Friday, June 10, 2011

Green Living: Green Living: Low-Impact Home

Living a low-impact lifestyle means thinking twice about how your actions affect the health of the Earth. You may not believe that your everyday choices can make a difference, but you're wrong. Making small changes in your own household is the best way to inspire bigger change.

Here's a "bright" idea. Be sure to change all of your household lights to CFL's. Compact Fluorescent Lights last anywhere from 8 to 15 times longer than traditional incandescents. That means you not only save energy, but you save money ... at least after the initial purchase costs.

Energy Star Appliances are also big money savers. The label "Energy Star" was introduced to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to make it easy for consumer to purchase products that help save money on energy bills. Energy Star washers, for instance, use 50 percent less energy and half the water!

Wash your clothes in cold water (warm water requires energy to heat) and pick a dryer that has a "moisture" sensor, so you don't spend energy overdrying your clothes. Or take low-impact laundry one step further by harnessing beautiful days. Dry your clothes outdoors. Air dried clothes smell great and cost nothing! Solar energy also works great for outdoor lights. Consider exchanging your energy zappers for solar versions. Solar energy is free and infinitely renewable.

Water can also be free! With the heat of the Summer almost upon us, now could be a great time to buy rain barrels. You can reuse this free water on your potted plants and around your yard.

And take this low-impact lifestyle on the road with you! Reusable shopping bags and drinking bottles help save big. The average family uses 60 in just 4 grocery store trips! And worldwide we use up to 1 trillion plastic bags a year.

According to Ocean Conservancy, "Along with plastic bags, plastic bottles are among the most prevalent sources of pollution found on our beaches."

Living low-impact means making small changes. Your strong example can inspire change in your neighborhood and then community.

For some great inspiration on ways to reduce your household impact, visit

Carla Hill Realty Times April 19, 2011

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