Household Green Tips
Practice the 4 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink)
Send less trash to our landfill while saving energy and preserving natural resources.
Buy rechargeable batteries. They can be used for longer periods and will likely be less expensive than disposable batteries in the long run. When using rechargeable batteries, be sure to follow the instructions for proper disposal.
- Check your thermostats
Turning down your thermostat one degree in the winter, and up a degree in the summer could save you 3% in home energy costs. The standard temperature for many water heaters is 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If you drop the temperature down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, energy experts claim that you could potentially save hundreds of dollars in a lower energy consumption.
- Change your light bulbs.
Switch out your conventional bulbs for a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) or an LED lamp.
- Reusable Bags
With reusable bags you are helping the planet and cutting down on waste. Take your reusable shopping bag with you when you go shopping.
- Save water.
Take quick showers, repair leaky faucets and turn off the water while you brush your teeth or while shaving.
- Wash your laundry in cold water.
An easy way to clean green is to turn the dial on your washing machine to cold. Most loads don’t need hot water, and 90% of the energy used by washing machines goes into heating.
- Drink tap water.
Choosing a reusable bottle and drinking from your tap will save you money and save the environment from plastic water bottles. Most municipal tap water tastes good and is actually safer than bottled!
- Check the labels
When buying products, check the labels to determine an item’s recyclability and whether it is made from recycled materials. Buying recycled encourages manufacturers to make more recycled-content products available
- Food Waste
Reduce food waste by using up the food you already bought and have in the house instead of buying more. You already paid for it – so use it!
- Go paperless.
Save natural resources – as well as late fees – by enrolling in online bill-paying options. It eliminates the fossil fuel needed to get all those billing envelopes from them to you and back again. Plus, you’ll save money on stamps.
The key to generating less waste is to reduce the amount we buy or consume and reuse the products we purchase. Making the choice to consume less provides more social and environmental benefits than recycling and composting alone. Your small daily choices and habits add up!
- When you make a purchase, choose durable, long-lasting goods and items made of recycled products when available
- Seek products that have less packaging and are healthy, safe and environmentally friendly
- Make small but impactful changes like replacing incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) or LED lamps.
- Bring your reusable shopping bag to the grocery store and beyond. If you do have single use bags, use them again!
- Pack lunches in a reusable bag with reusable food and drink containers
- Ask to be removed from junk mail lists.
- Buy in bulk and avoid single-serving containers when possible
- Recycle your food and yard waste through composting—nature’s way of recycling.
- Shop at one of the many thrift or consignment stores throughout Sebastian County. You can find unique, affordable, and one-of-a-kind items that will showcase your own personal style!
- Use durable coffee/travel mugs instead of Styrofoam
- Use cloth napkins or towels
- Use refillable water bottles
- Use rechargeable batteries
- Donate old magazines or surplus equipment
- Reuse boxes
- Turn empty jars into containers for leftover food or to organize small items
- Purchase refillable pens and pencils.
- Participate in a paint collection and reuse program
- Select sturdy and washable utensils and tableware at home, picnics, and parties
- Donate items to charitable organizations like Goodwill, Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity
- Conserves resources for our children’s future.
- Prevents emissions of many greenhouse gases and water pollutants.
- Saves energy.
- Supplies valuable raw materials to industry.
- Creates jobs.
- Stimulates the development of greener technologies.
- Reduces the need for new landfills and incinerators.
Don’t throw away anything that can be recycled! Click here to learn what items can be recycled and where in Sebastian County.
There is no need to use costly and potentially dangerous chemicals to clean your house because there are a number of cleaning products already in your pantry. The best part is that they’re natural and non-toxic.
Five basic ingredients serve as the building blocks for many safe home cleaning needs:
- Baking Soda – Cleans and deodorizes. Softens water to increase sudsing and cleaning power of soap. Good scouring powder.
- Borax – Cleans and deodorizes. Excellent disinfectant. Softens water. Available in laundry section of grocery store.
- Soap – Biodegrades safely and completely and is non-toxic. Available in grocery stores and health food stores. Sold as liquid, flakes, powder or in bars. Bars can be grated to dissolve more easily in hot water. Insist on soap without synthetic scents, colors or other additives.
- Washing Soda – Cuts grease and removes stains. Disinfects. Softens water. Available in laundry section of grocery store or in pure form from chemical supply houses as “sodium carbonate.”
- White Vinegar or Lemon Juice – Cuts grease and freshens.
General Cleaner Recipes:
- 1 tsp. liquid soap (castile, peppermint)
- 1 tsp. borax
- Squeeze of lemon
- 1 qt. warm water OR ¼ c. baking soda
- ½ c. borax
- ½ c. vinegar
- 1 gal. water
For surfaces that need scouring, try moist salt or baking soda and a green scouring pad.
- 2 tsp. vinegar
- 1 qt. warm water OR 2 tbsp. borax
- 3 c. water
Rub dry with newspaper to avoid streaking.
- ¼ c. borax
- ½ gal. hot water