chemicals contained in products like laundry detergent, oven cleaners, tub cleaners, air fresheners, window cleaners and ammonia. Organic, green cleaning products are a great alternative and provide high quality results. These products are no longer only available in specialty shops. You’ll find them on the shelves in a wide variety of grocery, hardware and big box stores. If you want to get the kids involved at a mini-science project, you can always make a few green cleaning products of your own and discuss what alternatives there are for harsher standard cleaning products.
We applaud anyone trying to live a greener life. If you’d like to talk with one of our organic, green cleaning professionals, contact us today!